Amway Coach's Call of the Year semifinals: Cast your vote

Coaches make dozens of decisions in every game. Most of them aren’t that noticeable. Some of them very much are.

Cast your ballot for the Coach's Call of the Week.

Cast your ballot for the Coach’s Call of the Week.

Some calls can change a game. Some are just thrilling to watch. Sometimes it’s not one call but an entire game plan. Sometimes — because college football is supposed to be fun — it’s about trick plays.

Each weekend this season, USA TODAY Sports selected four calls from across the nation that we think ranked among the best decisions for the Amway Coach’s Call of the Week. You, the fans, chose the best of the best.

From those winners, you now get a chance to pick the best of the year. There will be three weeks of semifinals, with four weekly winners from which  to choose. In the week before the College Football Playoff title game, you will have a chance to choose from among those three winners for the single best call of the year.

Here are the first four semifinalists:

 

Voting closes at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Dino Babers, Syracuse

From Week 7: The Orange made a case for biggest upset of of the season. As a three-touchdown underdog, the Orange took down No. 2 Clemson 27-24 to really shake up the college football world.

Babers’ defense was solid throughout the night, but his offense made the difference, racking up 440 yards against a feared unit that had been giving up only about 264.

Occasionally, Syracuse made it look easy. Particularly a brilliant 66-yard strike from Eric Dungey to Ervin Phillips in the first quarter that made a pretty large statement.

Gus Malzahn, Auburn

From Week 13: There were all kinds of statements being made in the Iron Bowl, a 26-14 Auburn win against No. 1 Alabama.

One big statement was made early in the game. On third-and-2 at the Alabama 3, running back Kerryon Johnson lined up in the shotgun, with QB Jarrett Stidham split wide. Johnson took the snap, ran to the line as if to smash it in, then completed a jump pass to Nate Craig-Myers for a touchdown to get the Tigers on the board first and to set a tone.

The Tigers proceeded to, well, roll over Alabama.

Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma

From Week 2: The first-year head coach had earned a reputation as a top-notch offensive coordinator. That prowess was on display against No. 2 Ohio State, with plenty of nifty offensive wrinkles. This was one.

QB Baker Mayfield completed a 12-yard pass for a first down, then limped off the field(saying after the game he had a cramp). Backup Kyler Murray ran on for spot relief.

Then the wrinkle: Shotgun snap to Murray, who handed off to running back Trey Sermon … who ran the option, pitching back to Murray for a 9-yard gain.

Re-enter Mayfield, who engineered the rest of the 10-play, 55-yard drive that led to a field goal to tie the game 3-3.

Nifty.

Paul Chryst, Wisconson

From Week 9: The Badgers’ offense was not on fire, but at least for one play, it was lit.

On third-and-goal at the Illinois 4 with Wisconsin leading 17-3, quarterback Alex Hornibrook took the snap, ran right, then spun and threw it back left, a backwards pass, to 6-6, 328-pound offensive lineman Michael Deiter, who streaked … well, rumbled … into the end zone for the door-shutting score.

“It was lit,” Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson said when asked to describe the sideline reaction to Deiter’s score. “They ran the play in practice and they kept getting us. 

“I didn’t think he was going to do it in the game. But he scored and everybody was going crazy.”

 

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://sportspolls.usatoday.com/newscred_gallery/106961238/397350”, customAnalytics: true, title: “College football coaches making more than $4 million”, feedsrc: -1 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

 

 


Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *