A simple look at the box score of the Washington State vs. Arizona game shows a wild game. Mike Leach’s squad got off to a fast start with 21 first quarter points, and 34 second quarter points to head into halftime with a wild 55-14 lead.
The blowout 69-28 win for the Cougars only tells part of the story though. This one had quite a few wild moments, highlighted by a near-impossible scoring play by Wazzu after lining up to kickoff to Arizona.
I’d venture to guess most folks reading this have never seen this situation unfold before, it’s truly that bizarre.
Washington State goes to kickoff, up 34-14 in the second quarter, when a short kick finds its way behind Arizona’s return team. Watch the play unfold first, then we’ll break it down how it’s legal.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 18, 2018
Technically, this goes down as an onside kick recovery, as a Wazzu player is the first to touch the ball. You normally cannot advance an onside kick, however this was almost immediately touched and propelled further backwards by a diving Arizona return man, pin-balling the back into the end zone where Washington State jumped on it.
If Arizona had been able to simply fall on the ball and secure it, even after it was originally touched by Wazzu, the play would have been dead right there. Because the Wildcat return man touched it and propelled it further backward, it became a live ball then legal to jump on in the end zone, resulting in the score.
There’s really not even a way in the box score to accurately depict this madness. The official scoring play rundown in the ESPN box score lists it as follows:
Leave it to Leach’s squad to score in the most bizarre way possible during a blowout win. The reaction by Arizona’s players after the recovery tells you all you need to know about how this one played out.