Utah’s Game-Changing Flea Flicker Was Miscommunication With Rising

Oct 10, 2021, 1:01 AM
Cam Rising - Utah Utes - USC Trojans...
Cameron Rising #7 of the Utah Utes breaks the tackle of Nick Figueroa (50) of the USC Trojans as he scores on second half touchdown run during a college football game against the USC Trojans October 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The play that completely changed the momentum towards Utah was the flea flicker late in the first half.

With 10 seconds left in the second quarter and Utah facing a fourth down with one yard to go, Cam Rising pitched the ball to running back T.J. Pledger, who pitched the ball back to Rising, who threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Devaughn Vele.

That gave Utah a 21-10 lead. The Utes also got the ball back to start the second half and ended up scoring another touchdown on a 43-yard run by Tavion Thomas.

That play changed the rest of the game for the Utes. Come to find out, the flea flicker was not originally called by offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig.

“We were going to get the first and then clock it and maybe try to get a field goal on the next play, there was like 15 seconds left,” head coach Kyle Whittingham said. “So he lined up and we noticed using the wrong formation than what we called and then they (USC) called the timeout and I said ‘what was the miscommunication?’ He (Rising) said he (Ludwig) called the flea flicker. I said ‘great call. Let’s go with it.’ So that was a huge momentum play getting that momentum coming in halftime. Wish we could take credit for that play but it was Cam Rising misreading the wristband, and then us finding out about it, and then sticking with it because it was seemed like the right thing to do.”

It was a good thing for the Utes because they snapped a long losing streak to USC when playing in Los Angeles.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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