Copycat League

Hawaii runs the fake kneel to perfection as trick play continues to sweep the nation

September 29, 2019

Ten days ago, the Tulane Green Wave captured the hearts of America by running that epic fake kneel trick play at the end of regulation against the Houston Cougars with the score tied at 31-31. The very next play, the Green Wave scored, finishing off one of the more shocking two-play sequences you'll see in college football all season.

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Tulane was not the first team to run this particular play, and they certainly won't be the last, but there is no question they've set off a chain reaction across all of football, at both the college and pro level. If you've watched enough games since, you've likely seen another team attempt the fake kneel. Football is the biggest copycat sport of all.

But it's one thing to copy and fail and another to copy and execute to perfection. The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors did the latter on Saturday night against Nevada, pulling out the fake kneel before halftime with a 28-3 lead. On 2nd and 10 at their own 29-yard line with 24 seconds in the half and two timeouts, Hawaii came out and appeared to be content with a 25-point lead heading into the half, only they weren't!

Beautifully done. Tulane's fake knee should get all the glory in any end-of-year highlight compilation or play-of-the-year conversation, but the Green Wave only gained around 15 yards. This was a 30-yard run for Hawaii, and they couldn't have embarrassed the Nevada defense any more if they tried. Everybody got fooled:

Going to be a rough film session for the Wolf Pack defense on Monday. Hawaii wound up kicking a field goal to finish the drive, making it 31-3, which made little difference on the final outcome of 54-3. The Rainbow Warriors are now sneakily 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain West, which puts them atop the West division. Nevada has fallen to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

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