With UTSA desperate for something to turn the momentum early in their game against Tennessee on Saturday, Roadrunners’ head coach Jeff Traylor dialed up a special teams trick play coming out of a timeout.
With the Roadrunners facing a 4th and 4 from their own 40-yard line to start the second quarter, UTSA opted to catch Tennessee off guard as tight end Oscar Cardenas took the direct snap and plowed ahead for the first-down line.
Tennessee, though, snuffed it out. The players on the field loudly yelled “Fake!” to alert their teammates that the trick play was going on. The Vols swarmed to the ball carrier and only allowed three yards to Cardenas on the play, thus giving Tennessee the ball back on downs.
After the game, Vols running back Dylan Sampson gave a hilarious play-by-play of the fake punt from memory.
Tennessee RB Dylan Sampson gives a hilarious play-by-play of what was running through his mind during the fake punt attempt. pic.twitter.com/2V3KxJBoo1
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) September 24, 2023
“He was big!” Sampson said with a laugh while talking about the ball carrier on the play. “I saw the dude motion and I heard them screaming, ‘Fake!’. I turned around and I saw 270 (pounds), he was running at me, I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I don’t know who made the play, but I know I hit him!”
Two plays later, Tennessee’s offense was in the checkerboards after going 43 yards in just 26 seconds.
On 1st and 25, Jabari Small took a handoff 40 yards to the UTSA 18-yard line, which was immediately followed by an 18-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Joe Milton to redshirt freshman receiver Kaleb Webb on the left side of the endzone.
Sampson finished with a memorable day against the Roadrunners after not seeing any action during the Vols’ Week 3 loss to Florida in Gainesville. The sophomore tailback ended the game with 139 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries on the ground. Additionally, Sampson also added in one reception for 20 yards during the game.
No. 23 Tennessee defeated UTSA by a score of 45-14 during the game.