OU didn’t, losing to Texas 48-45, but attempted by taking a page out of TCU’s playbook. Sooners receiver Marquise Brown laid down in the end zone on the kickoff, but was removed before the play started.
Why? Two weeks before that TCU did a similar stunt against Ohio State with Jalen Reagor laying down in the end zone.
It turns out, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman, NCAA secretary-rules editor Steve Shaw sent out a reminder of the interpretation of the rule to officials after the TCU-Ohio State game.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Players are not allowed to lay down and “hide” in the end zone (or anywhere on the field). If they do, they must be treated as an injured player and removed from the game for one play.
Once the ball is kicked, players could lay down but that would likely take out the element of surprise on the trick play.
Still, TCU almost pulled it off against Ohio State.
Ohio State had taken a 26-21 lead in the third quarter and, on the ensuing kickoff, Reagor disguised himself in the end zone. Returner KaVontae Turpin received the ball and tossed it to Reagor, who raced down the sidelines for a would-be touchdown.
But Turpin’s pass went forward and an illegal forward pass penalty wiped out a momentum-changing play.
After the game, TCU coach Gary Patterson explained the play.
“I was upset because we had a touchdown,” Patterson said.“We told him [Turpin] not to throw it forward and he [Reagor] wasn’t supposed to lay down in the end zone before we started the kickoff for heaven’s sake.
“But they still didn’t see it. Their coaches finally saw it. We throw it backwards, that’s another seven points.”
TCU did a similar play against Oklahoma in 2014, too, but that was also wiped out with a penalty.