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Kalani Sitake is the rookie head coach at BYU, and on Thursday night he was put in his toughest position yet – having to explain what is being called the worst fake punt in college football history.
The play came early in the second quarter with BYU trailing No. 14 Boise State 14-10.
The Cougars faced a fourth-and-19 from their own 5-yard line. Inexplicably, they ran a fake punt in which the punter attempted to run through the line.
Gaining 19 yards on a fake punt is difficult even under the best circumstances. Gaining 19 yards in which your punter must run from the back of his end zone and get to at least the 24-yard line is probably impossible. Yet that’s exactly what BYU tried to do.
To no surprise, it did not go well.
He barely got out of his own end zone!
Luckily for BYU, its defense held and Boise State eventually missed a field goal.
But at halftime, Sitake tried to explain the call, saying that he had seen something in tapes of previous games that suggested the punter could indeed run more than 30 yards without being tackled.
“Well, on film we thought we had it,” Sitake said. “We wanted to be aggressive. We came to win the game and it just didn’t work out. They made a great adjustment – something that we haven’t seen in prior games. But we wanted to be aggressive and it didn’t hurt us. Our defense had our backs.”
Being aggressive is good. Everybody knows the uber-safe NFL could use a little more aggressive play calling these days. And granted, a fake punt is most effective when it is a surprise, and this was certainly surprising.
But still, a fake punt needs some semblance of a chance at succeeding. This one did not.