The Best Fake Punt Ever?
A little over a month ago, the Kent State Golden Flashes college football team pulled off a fake punt against the Georgia Bulldogs, the No. 1 ranked team in the country. It extended a drive that would ultimately lead to a touchdown against UGA. That brought the Golden Flashes to within 10 points before Georgia would ultimately go on to victory. It was a well-executed play, but not nearly as impressive as this gem from the 2013 season.
On November 19, 2013, the Golden Flashes were facing off against the Ohio University Bobcats in a Mid-American Conference showdown on ESPN 2. The Bobcats came into the matchup with a 6-4 record, while the Golden Flashes of Kent State were sitting at 3-8. About halfway through the third quarter, Kent State lined up for a punt and instead pulled off one of the most memorable special teams dupes you’re likely to come across.
“Big Men” Are Athletes Too!
Ever since the days of William “Refrigerator” Perry and the NFL’s Chicago Bears of the mid-1980s, we’ve grown more and more familiar with the idea of the “big man touchdown”. But how often do you see what 6’4”, 265 lb. defensive lineman Nate Terhune did for this fake punt touchdown? Typically, these are the guys “in the trenches” wrestling each other in hopes of making a tackle or breaking up a big play for the offense before it even gets started. They’re often the unsung heroes that allow the “skill players” to make the amazing plays we usually see on the highlight reels over the years. Whether it’s blocking on a field goal attempt or keeping a clean pocket so a quarterback can throw a Hail Mary, these guys usually don’t get much love outside of their own locker rooms. On that November night in Ohio, however, Nate Terhune was a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable season for the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Terhune would take the snap directly from the center while the punter does his best to feign receiving the ball. That allowed Terhune to get out toward the sideline and turn upfield, where he kicked it into high gear with his eyes on the endzone. He would get to the Ohio 40-yard line before finally encountering a defender intent on bringing him down. Instead, Terhune hurdles the defender, bounces off another opponent, and rumbles in for the score. He took the football in for a 61-yard touchdown. What makes this display of athleticism even more impressive is the fact that Terhune had only recently returned from a broken leg earlier in the season. He suffered the injury in September while playing against LSU in Baton Rouge. Four weeks later, he returned to action against Ball State. The Golden Flashes would win their final game of the 2013 season 44-13, and defensive lineman Nate Terhune would leave us all with one of the “Best Big Guy Moments in NCAA History”.
Nate Terhune was an undrafted free agent in the NFL in 2016 but was invited to mini-camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. He never got the chance to show his toughness and fake punt skills on an NFL field, but the way he hurdles defenders and totes the football will long live in the annals of NCAA highlight reels.