What It Feels Like To Score A Touchdown

Sept. 9, 2003

What it feels like....

TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN

Not many people have experienced the sensation. USC tight end Alex Holmes joined that select club on Oct. 13, 2001 against Arizona State. The Trojans were ahead of the Sun Devils, 21-10, with 12:52 to go in the third quarter. Following a 56-yard bomb from Carson Palmer to Kareem Kelly, the Trojans had a third and goal from the Sun Devil 4-yard line. After an Arizona State timeout, the Trojans huddled up, and this is what transpired, as Alex Holmes tells us in his own words 'What it feels like':

'I was excited going into the huddle because we had been practicing the play all week and it was a trick play designed for me. I knew we were going to call it, but we had to be in a certain situation. It was near the goal line.

'We would go on to win 48-17 but we weren't killing them at this point. I knew if we got in that area they would call the play. Basically the play was for (offensive tackle) Jacob (Rogers) to line up at tight end and for me to line up at tackle. Then, he'd motion over to the other side of the formation, which would make me an eligible receiver. That all was designed to confuse the defense.

'It was a timing play. I had the timing down perfect--when to release off the defender for Carson Palmer to dump the ball to me. I was worried I was going to go too slow. Jacob motioned over and we could hear the Arizona State safeties saying 'What's going on? What's happening?' That got me thinking 'Yeah, we're going to do it! It's going to happen.'

'The play began and I blocked the defensive end and then released two yards deep in the end zone and Carson threw the ball to me.

'The way I catch, I try to absorb the ball in my hands and that's what I did.

'At that moment, things just changed. I don't really get a chance to score that many touchdowns, but the ones that I get, there's no real explanation for how it feels. It's like you are elevated to another plane of existence. The moment just washes over you and you think 'Man, this is just the perfect moment!' It's the one moment in a game when everyone is looking at you, as opposed to another play where people are focusing here and there. There's just no feeling like it. Your senses get dull. I'm sure the crowd was cheering, but I couldn't hear anything. I was just so excited. I didn't know how to react. I was in shock at first and didn't do anything and then my teammates started coming up to celebrate, so I celebrated, too.

'After the shock wore off, I could hear how loud the crowd was cheering, but for the first five minutes or so, I didn't hear anything. It was pure joy.

'I ran to the sidelines with a huge grin on my face. Everyone was high-fiving me. I couldn't wait to go out there and do it again.'

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