Today's Tidbit... Vanderbilt Tricks LSU
It is not often that an opponent’s trick play makes it into your yearbook, but that happened after Vanderbilt snuck one by LSU in 1937. The trick play provided the Commodores' only touchdown of the game as they defeated LSU 7-6. It was the Tigers’ only regular-season loss, though Santa Clara beat them in the 1938 Sugar Bowl.
The play began with Vanderbilt in the Single Wing unbalanced to the left. The quarterback, Reinschmidt, aligned behind the left guard. Hinkle, the center snapped to the quarterback as all four backs begin sweeping to the left.
The left tackle, Ricketson, feigned injury and while LSU’s yearbook indicates he fell to the ground, other accounts say he squatted in position. Either way, as the quarterback moved left, he handed the ball to Ricketson.
LSU’s defense bit on the fake and pursued Vanderbilt’s sweep. The image above suggests Ricketson had his left knee on the ground, but it is unclear whether he possessed the ball at that point. The play should have been called dead if Ricketson possessed the ball while his knee was on the ground. However, if he had placed the ball on the ground, he was free to pick it up and run with it.
Ultimately, Ricketson picked up the ball as two teammates led the convoy 51 yards downfield for a touchdown, much like the fumblerooski that came decades later.
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