Clemson Tigers trick play

Trick plays are great when they work. They’re fun to watch, and when they lead to a touchdown or other big play, they’re a thing of beauty.

When trick plays don’t work, they can still be fun to watch, even if they’re ugly. The Clemson Tigers tried a trick play Saturday that ended with disastrous results, and led to a South Carolina Gamecocks touchdown.

On a second-quarter kickoff return, Tigers returner Will Shipley received the kick, ran up the field, and met a group of four teammates in a huddle. As defenders closed in, the four Tigers all broke in different directions, with running back Phil Mafah taking the ball and running toward the right sideline.

The play worked, to a certain degree. Mafah gained 19 yards before Gamecocks players surrounded him. Then disaster struck — he fumbled the ball, and South Carolina recovered.

A replay of the trick play somehow makes it look even worse. Mafah even appears to be trying to pass the ball to a teammate.

Four plays later, the Gamecocks scored a touchdown to bring the score to 16-14.

Fans weren’t sure what they had just witnessed.

“The trick part was successful to a degree. The dude just fumbled inexplicably without anyone making contact on the ball,” tweeted Javi Perez.

[The Comeback on Twitter]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.