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Football: ASU’s fake punt drawing criticism

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, October 23, 2014


A controversial, and failed, third-quarter fake punt by Arkansas State in its 55-40 ESPN2-televised loss to UL on Tuesday was quite the topic of talk both that night and today as well.

Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson was even lambasted nationally Wednesday on The Dan Le Batard Show, which airs on ESPN networks.

"It was my call completely," Anderson said after the game. "We were stalled out two series in a row offensively, and really weren’t getting much going.

"They’re been doing a great job running the ball at us all night. They were doing a great job running clock. The previous punt we had, they left us open on the backside. We thought there was a reasonable chance for it to be successful."

The Red Wolves tried a pass out back to punter Luke Ferguson of their own end zone, but it didn’t work, as UL defensive lineman Justin Hamilton quickly snuffed out the fake.

UL scored two plays later, on a 4-yard Alonzo Harris run, to go up 43-21.

"It was very risky, my fault, my call," said Anderson, UL’s defensive coordinator in 2007, a first-year head coach at Arkansas State and someone known for his like of trickery. "I told the guys that I’ll take the loss.

"I put us behind the 8-ball; I basically know I’m giving up points there, hopefully 3 instead of a touchdown.

"But," he added, "against a team that can the ball as well as they do, I knew how risky it was, but playing to win and trying to create a spark, trying to hope that we can hit that and extend the drive and maybe get some points. And obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but that’s all my fault."

UL coach mark Hudspeth’s reaction to the play?

"It did (shock me), but it didn’t surprise me, because they do a lot of fakes," said Hudspeth, whose Cajuns ran for 419 yards Tuesday. "They put a lot of stress with all the fakes and stuff they. But that was a tough one."

UL starting quarterback Terrance Broadway laughed a tad when asked about the fake.

"Well," he said, "that’s what they wanted to do. We’ve been seeing it on ESPN for the past two months, and the fact that they tried to do it against Miami. So, I, mean, we knew that … they were a finesse team."