It's the third time the Buffs have run the play during Gary Barnett's tenure. In 2002 vs. Kansas State, defensive tackle Sam Wilder subbed into the offense as a tackle eligible player and wound up with a first-down catch. In 2000, defensive tackle Justin Bannan scored a touchdown on the play vs. Missouri.
While those previous two times the play worked as designed, it didn't work Saturday when it was called on a third and 4. That's because, according to CU head coach Gary Barnett, it wasn't blocked properly.
The play is designed to deceive the defense. Saturday, Garee subbed into the game and came up to the line of scrimmage between a guard and tight end Quinn Sypniewski. Sypniewski then motioned to the other side, leaving Garee on the edge, and eligible as a receiver. However, the offensive linemen tipped off the Miami defense in the way they blocked the play, putting the defenders in a position to tackle Garee after he had received the ball from quarterback Joel Klatt.
Garee, who played tight end and defensive end in high school, had practiced the play the previous week and wasn't surprised when the play was called.
Garee said he didn't think the Miami defenders were on to the play before the ball was snapped. "Nobody said my number or anything," he said.
Unfortunately, the third time was not a charm on the play, however.
"It would be an awesome play if it worked, and a stupid play if it didn't," Garee said. "It was worth a try."
Garee endured some good-natured ribbing from his coach, Bill Inge, who said he couldn't tell the difference between Garee and molasses on the play.
Third and less than 1 Call Explanation
Another odd call from Saturday's loss came on a third down with less than a yard to go. Instead of running a back up the middle, or perhaps calling a quarterback sneak, the Buffs tried to catch Miami off guard and sent Hugh Charles on an ill-fated end-around play.
Barnet, on Monday, said he called the play because Miami had shown a strong tendency to be in a formation in that situation that wouldn't defend the end around well.
On tape, CU had noticed that Miami had stacked the line with six big defensive lineman when its opponent was faced with third and very short. So the Buffs designed a play that would send Charles around the end, and hopefully take advantage of a "slower" Miami package. However, Miami didn't line up with six defensive linemen on the play, and a safety broke through and stopped Charles behind the line of scrimmage.
Typically, Barnett said, the Buffs add a "kill" into a play, where the quarterback can kill the play and instead audible to another type of play if he sees something he doesn't like in the defensive formation. So sure were the Buffs of Miami's tendency in that situation, they didn't add a kill to the play when they created it. Likewise, Klatt decided not to call a time out to change plays.
Barnett freely admitted Monday the play looked like a "dumb call."