Most college football fans who watched the first game of the NFL season Thursday night might have recognized one of the keys plays ran by the Seattle Seahawks in the first half.
Trailing the Packers 7-3 early in the second quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson took a shotgun snap with running back Marshawn Lynch to his left. In what looked like a basic read option, Wilson faked the handoff to Lynch and took off to his left looking like he was going to run the ball. Instead, after taking a few steps and drawing in the Green Bay defensive back, Wilson fired to a wide open Ricardo Lockette for a 33-yard touchdown pass.
(You can watch the play here, starting at the 1:43 mark)
It looked like something straight out of the playbook of Auburn coach Gus Malzahn – and it was.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that he and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell saw Auburn run the play perfectly in last season’s Iron Bowl, so they had to try it for themselves.
“We’ll go anywhere to find a play,” Carroll said. “And that one – uh, Muschamp at Florida, no … Auburn. They ran it. Give Gus Malzahn credit. That’s a great play. I kept telling them (the offensive staff and players) this summer, ‘It’ll work, it’ll work.’”
Bevell told King that they thought the play “fit another dimension off the zone read and could enhance the play.”
He was certainly right. Russell sold the fake perfectly and caught the Packers completely by surprise. Seattle went on to win, 36-16.
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