Friday, July 25, 2008

Badger Bounce Pass

The other day Chris Earl sent me a link to an awesome YouTube video. For those of you unfamiliar, it's of the Bounce Pass. I'm glad he did - I've read a lot about the Bounce Pass over the years but have never actually seen it.

To recap: trailing late in a 1982 game against Illinois at Camp Randall, coach Dave McClain called for a bounce pass. Quarterback Randy Wright took the snap and threw the ball backwards to wide receiver Al Toon. By design, the ball bounced, which was meant for the defense to relax. Toon scooped up the pass and threw a strike to tight end Jeff Nault for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Badgers missed the extra point, and Tony Eason drove the Illini down the field for the winning field goal: 29-28 Illinois.

Watching the play a couple times, what is interesting to me is that the Illinois defenders don't exactly stop playing when the ball bounces. Three of them keep running toward Toon, two of them looking ready to make a tackle. Also, another Illini defender strips Nault of the ball right after he gets into the end zone, I wonder if that part of the play would be reviewed nowadays.

I believe this is the only Badger loss that made the Top 25 games in Camp Randall history. Because of the Bounce Pass, many people don't remember the Badgers actually lost.

Too bad the poster, likely an Illinois fan, talks over it a couple times with immature comments. He calls the play "bullsh!t," when anyone would agree it was perfectly legal. Your team won after a fluky play, man, just enjoy it.


Toohey said...

Nice post Taps. Growing up in MN, I recall that Ricky Foggie and the Gophers called bounce passes somewhat regularly. I think he also continued that with the Toronto Argonauts, as well.

Bummer to see the defense miss an interception to seal the game, and get shredded by Eason with little time left to play.

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Anonymous said...

"I wonder if that part of the play would be reviewed nowadays."

You're an idiot. It's a touchdown as soon as the ball crosses the end zone line so it doesn't matter that he lost the ball after he crossed.

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Nault was our Varsity football coach a few years back. One day we got to practice this play for fun. Can't imagine any teams attempting it in today's game, too many things need to go right for it to work.