We're breaking into the top 30 of the top 50 play countdown. Today's five plays are an interesting mix of skill and athleticism with a little bit of luck mixed in.
No. 30 - Theron West blocks a punt
The New Mexico Bowl was a breakout game for West and it wasn't just on offense. He also made this play on special teams. West burst into the line but didn't come in entirely clean. He got bumped, yet still managed to get a hand on the ball as he was falling to the ground. The subpar quality of the GIF really doesn't do this play justice.
No. 29 - Casey Locker to the house
Damante Horton may be Mr. Pick Six, but Casey Locker got in on the action too. He also has a little bit more flair than Horton, capping his touchdown in diving/tumbling fashion. I thoroughly enjoy Daquawn Brown's role in this play. He almost plays the role of Sunshine in the final play of Remember the Titans, getting not one, but two blocks down the sideline to lead the way.
No. 28 - Vince Mayle cares not for your pass interference
Drawing pass interference is a positive result for a wide receiver. It's even better when you draw the flag, shrug off the contact and still come up with the touchdown catch. Vince Mayle is strong.
No. 27 - WSU runs for a first down on 4th and 5? WSU runs for a first down on 4th and 5!
Attempting to convert a 4th and 5 on the ground is a major risk for any team. For WSU, which really struggled to run in 2012 and threw the ball approximately 3 million times last season, well I think a few jaws hit the floor after this play. Good blocks up front, great job of not getting called for a hold by Elliott Bosch and a good run by Teondray Caldwell. He hit the hole hard, made a cut and got up field. And of course, we have to appreciate the stones on Connor Halliday to check to a run in that situation. Even if he did possibly think it was third down.
No. 26 - Nolan Washington swipes a turnover
This play occurred before the ESPN broadcast switched over, so there is a chance you may have missed it. It's also the reason we have this sideline shot of it rather than the traditional broadcast view. If you missed it, Nolan Washington gave up a tightly contested reception, but instead of simply making the tackle, he stole the ball from the receiver and took it the other way. The play also occurred on the first defensive snap following a WSU turnover. Officially, this went in the books as a forced fumble and recovery, although I'd argue it should be an interception because the receiver never had control. Either way, it was highway robbery.
We'll be back tomorrow to finish off the 20s.