Football

From the Hook-and-Lateral to Marino: The best trick plays in Miami sports history

Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino removes his helmet after throwing the winning touchdown against the New York Jets on Nov. 27, 1994, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino removes his helmet after throwing the winning touchdown against the New York Jets on Nov. 27, 1994, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford. AP

The University of Miami baseball team celebrated a special anniversary on Wednesday. On June 7, 1982, the Hurricanes pulled off one of the great trick plays in sports history.

The ‘Grand Illusion,’ an old hidden-ball trick, helped the Canes beat Wichita State in the 1982 College World Series, a tournament Miami would eventually win.

The play is still replayed during CWS broadcasts and, 35 years later, is still a big part of the Miami baseball tradition.

Yet it isn’t alone in the XX of South Florida trick play lore.

The 1980s were good to South Florida when it came to such trickery, from the famed ‘Hook-and-Lateral’ play the Dolphins pulled off at the Orange Bowl in 1982 to Nebraska’s Fumblerooskie that snookered the Hurricanes on the same field two years (to the day) later.

The most memorable fake play in South Florida history, however, probably came from Dan Marino.

Check out the best Florida trick plays below. Want to add your favorite? Leave a comment below.

The Clock Play — Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, Nov. 27, 1994

With the Dolphins trailing the hated Jets and on their final drive, Dan Marino came up with what may be his most famous touchdown pass of all.

Down three and the clock running, Marino made it appear he was going to spike the ball to stop the clock. With the ball on the 8, Marino began shouting ‘clock! clock! clock!’ and gestering that he was going to, well, spike the ball.

Only he didn’t.

With the Jets off their game a bit, Marino took the snap, looked at Mark Ingram and tossed the game-winning touchdown pass.

Bernie Kosar, who was Marino’s backup at the time, was later given credit for the idea of the play.

The Hook and Lateral — AFC divisional playoff game; San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins, Jan. 2, 1982

The visiting Chargers stunned the Dolphins early on, taking a 24-0 lead in the opening half before the Dolphins got things going.

Miami, playing in front of a packed house at the Orange Bowl, cut the deficit to a pair of touchdowns when Don Shula pulled an all-timer out of the bag just before halftime.

With Don Strock in at quarterback in relief of starter David Woodley (Shula’s WoodStrock strategy), Miami had driven inside the 50.

Strock threw a short pass to Duriel Harris along the right sideline which should have ended the half. Only Harris pitched the ball to a streaking Tony Nathan and he raced untouched into the end zone. All of a sudden, Miami only trailed 24-17.

That play only helped get what turned into a classic game going. The two teams battled for hours with the Chargers finally emerging with a 41-38 overtime win in what was considered the best game of the 80s.

The Hurricanes would play an equally classic game on that field two years later.

Fumblerooskie I and II — Orange Bowl Classics: Nebraska v. Miami, Jan. 2, 1984; Oklahoma v. Miami, Jan. 1, 1988

Miami’s victory over Nebraska to claim the 1983 national championship — the first in program history — is still considered to be one of the greatest games in college football history.

Nebraska’s trickery has a little to do with it.

Miami was beating the so-called unbeatable Cornhuskers 17-0 when coach Tom Osborne got Nebraska back into it with a trick play.

The Fumblerooskie went like this: With the ball on the Miami 19, quarterback Turner Gill appeared to take the snap from his center and pull away. Only he left the ball on the ground.

With Gill and the rest of the offensive line rolling right, lineman Dean Steinkuhler scooped up the loose ball and sprinted to the left side of the end zone. It was Nebraska’s first score in what would be a long night at the OB as Miami needed to stop a 2-point conversion in the final minute to pull out a 31-30 win.

Four years later, Oklahoma’s Barry Switzer pulled the same play out of the book against Jimmy Johnson’s Hurricanes as Mark Hutson picked up Charles Thompson’s fumble and rolled into the end zone. Miami won that one for its second national title 20-14.

The Grand Illusion — College World Series, Omaha: Miami v. Wichita State, June 7, 1982

Here’s the link to the 35th anniversary story.

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