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#pounditMonday, September 25, 2023

South Alabama wrecks upset bid with awful trick play attempt

The South Alabama Jaguars could have and probably should have beaten UCLA on Saturday. The fact that they did not is largely down to some incredible overthinking on their part.

The Jaguars had a 31-29 lead with less than three minutes left, and were set up with a 4th-and-2 from the UCLA 22-yard line. South Alabama looked like they were setting up for a 40-yard field goal try, which could have extended the lead to 34-29 and forced UCLA into needing a touchdown to win.

Instead, the Jaguars got way too cute. They ran a designed fake which put the ball in the hands of holder and third-string quarterback Tanner McGee, and the play was snuffed out by the UCLA defense.

UCLA wound up driving for a game-winning field goal and won 32-31.

South Alabama coach Kane Wommack was behind the call, and he said he was worried about leaving time for UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to put together a drive.

“We had a little trick play on the field goal,” Wommack said, via Creg Stephenson of “I thought we needed to go up two scores against a quarterback like this. … They adjusted well to it. We thought we had them right there with the fake field goal.”

There’s nothing wrong with shying away from kicking a 40-yard field goal in that spot. If you were not going to kick, though, there is no reason to run a convoluted trick play as opposed to just putting the offense back on the field to try to gain two yards. Either that or they should take notes from some high school teams and run a better play.

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