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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho man uses Legos to recreate big plays in college football

This undated image taken from video provided by Lego animator Jared Jacobs shows a frame from a video he created of BYU’s Mitch Mathews catching a 42-yard pass by BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum with no time left to beat Nebraska 33-28 in Lincoln, Neb., in September 2015. It took 30 hours to make the frame-by-frame video. (Jared Jacobs / Associated Press)
By Eric Olson Associated Press

Thanks to an Idaho man who creates Lego animations as a hobby, BYU fans can relive the glory and Nebraska fans the misery of the ‘Hail Mary’ that ended the Cougars’ victory over the Cornhuskers last year.

Same with the Michigan State and Michigan fans who saw the Wolverines’ botched punt decide that game.

The plays are captured in stunning detail with those classic plastic toy building pieces, and the videos have generated a buzz among fans.

Jared Jacobs, a 38-year-old marketing specialist in Boise, said Wednesday he recreated each play on the kitchen table in the apartment he shares with his wife and three children.

It took 30 hours to make the Lego video of BYU’s Mitch Mathews catching Tanner Mangum’s 42-yard pass with no time left to beat Nebraska 33-28 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jacobs said the play was a memorable start to the 2015 season, and he was encouraged to make the animation by a friend who works at BYU.

Jacobs said he spent considerably more time recreating the scene of Michigan punter Blake O’Neill bobbling a low snap, fumbling the ball away, and Jalen Watts-Jackson running it back to give Michigan State a 27-23 win. Jacobs said the Big Ten Network asked him to make that one. BTN had discovered Jacobs from his Lego video of Tiger Woods’ miraculous chip-in on the 16th hole of the 2005 Masters that went viral in May.

A licensing issue with Legos prevented BTN from using the Michigan State video. Jacobs put it out on his personal social media accounts, and his phone lit up with notifications from fans. Jacobs said he’ll re-create Big Ten signature plays for BTN’s Saturday pregame shows starting Sept. 24, using licensed Oyo Sports pieces rather than Legos.

Jacobs said he started messing around with Legos a few years ago when he recreated a scene from the AMC show “Breaking Bad.” He put the animation on Instagram and one of the show’s actors, Daniel Moncada, shared it.

“All of a sudden I got a cult following from people who were fans of ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” Jacobs said. “I felt I had to keep making more. Had he not shared that and reached out, I probably wouldn’t be doing this.”