It’s A Fake: The Best College Football Trick Plays Of All Time

Truly creative trick plays are a rarity in the NFL; we’re lucky if we get to see one good one in a weekend (shoutout to Tyreek Hill and Andy Reid). College football however is a breeding ground for creative and fun plays, and week 10 was no different.

Ohio State were left scratching their heads on Saturday as Iowa’s long snapper found his way to the end zone thanks to the lonesome polecat formation, and Navy drew inspiration from Clemson’s 2012 2-point conversion play.

With bowl season approaching, we’ve taken a look back to find the best trick plays in CFB history.

5. North Carolina Flea Flicker vs. Duke, 2015

A flea flicker is hardly groundbreaking news, but it’s a classic and the execution on this UNC touchdown is something to behold. Backed up at their own 11, watch how the three defenders in Ryan Switzer’s vicinity all get drawn in to stop the run, leaving him free to roam down the field into the end zone.

4. Nebraska “Fumblerooski” vs. Miami, 1984

You know it’s a good trick play when the TV cameras miss the touchdown, as was the case with this play from the 1984 Orange Bowl. The Huskers were down 17-0 at this point, and this score sparked a comeback that eventually fell short 31-30. Still, we love this play that bypasses the rules by deliberately fumbling the ball, allowing guard Dean Steinkuhler to pick it up and run it in for six.

3. Oregon Fake Statue of Liberty vs. Michigan, 2007

It doesn’t get much better than a trick play within a trick play, and the Ducks used their reputation for having a creative playbook to their advantage against Michigan in 2007. Leading 18-7 and having already run a Statue of Liberty play earlier in the game, QB Dennis Dixon faked the handoff to Jonathan Stewart and kept it himself, even fooling the announcer.

2. Boise State Hook and Ladder vs. Oklahoma, 2007

We all have that little voice whispering “hook and ladder” every time we see a 4th and long with the game on the line, and this game is the reason why. With BSU down by a touchdown late in the 4th, wide receiver Drisan James caught the ball coming out of his hook route, before tossing it to an in-stride Jerard Rabb who got around the edge for the score. The Broncos won the game in overtime courtesy of a Statue of Liberty 2-point conversion.

Honourable Mentions

Michigan State fake field goal vs. Notre Dame – Kirk Cousins likes that.

LSU fake field goal vs. South Carolina – A+ for execution.

Clemson 2-point conversion vs. Georgia Tech – DeAndre Hopkins is basically good at everything.

1. Presbyterian “Bounce Pass” vs. Wake Forest, 2010

If you’ve played sport at any level you’ve probably heard the phrase “play to the whistle” — it turns out the Wake Forest defense hasn’t. Presbyterian’s QB throws a backwards pass into the ground (a fumble, not an incomplete pass) which the receiver catches off the bounce and launches down field to the open man. It has to be a pretty good trick play to make the defense literally stop playing and let you score.