Trick play geniuses: This statistic on Michigan State's successful flea flickers is ridiculous
Michigan State’s offense surprised a lot of us during the 2021 season. After seeing the Spartans struggle for so many years on that side of the football, it was refreshing to see Mel Tucker field an explosive and entertaining offense.
Part of the reason behind MSU’s success offensively was the incorporation of trick plays — especially the flea flicker. Perhaps nobody in college football ran it more effectively than the team from East Lansing.
Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus produced a statistic that showed just how effective Michigan State was at running the flea flicker. Per his numbers, the Spartans had 4 touchdowns of 35 yards out or more through flea flickers alone.
That number matched the combined total for every Power 5 team in college football.
Flea flickers to result in a 35+ yard TD in 2021 (@PFF)
Michigan State – 4
Rest of Power 5 – 4
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) May 17, 2022
A big reason for Michigan State’s success in this department was the play of Kenneth Walker III. Teams would attempt to load the box in an effort to shut down the rushing attack, opening up receivers down the field.
The Spartans clearly took advantage of those opportunities.