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'Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass'
1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma 0 10 0 0 10
Nebraska 0 10 3 7 20
Date October 27, 2001
Stadium Memorial Stadium
Location Lincoln, Nebraska

In college football, the Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass is a play that the Nebraska Cornhuskers used against the Oklahoma Sooners and became one of the signature plays in quarterback Eric Crouch’s Heisman Trophy-winning season.

Contents

Background

When the teams met in Lincoln on October 27, 2001, the defending national champion Sooners were ranked No. 2 and the Cornhuskers were ranked No. 3[1].Crouch had led the Cornhuskers to an 8-0 start and was considered a contender for the 2001 Heisman trophy. His most notable highlight in the season thus far had been a scramble against Missouri that turned into a 95-yard touchdown run[2].

The game between the longtime rivals was a hard-fought, defensive battle, with the Cornhuskers leading 13-10 as they went into the fourth quarter. With nine minutes left in regulation, the Cornhuskers took possession at their own four yard-line[3]. They managed to move the ball to the 32 yard-line before Crouch was stopped short of a first down on third-and-two. A facemask call against Oklahoma gave Nebraska a first down on its own 37, however, and Nebraska head coach Frank Solich called the Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass[4].

The play

The Cornhuskers lined up in a formation they had used twice already that ended with Crouch pitching the ball to I-back Thunder Collins for a run. Familiar with the formation, Oklahoma’s safeties were baited to come forward to stop the run. This time, however, Crouch pitched the ball to Collins who then pitched a reverse to split end Mike Stuntz, a true freshman who had been a quarterback in high school but had seen limited playing time at Nebraska. Meanwhile, Crouch sprinted downfield to become a receiver as Stuntz threw him the ball. Crouch made the catch at the Oklahoma 40 and ran untouched to the endzone for a 63-yard touchdown[1][4].

Aftermath

Immediately after Crouch scored the touchdown, the jubilant Nebraska crowd watched as the video board displayed a computerized image of Crouch in the Heisman pose and a picture of the Heisman trophy itself[4]. After Nebraska won 20-10, Crouch would lead the Cornhuskers to two more victories before the Colorado Buffaloes stunned Nebraska 62-36 the day after Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, Crouch became the first true option quarterback to win the Heisman trophy, edging out Florida’s Rex Grossman and Miami’s Ken Dorsey[5].

The Cornhuskers ended up No. 2 in the BCS Rankings, earning them a bid to play for the national championship in the 2002 Rose Bowl where they lost to the Miami Hurricanes 37-14.

References

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