Every Heisman Trophy winner has a moment where they make a play that leaves the country with their collective mouths open.
Last year, Johnny Manziel had the now-famous scramble where he bobbled the ball against Alabama, only to roll left and find a receiver waiting in the back of the end zone. Desmond Howard had the legendary punt return against Ohio State where he struck the Heisman pose after reaching the end zone.
On the last play of the first half, the redshirt freshman quarterback avoided a sack, launched a deep pass to wide receiver Kenny Shaw, and stunned the Boston College crowd by completing a 55-yard touchdown with no time left on the clock. The touchdown broke a 17-17 tie, and the Seminoles never looked back as they avoided an early upset bid from the Eagles.
In reality, the Seminoles were lucky that they weren’t flagged for an illegal shift on the play. If you look at the replay, Christian Green, the slot receiver on the left side of the formation, was never set. After a 14-yard run by Devonta Freeman, the Seminoles had no timeouts, so the clock continued to run. Head coach Jimbo Fisher raced to get a play called as time ticked down, and Winston appeared to snap the ball in time, but without all offensive players being set.
That fact, however, doesn’t take away from the brilliance of Winston’s throw. With the rush closing in on him, he was able to avoid two different Boston College players and get his eyes back downfield. Shaw was running a double move on the outside, so the timing of the play worked out well, and Winston dropped a beautiful throw into Shaw as he crossed the goal line.
Boston College could probably be faulted for not having more defenders back defending against any Hail Mary opportunities, but that too is now a moot point.
Winston remains a longshot to win the Heisman, but if can somehow lead the Seminoles to an undefeated season, he’ll have a chance. And if that happens, Saturday’s Hail Mary will perhaps be his Heisman moment.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip or on Google.