Deion Sanders Football Match 2018: Washington State defensive back Marcus Strong made a prime-time play against Iowa State in Friday night’s Alamo Bowl. Unfortunately for him, he celebrated the play prematurely and was called for taunting. The penalty turned a pick-six into just a long interception return.
In the end, Strong’s penalty didn’t cost the Cougars, who scored a touchdown on the ensuing offensive series, and it even gained Strong a fan. Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders, an authority on celebrating before reaching the end zone, was watching the play. To no one’s surprise, he was Team Strong
Sanders returned nine interceptions for touchdowns during his NFL career, and each of those returns included some type of celebration. Marcus Strong made a tremendous play in the first quarter of the Valero Alamo Bowl when he picked off Brock Purdy and took it all the way back for six points.
The Washington State cornerback did everything right on the play. He diagnosed the route, jumped it, made the catch and then outran everyone to the end zone. Unfortunately for him, the NCAA cannot stand anyone having any fun on big plays, and Strong was hit with a taunting penalty for looking back at his would-be pursuers
The penalty wiped Strong’s pick-six off the board, and his coaches gave him a bit of a scolding on the sideline afterward.
One person who absolutely loved what Strong did, however, was none other than Deion Sanders, who made the look-back move so popular back in the day. He sent Strong a shout-out on Twitter after the play.
If there’s one thing the NCAA cannot tolerate (aside from players making any money at all off their efforts), it’s players having fun at the expense of anyone else.
Thankfully for Strong, fashion icon Gardner Minshew and receiver Renard Bell made up for the mistake a few plays later on a touchdown pass.