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Georgia Tech's Johnson explains trick play, questions ruling

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

It's mainly a moot point; really it is. The officiating from last Thursday night's Georgia Tech/Clemson game has been reviewed by the ACC, but it won't change the outcome of the game. That hasn't stopped anyone from talking about it, though, including Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson.

Johnson said on Wednesday's ACC teleconference that the officials were told before the game "exactly what was going to happen" on his trick play, a 34-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal in the first quarter. It's worth one more look because it's essentially taking a play out of Johnson's playbook -- one that's worked before.

Johnson explained the play:

"What we did, is we had our offense on the field," Johnson said. "They blew the ball ready for play, so everybody was inside the numbers. Then we ran the extra point team on the field, with 10 guys, and the offense off the field. Bey-Bey Thomas has been a wing on the extra point team at times, so he just came all the way out, and split out right inside the line judge. He looked at the guy, the guy said, 'OK, you're on the line.' We snapped the ball and threw it.

"The ACC after the game interpreted that as a violation. Alright, well, we're in the league. If that's illegal, we won't do it anymore. But I've done it before and it hasn't been a problem. I know that here is a rule about deception with substitution. My thing on that is, what are you doing when you huddle up with 40 guys on the sideline, and you run in and you snap the ball? ... Clemson did exactly the same thing to us -- not with the extra point team, but with substitution and left a guy over on the sideline. So in my mind, we should've seen the guy."

Johnson said he was surprised by the ACC's ruling.

"If you've got a trick play before the game you tell them what's going to happen, and I told them," Johnson said of the officials. "If it had been illegal, they should've told us then."