During the week of practice, Georgia’s offense practiced the flea-flicker play over and over.
On Thursday, the offense was told it would begin Saturday’s 31-3 win over Mississippi State with the particular play. It was something head coach Kirby Smart saw on film that he believed would work early in the game. Plus, taking a deep shot that early might soften Mississippi State’s box against the run.
When receiver Terry Godwin found out the flea-flicker would be the first play of the game on Thursday, he was ready to see his team take an early deep shot over the opposition. Godwin became even more excited when the play worked to perfection on Georgia’s first play from scrimmage against Mississippi State.
“As a receiver, any time you get the first play as a pass, it puts a smile on your face,” Godwin said. “That’s what it did for the whole receiving room.”
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On the play, quarterback Jake Fromm lined up under the center on what looked like a run play. After all, Fromm did not attempt a pass from under center the week before against Samford. Mississippi State loaded the box to prevent the run in response.
Fromm handed the ball off to running back Nick Chubb, who then pitched the ball back to Fromm. Godwin was left wide open for what turned into a 59-yard touchdown reception.
Smart said he spoke with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney about the potential play call on Wednesday, which is when the final decision was made to go with it.
“I thought it was there. And it worked,” Smart said. “It’s a good call if it works. If it’s second-and-10, it doesn’t.”
That play set the tone for what would transpire over the remainder of Saturday’s game.
Godwin said that once he started tracking the ball, he just thought back to how he executed the play throughout the week leading up to the game.
“Once you see that happens, it’s just like practice,” Godwin said. “All you have to do is catch the ball and go score.”