Anatomy of the play: Fake field goal

Every week during the 2013 season, CuseNation.com reviewed the tape of some of the key plays from the previous Syracuse football game. We continue that this year as we breakdown the Orange's fake field goal in the second overtime of Friday night's season opener.

A key play in Syracuse’s season opening victory over Villanova was their fake field goal in the second overtime. Let’s examine how the Orange were able to pull off the trick play.



Syracuse lines up in a traditional field goal formation. Nothing looks unusual pre-snap. However, once the ball is put into play, holder Riley Dixon immediately sprints to his left (to the right in the pictures). At the end of the left side (right in the picture above) of the formation are tight end Kendall Moore and Ron Thompson. Moore is on the very end while Thompson is just inside of him closer to the ball. They player to watch from Villanova is safety Cameron McCurry (#7).



As soon as the ball is snapped, Kendall Moore springs the right side of the picture while Thompson goes up-field before taking his route towards the sideline. McCurry sprints to his right to cover Moore while cornerback Jason Ceneus (#6, starting out at the very end in picture 1) takes off towards Dixon. Safety Joe Sarnese also recognizes the play and sprints to his right.



Sarnese appears to miss Ron Thompson and heads towards Moore who is already being covered by McCurry. Thompson, circled above, appears to be wide open in the back of the end zone. However, Dixon does not see him and focuses on Moore. At this point, McCurry is trying to body Moore to push him off of his path. This causes McCurry to stumble a bit and creates separation.

Here is an alternate angle



You can clearly see McCurry putting his hands on Moore as Dixon is winding up to throw the pass.



After Dixon releases it, McCurry stumbles back after trying to disrupt Moore’s route as is circled above. Separation is created for Moore who has a relatively easy catch for the score. Sarnese was not able to get underneath the route as he had too far to travel to make a play on the ball or on Moore.



Moore makes the catch easily as McCurry ends up several steps away and Syracuse goes ahead 27-20 in the second overtime.


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