6 Most Famous Hail Marys College Football History

by Rob Joyce

Georgia had the game won. The Bulldogs scored a go-ahead touchdown at home against Tennessee with 10 seconds left on Saturday. All they had to do was not let the Vols score. But a celebration penalty made for a short kickoff, and Tennessee had one final play with four seconds left.

The win keeps the Vols undefeated and with their playoff hopes alive, while the Dawgs drop their second straight game. And it goes down in history along with these other classic games that were won on a last-second Hail Mary.

6) 2005 Capital One Bowl:

Iowa appeared to botch an end-of-game scenario against LSU. They had a couple of penalties called against them in the final minute, and after a completion to their own 44-yard line with seconds left they didn’t call a timeout. The clock was running and they only had time for one more play because of the miscommunication. Quarterback Drew Tate launched a Hail Mary down the right sideline, finding Warren Holloway behind the Tigers’ secondary for the 30-25 victory.

5) Michigan State vs. Wisconsin (2011):

The No. 16 Spartans were tied with the sixth-ranked Badgers with four seconds left, needing 44 yards to win the game. Kirk Cousins fired the ball just short of the end zone, where it bounced off BJ Cunningham into the waiting arms of teammate Keith Nichol, who was tackled right around the goal line. Initially it was ruled that Nichols was down at the one, and the game was going to overtime. A review, however, overturned the call, it was determined that Nichols crossed the goal line and the Spartans won in a stunner.

4) 1980 Holiday Bowl:

BYU trailed SMU 45-25 with 4:07 left. In other words, the game was over… or so we thought. The Cougars scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick, and scored another touchdown with a two-point conversion. Then they blocked a punt, setting up an end-of-game situation in which they trailed by six with one play left. Jim McMahon somehow connected with Clay Brown to tie the game. The extra point with no time left gave BYU the victory and secured perhaps the greatest comeback in college football history.

3) LSU vs. Kentucky (2002):

The Wildcats were poised to upset the No. 16 Tigers after taking the lead with 11 seconds left. So confident were they, in fact, that they gave their coach, Guy Morriss, a Gatorade bath. Needing to go 74 yards in one play, LSU quarterback Marcus Randall threw it to about the 25-yard line, where it was deflected into the waiting arms of Devery Henderson. The speedster blew past the remaining Kentucky defenders into the end zone for a shocking victory in the “Bluegrass Miracle”.

2) Colorado vs. Michigan (1994):

Kordell Stewart showed off his cannon in a battle of top-10 teams. Needing a touchdown from their own 37-yard line, Stewart threw the ball about 75 yards in the air, it was tipped at the goal line and fell into the hands of Michael Westbrook. The Buffaloes stunned the Wolverines at the Big House.

1) Boston College vs. Miami (1984):

Doug Flutie and the No. 10 Eagles shocked the defending national champion Hurricanes with a 48-yard connection to Gerard Phelan. The play helped cement Flutie’s Heisman resume and is one of the greatest finishes in sports history.


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