By Kevin McGuire
Sept. 25, 2012
Nearly 11 months after Kirk Cousins heaved a miracle touchdown upheld by a video review against Russell Wilson and Wisconsin, it was Wilson who helped crush football fans in Wisconsin Monday night. So this is what it feels like, right Wilson?
By now you know the story. Wilson extended a last second play for the Seattle Seahawks and was able to unload on a deep ball to the end zone to give the Seahawks a controversial win over the visiting Green Bay Packers. The pass appeared to be intercepted by Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings, but replacement referees ruled simultaneous possession between Jennings and Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate, who got away with blatant offensive pass interference on the final play.
“It was a great catch, a great play,” Wilson said after the game. “Obviously it’s a tough call, but at the same time we gave ourselves a chance.”
For Wilson, the roles were reversed last fall when Wisconsin visited Michigan State in late October. Wilson, who had transferred from North Carolina State to play his final year of collegiate eligibility to Wisconsin, had been leading the Badgers to what might have been a run for a BCS Championship Game appearance. But a Hail Mary from Kirk Cousins caught by Keith Nichol off a tip put an end to those plans. Nichol fought hard to ensure he would break the plane of the end zone, and a comprehensive video review ruled he did in fact score the game-winner as time expired.
To this day you may not have to look too hard to find a Wisconsin fan that believes that game could still be in overtime based on the video review, but the result has long been accepted. Unfortunately for him, Wilson saw his team fall victim to another Hail Mary pass the following week, at Ohio State with Braxton Miller unleashing on the final blow. Of course, the Badgers and Spartans would meet again in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, where Wilson and the Badgers picked up their revenge. Wilson also was on the field for another last-second setback in the Rose Bowl when time ran out on the Badgers against the Oregon Ducks.
As fate would have it Monday night in Seattle, Wilson would hand the football fans in Madison and the rest of Wisconsin another painful dose of last-second frustration. Was karma on Wilson’s side Monday night?
“I’m not sure about karma, but I think you learn from those experiences for sure,” Wilson said in a story by ESPN Wisconsin. “I’ve understood throughout all of those experiences that I’ve had, the good times and the bad times, when you lose them, it’s one of those things where you can truly never give up.”
Wilson, a rookie playing in just his third professional game of his young career when few thought he would make it in the NFL under center, now has the Seahawks sitting at 2-1 with wins against the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. Monday night may not have been pretty for the rookie, but Wilson now has four touchdown passes and just one interception after three games.
“You have to just keep trusting in what you’re doing, and have a clear understanding, and a clear mind in what you’re trying to do in those situations,” Wilson said when talking about his previous last-second decisions in games. “Know that you may have to throw the ball away over somebody’s head, or throw out of the end zone, or whatever the situation is, to keep the clock going, and keep the time, and keep your chances going. We came down with the catch there.”
About the Author
Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) is a college football journalist and host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. He resides outside of Philadelphia.