Anatomy of the trick play

Syracuse's defense shut out Wake Forest on Saturday, but the most exciting play came on a reverse pass from Jarrod West to Brisly Estime for the Orange's second touchdown of the game. reviewed the tape and breaks down the big play inside.

With Syracuse clinging to a 7-0 lead and Wake Forest baffled by the Orange defense, two huge back to back plays gave them the separation they needed. After Isaiah Johnson tipped and intercepted a Tanner Price pass, offensive coordinator George McDonald called a reverse pass that led to Syracuse's second touchdown of the game.

Syracuse lined up in a three wide receiver, two running back shotgun formation. The Orange had used this formation several times in the first half, often throwing quick passes to Brisly Estime in the flat. Estime lined up in the slot on those plays, and does so again here. Ashton Broyld is outside of him with Jarrod West on the other side of the formation. Jerome Smith is to Terrel Hunt's right while Prince-Tyson Gulley is to Hunt's left.

When the ball is snapped, Estime fades to his immediate left as if he was receiving the same quick pass he had previously. The offensive line crashes to the left, showing the blocking technique of a stretch run to the wide side of the field. Right guard Nick Robinson pulls slightly, and doubles Nikita Whitlock who tries to get penetration up the middle. Broyld takes off up field while West hesitates and then runs to his right.

Smith takes the handoff from Hunt and darts to the left side of the formation. West comes sprinting around, and Smith tosses the ball to West who is in full stride. Estime now turns up the field, turning his quick patter in the flat into a wheel route. Meanwhile, Broyld turns his blocking look to a post pattern. The corner who lined up on Broyld turns Broyld over to the safety who is standing at the 14-yard line in the picture above. Broyld's post brings the safety towards the middle of the field, leaving only the corner with Estime on that side of the field. The line continues to push towards the left side of the field.

When West comes around after taking the toss from Smith, he has a clear lane to run through. Terrel Hunt it outside, occupying one defender. Estime has taken his wheel route up to and just past the corner on that side of the field (15-yard line near the sideline). Broyld is in the middle finishing off his post with the safety running with him. When the corner near Estime spots West with the huge gap in front of him, he leaves Estime and charges towards West. Once West sees the corner charging, he lofts the ball towards endzone.

The result was a wide open Estime waiting on the ball after it left West's hands. When the ball arrived, he makes the easy catch for a touchdown. That put Syracuse ahead by two scores, which was more than enough for the victory.

Interestingly, head coach Scott Shafer said this play failed all week in practice, but coach McDonald had enough confidence in it to call it anyway. The Orange got it right at the perfect time.

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