Arkansas State 'Hide the Midget' trick play works in GoDaddy Bowl

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Arkansas State pulled a play from the Gus Malzahn playbook against Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl.

As the Cardinals defense followed two decoy runners after the snap, 5-foot-9 wide receiver R.J. Fleming emerged from behind the offensive line with the ball. The misdirection play, according to ESPN's Carter Blackburn, is called "Hide The Midget."

The GoDaddy Bowl has served as a BCS title game promo with Gus Malzahn's former team on the field. This particular trick play has been in Malzhan's playbook since he was on the Arkansas staff in 2006.

Another former Arkansas State coach, Hugh Freeze, told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman that he got Ed Orgeron to run the same play in Ole Miss' opener against Memphis in 2006. The Rebels used it on fourth and short and Dexter McCluster went 31 yards for the touchdown. Freeze calls the play "Wolfpack" and says he also used it to win a Tennessee state high school title.

Why did Freeze call the play "Wolfpack?" Well it could be because Neal Mazzone, currently UCLA's offensive coordinator, told Feldman he used to run the play when he had Philip Rivers at North Carolina State. They called the play "Rooster" and Mazzone believes the play was "developed by Doc Holliday and Marty Galbreath."

With head coach Bryan Harsin off to Boise State, the Red Wolves are being coached in a bowl game by defensive coordinator John Thompson for the second successive year. Thompson was hired by Malzahn in 2012 and coached the team to a 17-13 victory in last season's GoDaddy Bowl.

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