It might be the easiest touchdown pass the Boise State football team gets all season.
But it wasn’t as stress-free as it looked.
The Broncos burned Hawaii last week with a fake fumbled snap on fourth-and-inches.
On a play that has been in the Broncos’ arsenal for at least a decade, quarterback Brett Rypien took the snap like he was going to run a sneak for the first down. He reached down with the ball and shook it, to make Hawaii think he fumbled. The offensive linemen yelled, “Fumble!” to help with the deception.
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Meanwhile, tight end Holden Huff leaked down the field with no defender in sight. Rypien hit him for a 24-yard touchdown.
The play was designed for one specific situation — fourth-and-inches on the right hash. It also required an opponent that was overly aggressive defending sneaks, and Hawaii had shown that on video.
In this case, the play was set up by an offside penalty on Hawaii on a field-goal attempt.
“When the penalty happened and we moved up to fourth-and-inches, I was like, ‘Here we go,’ ” Huff said. “That’s what we planned for. Only on fourth-and-inches were we going to call that play.”
The first nervous moment was at the snap. What if somebody followed Huff?
“When I looked to my left and right, there was no one on me,” Huff said.
The second nervous moment was Rypien’s hesitation.
“I could see through the line,” Huff said. “He was just looking like, ‘Where’d he go?’ Finally, we met eyes.”
And the third nervous moment was with the ball in the air. Coaches joked they were worried Huff might drop the ball. They weren’t alone.
“If it works, you’re wide open and that catch is easy but it can also be difficult,” Huff said. “If you drop it, you look ridiculous.”
Coach Bryan Harsin, who called the play against Oregon in 2008 with Kellen Moore at quarterback, said Huff had asked to be a part of a “cool” play.
“I made the mistake of telling him that I want some cool plays and I never heard the end of it,” Huff said, “but I got one.”
Huff is having a terrific senior season after two injury-hampered seasons. He has 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
“I just enjoy helping the team out, watching the team do good,” he said. “... (The injuries have) been frustrating, not as a personal standpoint, but just not being able to help the team as much as I could. That was a big issue for me to get over.”