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Alabama ruined this (already weird) Tennessee flea flicker

That’s an unusual call. Maybe it would’ve worked against some other team, though.

Tennessee tried a weird play on Saturday at No. 1 Alabama.

The Vols are massive underdogs in this game, and it’s understandable that they’d turn to trickery on offense. They’re certainly not going to beat Bama on talent.

What appears to be happening here is a flea flicker into a screen pass, with the desired execution being: QB Jarrett Guarantano gets a toss-back from RB Ty Chandler, then throws a screen to his left, to receiver Marquez Callaway (No. 1).

The play tanks because Bama defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne bursts into the backfield and forces Guarantano to worry about him instead of delivering a quick throw to Callaway.

But it’s a weird concept even if it works right. The idea behind a flea flicker is that the defense crashes toward the line of scrimmage to stop the run, then is helpless when a receiver gets behind everyone for a deep ball.

A flea-flicker screen could still work, in theory, if the defense brings enough men to the middle of the field in response. But it doesn’t look like Tennessee ever had the right numbers anywhere on the field for this to pan out. Payne almost sacking Guarantano only made a likely doomed play a definitely doomed play.