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. For the record, the D3 gang here in Minnesota tonight is really impressed by the call.

    The play is also being discussed on the SCAC board on Post Patterns, as well under General Football, Around the Nation board.

    D3 a.k.a. News of the Weird strikes again!

    P.S. Bring back Hidden Video.

  2. Espy nominee???

    Lansdale Catholic H.S. here in Pa. had a similar play two or three years ago and I think it was nominated for an ESPY

  3. WOW!!! Reminds me of the Alamo Bowl a few years back, but unlike Michigan these fellas scored a helluva TD!!! Wow, Congrats…

  4. I saw this about 4 times on ESPN last night. Was a top play bonus choice, shown after they counted down from 10 to 1.

    Amazing play. The Millsaps guys were either hypnotized be the laterals or just wore down chasing 20 different ball carriers.

  5. GET OUT!!! UNREAL is right….what is the record for number of laterals on a play from scrimmage that went to the end zone? becasue that was quite a few….wouldnt believe it if I couldnt see it 🙂

  6. The play lasts for about 62-63 seconds when you put the clock to it. I can imagine the fatigue that sets in about 40 secs when you are playing at full speed, especially for the defenders. It is almost like “hitting the wall” when you run a 400-meters.

    I want to throw props to the linemen, #50 Josh Hooten who handles the ball twice, and another lineman #68 Steve Arnold, who gets a “touch” then gets a great block a few seconds later.

    Amazing, no forward laterals, no illegal blocks…

  7. Amazing, no forward laterals, no illegal blocks. DID you and I watch the same video. What a terrible way to win a game, got beat on the field but lucky in the end.

  8. “got beat on the field but lucky in the end.”

    Fairly certain that that play took place on the field, eeurr.

  9. I think anyone who watched the game either Trinity or Millsaps fan knows who should have won the game. It was a great game and hats off too both teams.

  10. eeuur
    the end result is the score. doesn’t matter if you have 500yrds more at the end of the game if you lose

  11. I have watced this video clip serveral times, of all the laterals I did not see a block from behind by a Trinty player. I commend the Trinity players on their discipline. Can you imagine how difficult it was for a player not to block from behind.

  12. Well, eeuur, I was at the game and as I said in my article you gotta bring it for the entire 60 minutes. Millsaps won the first 59:58 but in the end all that matters is what’s on the scoreboard after the end of the last play. I didn’t hear any sour grapes from the Millsaps fans around me after it was over, just admiration for the ending to a tough battle between two teams that didn’t want to lose.

    And OBTW – if I remember my stats the Majors were outgained by something like a 480-320 margin.

  13. I went to homecoming with a friend. Not tied to any team so I can not be a sore looser. I just thought I was entitled to my opinion. I thought Millsaps should get some more press because they played a great game too.

  14. Pretty blunt comments. Nobody wants to think the worst, but I bet the coach had the ability to see it on his game films, probably from more angles. Ouch.

    So, does the coach go Lombardi on them now and run them until the whole roster is puking?

  15. eeurr – “I think everyone knows what I’m talking about. If you don’t well I worry about you”. You must be worrying about all of us because we don’t know what you are talking about…….and it’s LOSER not looser!!

  16. Oh my. What an amazing play.

    And what a tremendous call by the play-by-play guy with all the names.

    Both Trinity and Bill Swint (if that’s his voice) have done Division III very proud.

  17. eeurr,

    I knew what you meant, and I’m totally cool with it. I’m sure you will take the 9:43PM entry for what it’s worth…..

  18. Keith,

    Thanks for the article. The effort was just terrible. The video clearly show a few players just giving up after they missed a tackle. The said thing is it happens at every level. I wouldn’t want to be those players come Monday Practice….Their coach didn’t seem to happy with his comments.

  19. It looks like just an ordinary play by rookie rugby players. In fact, if this were a division III rugby play, the coach would scold the players for poor technique. If Americans get excited about a play like this, why don’t we get into rugby more than we do? Why don’t football coaches coach on how to make laterals a “safe” option Of course we are not going to encourage them if the players haven’t learned how to do it effectively. That said, Trinity did a great job, especially since everybody on the team was looking for opportunities to position themselves to receive the passes. I’m sure they were talking to each other the whole time as well. Its all about communication on the fied.

  20. Mr. rugby,
    It’s an exciting play within the context of American Football. Our game combines power, speed and grace, and is very much a thinking man’s game. Yet from time to time, a rugby match breaks out, and that’s exciting. As for why the game doesn’t have a better foothold, it’s likely the same reason why any well-liked sport has rabid fans in some areas and hasn’t caught on in others. People like what they are familar with, what they grew up playing and watching. I’m sure if my Dad had really been into rugby and in the projects we played that instead of stickball, basketball and two-hand touch, I would have grown up with a better appreciation of rugby or rugby league.

  21. eeurr,
    You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. How can you say hats off to both teams, but Trinity didn’t deserve to win?

    I realize the score doesn’t always reflect who played better, but to be certain, Millsaps never had Trinity beat. That’s the very gist of why Mike DuBose is so pissed, because some of his guys did not appear to be hustling (although if Ralph is correct about the 63 seconds, I’d give some of the DL’s a pass for being winded … although Trinity’s OLs seemed to have enough juice to finish the play)

    In any case, I don’t buy your story about not being tied to Millsaps, but even if you’re telling the truth, you’re making the comments a sore loser would make, so people are responding they way they would respond to a sore loser.

    e.e.u.r.r. = Easily Exempt from Understanding Ramifications of Reality?

    I don’t mean to come down so hard on you. You are always entitled to your opinion, as are we. Be advised, if your points aren’t well-argued, people are going to try to talk some sense into you.

  22. Hats off to the coaches of Trinity. They obviously have prepared their team for the “nothing to lose” scenario by thinking through and practicing rugby-style laterals. Your options are 1. “Hail Mary” – for which the defense is abundantly prepared for (and really is a modern-day miracle if it works), 2. Pass short and pray for an OJ miracle run – with most of the defenders between him and the goal line, or 3. You go rugby style – which “shocks and awes” an unsuspecting team. As an American who loves his football, but has now lived in South Africa (rugby world champs) for 16 years, and loves his rugby; I believe every thinking US football coach should study this aspect of rugby, practice it and be prepared to try it if there is no other alternative to losing.

  23. I received a message from my Trinity fans that YouTube “permanently disabled” “TigerDad’s” YouTube account, but has since restored the video. Apparently the video really went viral with more than 338,000 viewings. The video link and his account are apparently intact now.

    Here is the URL for the Miracle in Mississippi.

    Here are four links.

    TO VOTE THE VIDEO as the Pontiac Game Changing Video:

    To see the Video on ESPN:

    To see the local TV interview, WOAI:

    To read the San Antonio News Express article and to read the transcript of the call by the broadcast team:

    Vote early, vote often.

  24. Mr. Rugby,

    I concur with your assessment of “ordinary play” and some players would be chewed for the “rib-ticklers” and hospital passes if this was a rugby match instead of a “Campbell Scurvy” conclusion of a gridiron game. Comparable to that famous “Axe game” vs. Stanford, though Cal has advantage of a legendary rugby pedigree over Trinity.

    As Keith points out, most of these participants are unfamiliar with idiosyncracies and strategies of pitch play (unless a few might moonlight in the spring with Alamo City or one of Austin’s two clubs). Critique aside (and thanks for your email response, Mr. Boerger), it was a most entertaining, creative finale. The media exposure may draw increased interest and participation within USA Rugby and the IRB as well as Division III Football – all good things.

    Best Regards.

  25. According to the “tease” I just heard on ESPN2… Trinity’s coach will be on First Take (live until 12PM EST, repeated 12-2 EST). I am not sure if this will simply be the local affiliate interview or he will actually on the show (most likely via the telephone).

    I will say that there are few times I am able to argue for a sports story to get as much play as possible at my job (news/sports producer at the ABC affiliate in Baltimore). But this has been EASY! I haven’t even had to argue for this to replay as much as possible. Everyone at the station this morning wanted to have it run. Not sure about the afternoon shift :)!

    Great play… one that I hope won’t be forgotten and remembered for years to come when talking about the great plays of college football!

  26. I understand its a long play, and I know you get tired chasing people all day, but several defenders had a chance to bring down the last man to get the lateral, and didnt…They stood around as he ran RIGHT by them at the end…They deserved to lose, but that was absolutely amazing anyways! ESPY fo sure!

  27. I must take exception with eeurr’s whinging about the officials having missed both forward passes and illegal blocks during the play. I am a high school football referee, and I have watched the tape six (6) times this morning and afternoon with a critical eye for both infractions. Unless the camera angle is severely skewed, NONE of the passes are forward. There is one questionable block at about the 1:35 minute mark of the tape, thrown by Trinity #68 (?), if I’m not mistaken. However, it is not so egregious as to jump out at you and make you say “Wow, the referees blew that one!”. I think it was a TERRIFIC play that embodies all that is right with Division III football ~ what a great ending, and what a great way to win the game, despite what eeurr says…

  28. I noticed a scary moment towards the end of that play. It is the final block on a Millsaps player at :57 that frees up the score. The Trinity player is running full steam ahead and “jack ups” the Millsaps defender. Unfortunately, the Millsaps player appears to be hit at and odd angle. His body immediately falls limp as he falls to the ground face first and his helmet rolls off. He seems to be motionless for a couple of seconds. Then, thankfully he seems to slowly gather himself and is able to get up.

  29. I agree with D3forme that it IS a pretty scary moment to watch him hit the ground, and see his helmet go rolling forward. I thought perhaps there was a tacit suggestion that the hit wasn’t legal, but after viewing that sequence several times, contact was from the front… I don’t think there was anything illegal about the hit…

  30. chemrugby – No, I didn’t mean to infer that it is was in any way an illegal hit, which is wasn’t. Just that it was unfortunate to see the Millsaps player lie motionless for a bit. Those things happen sometimes, even with legal hits. Thankfully, he ended up appearing to be okay.

  31. D3forme ~ I understand! You’re correct; even if you don’t “know” the player, it does make you sick to your stomach when you see someone sprawled out like that on the field, even if there was “nothing” that could have been done to prevent it… Sort of like that player from the Buffalo Bills a couple of weeks ago…

  32. Presuming that the Milsaps player that was laid out by that hit is okay, that part of the play further exemplifies the difference in the game. Trinity played to the final whistle, and all of their players’ heads were up and looking to make the play for the full minute-plus it took to score. I have a theory about what eeurr and others have perceived as giving up on the play – it was a lapse in judgement and knowledge of the situation. The Milsaps players seemed to stop when the final lateral hit the ground before being scooped up by Trinity. I think they treated it like an incomplete pass, and given the length of time the play took, it’s hard to blame anyone for that mistak. Folks like eeurr and others with a similar though process seem to want to blame a loss on someone or something. I prefer give all the credit in the world to Trinity, though, and hope that the Milsaps players learn about themselves by responding to such a tough loss!

  33. i didnt bother to read all the above posts, but doe it bother anyone else that after about the 3rd or 4th lateral a ton of millsap players can be seen just walking around, or jogging, hardly doing anything. As good of a play as it was by triniy, it was that bad by millsap

  34. Yeah there is no excuse for Millsaps letting that happen. It was an amazing play, the most amazing I have ever seen. Yet you must play the entire game from start to finish. I do understand though how the Millsaps players may have been thinking before the snap. In your head you are like “no way, nothing could happen here.” Next thing you know helmets are flying and after more laterals than one has ever seen the game is over. Worst thing is is that you maybe realize you were just lackidazical (spelling?) and watched most of it happen and you shold have made the game saving tackle. Tough way to lose, but again, hats off to Trinity, never giving up!

  35. It’s unfortunate that all the talk is about the Millsaps players giving up at the end and Trinity is getting all the credit in the papers, ESPN, etc. I totally agree that several players held back on the play, but part of that I think was the fact that after the second lateral the parents in the end zone and the home stands (not seen on the clip … 1,500+) started shooting off confetti and mini-fireworks like the game was over. Also, when the ball hit the ground on the final lateral five players were surrounding the ball but just watched … maybe thinking it was finally over. Nevertheless Curry went untouched 32 yards for the score and I credit him and the other TU players for staying alert and pulling off a dramatic win. I just hope that viewers who aren’t tied to the teams realize it was a great college football game filled with turnovers, momentum swings and drama. Millsaps played a heck of a ballgame and used poor clock management at the end to give away the game. Not running the clock out with 1:37 left on first down and no timeouts for TU proved that they had not been in that situation before. The backup QB could’ve run 40 yards backwards on fourth-and-2 at the TU 35-yard line but didn’t. He only went five yards backwards and left 2 seconds on the clock thus giving you the “Mississippi Miracle” or “Major Travesty” as I see it. Too bad both teams can’t get a playoff bid.

  36. Isn’t it ironic that a coach doesn’t play his best players and losses a game his team has in hand earlier in the year and then chastises his players for not giving their all on a play that went 60+ seconds ?

  37. I’ve watched the play a number of times as well. Millsaps players all seemed to be waiting on someone else to make the play. Once the ball hit the ground, they thought the game was over for some reason. These are smart kids or they’d not be on the field in the first place. Not knowing the rules is potentially excusable. Stuff happens. Not giving maximum effort the entire play is inexcusable. The Trinty guys just wanted it more.

    I saw coach Mohr on ESPN today. I didnt’ realize that the Millsaps folks had already fired off the fireworks in celebration. The ESPN host said, at least you didn’t have to deal with the band on the field. Coach agreed. The funny thing is that I doubt Millsaps has a band!

    My wife is very new to the concept of DIII football. She saw the play and said something like, where are they playing? Are those tarps? Is this high school?

    Bless her heart, she is really used to our highschool games where we had 11K people in the stands at our last game.

  38. Egads, some of those guys looked pretty tired. Just about anything can happen on any play.

    I was in the San Antonio airport when the Trinity team arrived. I stopped a couple of the players and asked them if they were involved in the play. Their grins were from ear-to-ear and they said, “We sure were … and we made ESPN.”

    Of course in usual ESPN fashion, they promote the video at the beginning of the bradcast and make you wait 58 minutes before showing it.

  39. My wife watched it last night. Her response:

    “I would care about football if all the games were like that!”

    Maybe she said “I could watch football…” but either way.

  40. Nice twist by the NYT. Good idea to spin the story forward by looking at it in a way others hadn’t thought to.

    Also, just FYI, it was the most-forwarded story on USA Today today and was a hit on Comcast as well. Not sure where else besides here and ESPN, I just happen to use both those sites.

  41. I agree with 1990CHAMPS.

    Shoot, we were talking about the play on another board and I forgot laterals can legally hit the ground (remember, in the backfield, we’re coached to treat them like live fumbles) and be scooped up … later that same night.

    So I definitely don’t knock anyone not remembering it was a live ball, or running out of gas. I did get that same feeling watching it the first time, that guys were just hoping someone else would make the play … but by the same token, these Millsaps guys are probably getting killed for lapses a lot of us would have made.

    They already feel bad enough blowing a game, an SCAC title and playoff bid … DuBose is probably really earning his coaching money now by convincing his players to grow and move on.

    In my mind, it’s more a great Trinity play than a terrible Millsaps play.

  42. I hadn’t seen this posted about yet, but Gene Weingarten with The Washington Post mentioned on his blog that this wasn’t actually a touchdown. He posed the question to readers to see if they could figure out for themselves what was “wrong.”

    It turns out that someone pointed out that No. 7 went out of bounds and then came back in to score later on. Gene credited him with the right explanation. However, looking at the video (at 1:41), No. 7 was pushed out of bounds. He didn’t go out willingly.

    I could be wrong, but if he was forced out, he’s still allowed to come back in bounds and make a play, right?

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