Shades of Octobers past: Manning bootleg against Cowboys offers flashback to 1995 Alabama game

Peyton Manning runs in for a touchdown in his final home game at Tennessee in 1997, left, and on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Denver's 51-48 win over Dallas at Cowboys Stadium.

Peyton Manning runs in for a touchdown in his final home game at Tennessee in 1997, left, and on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Denver's 51-48 win over Dallas at Cowboys Stadium.

Denver's Peyton Manning moved past Dan Marino and into second place on the NFL's all-time passing list in the Broncos' 51-48 win at Dallas on Sunday, but the most notable play the former Tennessee quarterback made wasn't made with his arm but rather his legs, in the eyes of Vols' fans at least.

Manning had rallied the Broncos from an early 14-0 deficit and had the team at the 1-yard line when he faked a handoff and rolled left on a naked bootleg.

Video from YouTube

Faked the Cowboys.

Faked fans in the stadium.

Faked the CBS cameras.

The touchdown tied him with his father, Archie, at 18 rushing touchdowns in his career, and was the younger Manning's first since 2008.

"The key is you want to do it about every five years or so,” Manning told the Associated Press after the game.

But it was a play 15 years ago, not five, that immediately came to mind for many Vol fans.

Video from YouTube

After jumping out to a 14-0 lead at Alabama, thanks in large part to an 80-yard Manning to Joey Kent strike on play number one, Tennessee was on the Crimson Tide goal line, facing a 3-and-1.

Much like the play Sunday, Manning faked out foes, teammates, fans, and cameras, strolling untouched into the endzone with what proved to be the decisive score in an eventual 41-14 Tennessee win, one that started a seven-game UT win streak in the series, and 10 out of 12 for the Vols against the Tide, ending in 2006 when Alabama's current six-game streak over UT began.

Manning would repeat the play in his last game at Neyland Stadium, lifting the Vols past Vanderbilt in 1997, 17-10.

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Here to see Manning's bootleg against the Cowboys

Here to see Manning's bootleg against Alabama

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Comments » 2

johnlg00 writes:

Hope Worley takes a clue. He would probably be just as wide open as Peyton was on a similar play. Opponents have gotten so used to seeing all that fly-sweep action going one way that a bootleg might steal a big first-down or TD at some point. The young Worley likely isn't as slow as Peyton is at his age now! Of course, the coaches might be terrified at the possibility of Worley taking a big hit with no experienced backup on hand.

murrayvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Hope Worley takes a clue. He would probably be just as wide open as Peyton was on a similar play. Opponents have gotten so used to seeing all that fly-sweep action going one way that a bootleg might steal a big first-down or TD at some point. The young Worley likely isn't as slow as Peyton is at his age now! Of course, the coaches might be terrified at the possibility of Worley taking a big hit with no experienced backup on hand.

If you're a film watcher, it's hard to miss how many opportunities Worley has had to pick up substantial yardage after faking a handoff.

He needs to do it occasionally just to keep the defense from collapsing the middle.

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