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Rutgers’ lateral play against Indiana amazes, if only it would have counted

Any football coach teaching a lesson to young players about never giving up should show a play in the final moments of the Indiana and Rutgers game on Saturday.

In a 16-point deficit with just over two minutes left in the game and facing a fourth-and-32 situation around midfield, Rutgers kept a play alive by completing eight lateral passes.

One of the many highlights of the play was offensive lineman Raiqwon O’Neal, who just tossed the ball up in the air when swarmed by defenders hoping one of his teammates would catch the ball.

Wide receiver Shameen Jones caught Neal’s “pass” and four more lateral passes were completed before the ball ended up in wide receiver Bo Melton’s hands.

Melton, with just one man to beat, raced up the field and into the endzone.

The game was basically over and the touchdown wouldn’t have mattered for anything else but pride, but it was a play people would remember for much longer than Rutgers falling to Indiana and moving to 1-1 on the season — if only it had counted.

Referees deemed Rutgers had an illegal pass during the spectacular play, taking away the touchdown.

Sure enough, Rutgers was not able to pull another rabbit out of the hat and lost the game by 16 points.

Hats off to the Rutgers players for never giving up and delighting college football fans with a crazy moment on Halloween, even though it didn’t count in the end.