Coaches make dozens of decisions in every game. Most of them aren’t that noticeable. Some of them very much are.
Some can change a game. Some are just thrilling to watch.
Each week this season, USA TODAY Sports will select four calls from across the nation that we think rank among the best for the Amway Coach’s Call of the Week.
We let you, the fans, decide which call from the four below had the most impact.
Initial voting ended on Monday. The winner among the two finalist was decided on Facebook.
This week’s winner:
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
The Spartans coach is never adverse to playing for the win. And that’s what he did against Penn State with less than a minute left.
Comfortably in field-goal range with his team trailing 17-14, Dantonio called for a pass on third-and-2 rather than running for a first down. And it wasn’t just any pass. It was a deep ball to Felton Davis.
The rest is history. The Spartans won.
This week’s other nominees:
Dan Mullen, Florida
Sometimes you need to take a risk to spark your team.
With the Gators trailing Vanderbilt by eight, Dan Mullen rolled the dice on a fake punt in his own territory. It worked perfectly as Tommy Townsend had a huge hole up the middle for an 18-yard gain.
The drive ended in a momentum-turning touchdown, and Florida eventually completed the comeback by beating the Commodores 37-27.
Josh Heupel, Central Florida
When you have the nation’s longest winning streak, you do some unconventional things to keep the run going.
Down by 13 on his own 29 with two minutes left in the third quarter, it was time for Heupel go for it on fourth-and-1. Using a tight formation with defensive lineman Trysten Hill in the backfield as lead blocker, running back Taj McGowan followed Hill and went 71 yards for a touchdown.
The Knights would score again and improve their win streak to 19 games.
Kliff Kingbury, Texas Tech
Trailing by four on the road in the fourth quarter with your third-string quarterback isn’t an ideal situation.
A well-timed quarterback draw solved the problem for the Red Raiders.
Jett Bailey did the rest, weaving his way through the TCU defense that had committed itself to a blitz for the game-winning score.