South Dakota was trailing rival South Dakota State by three points with one second to play. Then, they pulled off a play so miraculous, it took home Sports Illustrated's Smooth Play of the Year Award.
Receiver Jeremiah Webb snagged a tipped ball in the end zone after a 60-yard heave to give the Coyotes a massive win over their bitter rivals.
SI will also be hand out a number of other awards during the event. Among them is the Smooth Play of the Year Award. An all-time great Final Four moment, a crazy viral play from the FCS level, and outrageous shots in college soccer and the PGA Tour are nominated for the honor.
To find the winners, you can follow the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET across SI's social media channels. The SI Awards Show is also simulcast by LiveXLive across at least 20 other platforms, including SportsIllustratedAwards.com, LiveXLive, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok and Twitter.
Here are the 2021 nominees for Sports Illustrated's Smooth Play of the Year Award
- Jordan Spieth's incredible blind Ryder Cup flop shot
- Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs's Final Four buzzer beater vs. UCLA
- Marshall's Jamil Roberts's overtime goal to win the school's first men's soccer title
- South Dakota's final play tip drill Hail Mary to beat rival South Dakota State
Spieth had one of the most incredible moments of September's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Faced with what looked like a truly impossible shot, Spieth hit a flop shot over a roughly 10-foot tall ridge, somehow clearing it and landing just a few feet from the hole for a tap-in.
The momentum from the swing almost sent Spieth into the water for a swim, which he says was not for show.
“It was kind of one of those shots you practice as a kid for fun,” Spieth said after the round. “You don’t ultimately want to have it, and chances of it going there, you could roll a thousand balls off the green and you’re not going to end up there.”
The 2021 NCAA Tournament was not lacking in drama, and the Final Four showdown between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 11 UCLA lived up.
Gonzaga star guard Jalen Suggs put an incredible stamp on one of the best games in tournament history, taking an inbounds pass with 3.3 seconds left in overtime with the game tied at 90, racing up the court, and heaving a running three from just beyond half court. The bank was open, and the Bulldogs clinched a spot in the national title game.
Marshall University scored its first-ever men's soccer national championship in May, on the foot of Jamil Roberts. The Sporting KC draftee was in the perfect spot to score a rebound off the post, putting the Thundering Herd past No. 3 Indiana with the golden goal in overtime.
"This is the best way to finish this incredible season. I've got to keep this momentum going once I join up with Sporting," he said after the game. "It was a mutual decision between myself, the staff at Marshall and the staff at Sporting. We agreed that I would be in a lot better shape if I remained in Huntington and brought a national championship home. To bring that bit of joy in such a difficult year back to Huntington, to put a smile on their face—that makes it all worth it for me."
South Dakota Hail Mary
South Dakota trailed rival South Dakota State 20–17 with just one second to play in the heated rivalry game between the two FCS squads. Carson Camp let one launch from his own 43-yard line, into a mass of Coyotes and Jackrabbits just short of the goal line.
After a number of SDSU defenders got their hands on the ball, South Dakota's Jeremiah Webb snagged it, falling into the end zone for the 23–20 win.
Along with Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, SI will also recognize:
- The Muhammad Ali Legacy Award
- Sportskid of The Year
- Female/Male Athlete of the Year, Presented by the U.S. Polo Assn.
- Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, Presented by Emsculpt Neo
- Hometown Hero, Presented by Pepsi Stronger Together
- Team of the Year, Presented by Vitacost
- Best Dressed, Presented by JCPenney
- Gamer of the Year, Presented by Arcade1Up
Candace Parker, LaMelo Ball, Rob Gronkowski, Caeleb Dressel and Suni Lee are set to appear in Hollywood, Fla. on Dec. 7. The event will be co-hosted by DJ Khaled and sportscaster and TV host Cari Champion, with musical performances by 2 Chainz and DJ Irie.