Nobody runs the "Flea Flicker" like Michigan Football does

Starting in 2021, the flea flicker has become a staple in the Wolverine offense. They seem to always find the perfect time in the game to use it and it almost always works. Let's take a look at some the versions of the play since 2021.
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The last three years of Michigan football can best be summed up by Sherrone Moore's catch phrase, "SMASH". They have been the most physical team in the country with the best running game since 2021.

However, they have also been very tactical with working trick plays into the offensive game plan. Specifically, the flea flicker has been incorporated into the game plan more often than any other trick play. Nick Saban was quoted before the Rose Bowl saying "It's a challenge for the players to have the discipline and the eye control to look at the right things, so that when those kinds of plays come up, you're in a position to play them." Opposing teams started to pick up on the tendency of Michigan footbal running the play but the Wolverines always seemed to run it at just the right time. Let's take a look back at some of the more memorable flea flickers since 2021.

2021 vs Wisconsin: After converting their second fourth down conversion of the first quarter, the Wolverines called a flea flicker to put the first score on the board at Camp Randall.

2021 vs Ohio State: This play was run during a crucial moment in the third quarter when Michigan was attempting to go up by two scores on the Buckeyes. They motion Mikey right into a wheel route. Absolute perfection.

2022 vs TCU: Michigan capitalizes directly after a TCU turnover. Ronnie Bell fakes the stalk block for a half second and then flies past the defensive backs. J.J. puts it right on the money for the Wolverines touchdown.

2023 vs Alabama: In a more elaborate style of the play, Michigan runs a flea flicker in the second quarter of the Rose Bowl against Alabama. An unbelievable play by J.J. McCarthy to catch the ball and throw down field to Roman Wilson gave Michigan a first down. The drive eventually leads to a Michigan touchdown.

The use of the flea flicker has been a pivotal part of Michigan's offensive success over the last three years. They have chosen quality over quantity when it comes to running trick plays. They don't run the plays often but they always seem to use them at just the right time when the defense is least expecting it. Can't wait to see what versions of the flea flicker the offensive staff cooks up in 2024.