One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Seems simple enough, an easy count. Unless it’s a last-gasp kickoff return, with the football being lateraled in every direction, bodies flying and the game on the line. Then, things can get complicated.
So it went two years ago when Duke and Miami last played at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Blue Devils scored late to take the lead, leaving only enough time for a kickoff return by the Hurricanes.
Miami began throwing the ball around, like backyard football, mad-cap stuff. There were eight laterals in all. On the receiving end of the last one was Miami’s Corn Elder, who crossed the goal line with no time left on the clock.
On the 49-second play, the ball was kicked 75 yards by Duke to the 25-yard line, then lateraled several times, all the way back to the 3-yard line. Elder was tossed the ball at the 9-yard line and ran a 91-yard, play into the end zone that was reviewed for almost 9 minutes before the Hurricanes’ winning touchdown was upheld. That the game was played on Halloween night only added to the craziness.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe was steaming after the game and his team crestfallen after the 30-27 loss. The next day, the ACC announced the officiating crew, a replay official and the replay communicator had been suspended after several mistakes and missed calls on the play.
But the Miami victory stood.
One can only wonder what’s in store Friday at Wallace Wade when the two teams kick it off again, in an important ACC Coastal Division game.
Here’s our Duke-Miami coverage from that weekend in October and November 2015.