A&M special teams coordinator Brian Polian explains the penalty heard 'round the world
With Texas A&M clinging to a 29-24 lead with 40 seconds to go, Texas A&M was in a precarious situation. Forced to punt from its own 13 yard-line, the Aggies were faced with the prospect of putting the ball back in the hands of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.
McCarron had proved himself to be something of a late-game assassin, leading the last gasp drive to beat LSU last week and hitting two 54-yard bombs to nearly bring Alabama back from a 29-17 deficit against Texas A&M. That's when Texas A&M special teams coordinator Brian Polian decided not to give Alabama the ball back in the first place.
Andy Staples of SI.com explained Polian's strategy to draw the Crimson Tide offsides in his post-game column.
"Well aware that McCarron had shredded LSU's defense on a game-winning drive a week earlier in Baton Rouge, the Aggies did not want to give McCarron the ball," Staples wrote. "'We can Bob him,' punt team members told Polian. In Polian's parlance, a 'Bob' is a double cadence designed to draw the punt return team offsides. Polian ordered the 'Bob' and watched as the left side of Alabama's line jumped when they thought A&M would snap. Flags flew. The Aggies pointed at the Crimson Tide, and when referee Tom Ritter indicated the penalty was on Alabama, the Aggies celebrated. Swope grabbed Kingsbury and lifted him off the ground. The band played. The Yell Leaders yelled, and the rest of Bryant-Denny Stadium fell silent. When he returned to the locker room, Polian, who coached at Stanford in 2010-11, turned on his phone to find it flooded with text messages. 'I've had that forever,' Polian said. 'About 20 Stanford kids texted me and said 'You Bobbed them!
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