Throwback Thursday: Flutie's Hail Mary pass beats Miami 47-45
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – One of the best college football plays ever executed happened on this day in 1984!
Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie threw a last-second 64-yard pass to beat the University of Miami 47-45.
It was a spectacular ending to a spectacular game. In all, Miami moved the ball 655 yards and had 32 first downs. Boston College countered that with 627 yards and 30 first downs. Together, the Hurricanes and eagles ran 150 plays; on average each play gained almost nine yards.
With 28 seconds to go in the game, Miami’s Melvin Bratton plowed one yard through BC’s defensive line to score a crucial touchdown that gave the Hurricanes a four-point lead.
The Eagles set up on their own 20-yard line and made it to the Miami 48 in 22 seconds. There was time for one more play. In the huddle, Flutie called for the “55 Flood Tip”–a play the Eagles practiced every Thursday but had rarely used. It went like this: Phelan would head for the end zone, flanked by two wide receivers; Flutie would hurl the ball in their direction; and Phelan, having drawn all the defense away from his teammates, would jump up and tip the ball to one receiver or the other.
Of course, that’s not quite how it went. Phelan bolted down the field, while Flutie drew back to the 37. The clock ran out. Flutie threw the ball as hard as he could.
After the game, he said: “I just let it fly toward the pile–not necessarily toward Gerard Phelan, but where I thought everybody was going to be. I saw the ball go down over two defenders’ heads and I thought it fell incomplete into the end zone.” Phelan, meanwhile, was alone in the end zone. Miami’s defensive backs were so sure that Flutie couldn’t throw the ball all the way down the field that they didn’t pay any attention to the receiver behind them. They should have: Flutie’s pass sailed over their heads and hit Phelan squarely in the chest. His feet didn’t even leave the ground.