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Former Penn State OC recounts Big Ten title game-winning play

The game winning play from the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game was miscalled.



Penn State football, Trace McSorley, UFL, Quarterback
Sep 9, 2017; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) and running back Saquon Barkley (26) looks to the sideline for a play call against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Close your eyes for a moment and reflect on the 2016 season and the Penn State football team is in the Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin. The game looked ugly at first, Wisconsin grabbed a huge lead and it didn’t look great for the Nittany Lions. But suddenly they started chipping away at the lead and before you know it the momentum has shifted back to Penn State’s side. Now, what if I told you that the play that won Penn State the Big Ten Championship Game was a play that the Nittany Lions never ran before because it was a miscalled play?

Former Penn State OC recounts Big Ten title game-winning play

Recently, Grace Raynor and Chris Kamrani who cover College Football for The Athletic wrote a piece Tales from the coaches’ headset: ‘It’s total chaos.‘ Within that piece, Raynor has a wonderful section from former Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne who speaks about one of the most famous plays in Penn State history from the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game.

Rahne said “Coach (Joe) Moorhead, who did an awesome job in that game, he calls a play that – he miscalls a play. We literally never ran a play that we’ve never run – in practice, in anything. We’d never run it. We had no idea. But we had a pretty good system and we had obviously great players and (Trace) McSorley just kind of drops back and throws a touchdown – throws the game-winning touchdown pass to Saquon (Barkley) on a play that was miscalled and we were all panicking.”

It’s almost unbelievable that a play that looked so natural was something that the team never run before or even practiced. Instead, those days of playing football in the backyard took over. It shows just how in sync McSorley and Barkley were during their time at Penn State. But now we know that one of the more recognizable plays in Penn State history was truly a mistake.

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Former Editor-In-Chief at Victory Bell Rings, Morgan is the current Site Manager for Basic Blues Nation, host of the Basic Blues Podcast, and co-host of the weekly Penn State Roar Room spaces. Morgan lives in upstate New York with his wife and cats.


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