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Friday, October 23, 2015


Question - How many punt-plays in B1G Conference action last weekend
resulted in fumbles that were returned for a fourth-quarter touchdown?

We all know there was one play that matches the question above, the final play of the Michigan State versus Michigan game. That play has been called "lucky", a "gift", and a "miracle", and it has been directly credited with "winning the game" for MSU.

But there was another B1G Conference game last weekend in which a fourth-quarter touchdown scored as the result of a fumbled punt attempt, did you know about that? I'm betting you did not know this. I bet nobody you know knows this, either, as the very same play - - - occurring at a slightly different time in a different game - - - has gotten no publicity whatsoever. Both plays gave a touchdown to a team during a game-winning comeback, but this other one was not the so-called "winning play". It was the first play of the fourth-quarter, not the last play. But the team scoring on this play eventually won the game by three points on the last play (a field-goal).

The team was RUTGERS, and they scored the "quick-six" (or whatever) to close the scoring margin against INDIANA. The final score was 55-52, so the field-goal is credited with "winning the game", but the touchdown-return provided seven points that were necessary to actually win the game.

Same play, same quarter.
Same effect on the outcome of the game.
Same type of "comeback" game.

Read these stories from the Associated Press and CBS Sports and you will see that the touchdown-return play gets no special mention above or beyond the other touchdowns that were scored in the game. Nobody is saying that Rutgers won on a "miracle play". But it was the SAME PLAY.

Kemoko Turay scooped and scored on a bad snap
on an attempted punt, returning it for a touchdown.
(click here for recap)

It doesn't matter at what point in a game a score takes place except for the momentary effect on the game and the immediate amusement of the spectators. In the end, all scored points count the same regardless of when they were scored. To pick out the last play of the game and dub it a "miracle" is the equivalent of an optical illusion, in which our optic nerve reports incorrect data to our brain.

Two teams had comeback wins that each included a bad-snap punt-fumble in the fourth-quarter, resulting in a touchdown return for the team that won on the last play of the game. But the Spartans play has been picked out from the 129 other plays in the game as the source of a "lucky miracle", when in fact it was just one play, and it could have occurred at any point in the game with the same final effect.

Michigan fans who downgrade the final play
of our game on any grounds are merely showing
their lack of logical reasoning capability.


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  1. There were 2 other punts by UM that could easily turned out like the Jalen Break TD. UM was lucky they only had 1 total for the game.

    1. Exactly, good point. Mishandled snaps on kick plays and fumble returns HAPPEN IN FOOTBALL. They are not "miracles" or "gifts".

      A dropped snap and a dropped pass are about equal as far as "luck". MSU had two dropped passes on fourth-down plays in the second half, so maybe it was really UM who was "lucky". (or whatever)


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