Arkansas State’s failed fake punt against Miami on Saturday, which featured a player pretending to faint in the middle of the play, is one of the strangest plays we’ve ever seen in a football game.
But it turns out that there’s a logical explanation for it.
Coach Blake Anderson spoke to Chase Goodbread of NFL.com on Tuesday and said his team had been practicing the play all week. He explained that wide receiver Booker Mays played dead to ensure that he wouldn’t drift over the line of scrimmage and draw a penalty for illegal man downfield.
“Because of the formation we were in for that fake punt, Booker was covered up and couldn’t go downfield, or it would be a penalty. So we said, ‘What do we want to do with him? Do we want to bubble him or peel him out?’ Someone said let’s just let him be a fainting goat. I loved it, so we just put that in. His job on that play was basically to not get a penalty by going downfield, because the fake was on the backside of the play. These kids have had five head coaches in five years, so we try to let them have fun.”
The result was a disaster. Miami intercepted the pass and Mays got blasted by an opponent when he got back to his feet.
Still, we can thank Anderson for one of the great sports Vines ever:
Anderson said the play was inspired by a prank that North Carolina pulled on its quarterback in practice last year, where every other player on the field played dead immediately after the snap:
Here’s the full video of the Arkansas State fake punt. It is a source of boundless joy:
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