Trinity/Millsaps’ must-see moment

It wasn’t just Division III fans buzzing over Trinity (Texas)’s 15-lateral finish at Millsaps on Saturday. By Saturday night, the video had hit YouTube, courtesy of TigerDad, who SCAC fans might know from our message boards, and had made its way to ESPN, where it was nominated for the Pontiac Game-Changing Performance of the day on College Football Final and led off SportsCenter.

If you haven’t seen the clip, watch it here and please, as always, discuss.

(ESPN’s clip stopped working, so I replaced it.)

64 thoughts on “Trinity/Millsaps’ must-see moment

  1. We have some more experienced people (officials) in here who probably could say more accurately, but I think the rule might be that you can’t be the first person to touch the ball when you come back in bounds.

    The spirit of the rule is to keep all eligible receivers and people who need to be blocked/accounted for on the field of play, quite obviously.

    The push out rule, to my understanding, applies to sideline receptions.

    By the way, this blog is doing a really good job keeping track of everything (reputable) that’s been written about this play since it happened and spawned so much feedback:
    http://www.lawpundit.com/blog/2007/10/15-lateral-62-second-game-ending.htm

  2. Dave, Ron Boerger shared the Times link above at October 29th, 2007 at 10:22 p.m.

    Also, I like Gene Weingarten even though I think he’s wrong there. Have actually exchanged e-mails with the guy, he’s pretty down to earth.

    People have been nitpicking this play since Saturday, trying to find something wrong with it.

  3. I finally made it a little deeper into Gene’s blog (for some reason, after a full night at work last night, I wasn’t as motivated at the time). :)

    Three things were mentioned, two of which have been addressed here. Readers replied to counter Gene’s assumption, stating that being forced out of bounds and not being the first to touch the ball could be two reasons why the play was, in fact, legal.

    A third reader, though, added that the rule says you can’t come back in bounds to touch the ball from a forward pass but that touching the ball from a lateral is perfectly fine.

    Gene seems to admit that he might be wrong in his initial assumption. As said above, maybe there’s an official or someone here who could shed a bit more light on the nuances of the rulebook.

  4. I just went through the 2007 NCAA rulebook and searched for the phrase “out of bounds.” The only things revolving around a player going out of bounds and coming back onto the field of play seemed to revolve around 3 things:

    Rule 6-1-2f – A Team A player who goes out of bounds during a free kick down may not return inbounds during the down (Exception: This does not apply to
    a Team A player who is blocked out of bounds and attempts to return
    inbounds immediately)

    Rule 6-3-12 – No Team A player who goes out of bounds during a
    scrimmage kick down may return inbounds during the down (Exception:
    This does not apply to a Team A player who is blocked out of bounds and
    attempts to return inbounds immediately).

    Rule 7-3-4 – No eligible offensive receiver who goes out of bounds during
    a down shall touch a legal forward pass in the field of play or end zones or
    while airborne until it has been touched by an opponent or official.
    Exception: This does not apply to an eligible offensive player who
    attempts to return inbounds immediately after being blocked out of bounds
    by an opponent.

    I find no other rule that involves a player going out of bounce and coming back, blocked out or otherwise. If an NCAA official knows of one that I missed, please speak up.

  5. Really does it matter what the rules state, D3 football does not have an instant replay system such as other NCAA schools. Besides, does anyone know of any sport that after a team has been declared winner, they will reverse the decision? No need to look back at this play and analyze the validity. It was clearly a lucky victory for Trinity, respectably so, it was a victory. Great play, I think not, Lucky play, I think so. Trinity shows real class with the taunting after the play is over, but I understand, this will be the greatest achievement they will accomplish. If they make it to the playoffs, it will take more than a “Mississippi Miracle” for them to become D3 Champions, or even Champions of the South!

    P.S. Maybe the National Press might be more in awe if Mount Union went and beat up on some Division I schools.

  6. Had an email from a Trinity (Texas) alum today regarding the play. I don’t know that she’s ever paid much attention to the team before this.

  7. No offense, but I think the whole thing is silly. The defense should be ashamed of themselves to allow such a circus event to ultimately cost their team the game. Looks like bad pop warner, that only a parent would actually care about.

  8. Champs0608 I sense some real jealously or anger at a team for doing something every team tries to do, win a game. Taunting? How is celebrating a victory, an improbable victory in the final seconds of a game, taunting!? There is no team in any sport that would have not reacted the same way they did after that crazy finish. Do you think Mount Union would not have celebrated in any different fashion if they had pulled out a 15 lateral play with 2 seconds left to win a game?
    Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games are won or lost in the last play. Is every team who wins in the last play or in the last seconds lucky? I am not trying to say that this play was not lucky because it was, but you say lucky in a dismissive way. Yes there was luck, but there was also hustle, creativity, and let’s face it, Trinity was not as exhausted as Millsaps. Millsaps’ lineman stopped and Trinity’s lineman where down field throwing blocks and keeping the play alive.
    Finally you are very narrow minded to think that this will be the most Trinity will ever accomplish. What any DIII athlete accomplishes on the field should never come close to what they accomplish in the classroom.

    P.S. Mount Union would need more than a 15 lateral play to beat any DI team.

  9. Well, ‘champs0680′, your jealousy is showing. I saw a lot of excited kids, not ‘taunting.’ You probably are blissfully unaware that Millsaps clobbered Trinity on the same field last season, breaking Trinity’s 13-year run of SCAC championships, and had to sit through the Millsaps fans tearing down the goalposts, etc. Trinity will never be Mount Union, and that’s OK. I salute Coach Kehres for his many accomplishments. He’s one of a kind.

    Dougnash, during tonight’s VT-GT game ESPN announced that the Trinity was voted the ESPN “Pontiac Game Changing Play” of the week. More people voted for it than the other three (Division I) plays combined, so your assertion that “only a parent would actually care about” the play is as invalid as the rest of your statement. “No offense” my a**.

  10. altor:
    Thanks for doing the legwork on the rule book! Sounds like the play was on the up-and-up in regards to No. 7 being able to handle the ball again.

    champs:
    The reason I was exploring the legality of the play was twofold:

    First, it’s because that’s what we do as fans, analysts and observers. We pick apart scores, stats and plays each and every week. It helps us learn the game by drawing on the knowledge of others, and spurring some decent discussion is part of the fun of being on the message boards or the blog.

    Second, knowing that Trinity did everything right lends all that much more credence to it being such a spectacular play. I wasn’t trying to poke holes in the play, I was trying to offer evidence to support it, to validate it.

    If my alma mater’s rival’s pulled off something like that to win a game, I would be crushed. But the next day I would commend my opponent for such an amazing feat. This is one of those once-in-a-generation kind of plays that should make most anyone lean back (or forward) in their chair and smile.

  11. I’m in no way disrespecting the win, Trinity clearly deserved to win. Though no team, that is not playing the sport known as rugby, could ever pull this off again if they planned too. Their coach, even states in an interview, after being asked, did he plan for this, “Plan this, we couldn’t even have practiced this on air”. Yes they deserved to win, I’ll agree. But if you’re telling me that running all over another teams field is the way to celebrate, your coach must have not taught your team class. Whoever posted the comment of Trinity having to watch as Millsaps tears the post down last year, did the actual team tear the goal post down, or did some rowdy fans? If I know Coach Dubose like I do his team celebrated calmly after the win. There is a saying that all great Coaches teach their athletes, “Act like you’ve been there before.” After a win, however miraculous, shake the other teams hand, and go do your celebrating at the party. The field is always and will always be strictly business. If you do celebrate on field, do it together in one team group, not all over the field.

  12. champs0680 … I must agree with others comments that your posts seem to indicate sour grapes. Trinity players, coaches, and fans reacted just like Millsaps’ would have if the game had been in San Antonio and they had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat! I was there and witnessed nothing inappropriate or unsportsmanlike in their behavior whatsoever. I’ve seen a longer version of the play and post-game activities and both the Trinity & Millsaps players composed themselves and walked the line at mid-field to shake hands and congratulate one another as fine athletes do. Kudos to both schools for their fine athletic programs and traditions. Bottom line: a win is a win, regardless of how improbable or unprecedented. The scoreboard is the measure in all cases, though we all tend to see the post-game from our own point of view.

    Answer your own question about the post-game celebration after the 2006 Millsaps victory over Trinity to claim the SCAC title, visit YouTube and watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9KQC89bNW0. No doubt the Majors will use this 2007 play to motivate themselves for next season, as they should.

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