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Bradley Dale Peveto: Master of trickery

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Peve-Graphic-c.jpg Kentucky's lone touchdown in last Saturday's game against No. 18 Florida came from an unlikely source: kicker Joe Mansour, who ran 25 yards to the end zone on a fake field goal.

The fake field goal and resulting touchdown came as a surprise to Florida andnearly everyone else inside Commonwealth Stadium. A closer look at the man behind the call reveals a coach who has shown a great feel for calling great fakes at the right times throughout his career: UK special teams coordinator and safeties coach Bradley Dale Peveto.

Peveto is known throughout the Big Blue Nation for his sharp wit and candid quotes. On Saturday the humble, but funny coach provided some substance in the form of a well-executed trick play.

Mansour's score, which tied the game at 7-7 in the first quarter, brought an excitement -- not to mention a decibel level - to Commonwealth Stadium rarely felt in recent years.

Yet Saturday's fake field goal attempt came not on a whim. Instead, the decision came after hours of film study, like most things that happen on the field under Stoops' direction.

"It's something like all things that's been out there for a while," Peveto said of his fake on which the holder flips the ball blindly over his head to a right-sweeping kicker. "Coach Stoops was very aware that that was the fake that we should run. He and I game plan all of that together.

"He's highly involved, and very helpful in all phases of our special teams. He knew we thought it would be there. We called it, it was there and it was well executed by our players."

But the fake was not a one-off for Peveto. He has used similar forms of trickery in Southeastern Conference games past.

Peveto was special team's coordinator under Les Miles, the Mad Hatter himself, when LSU famously ran the same fake against - coincidentally Kentucky's next opponent - Steve Spurrier's South Carolina during a national-championship season in 2007.

Peveto's influence was on display three years later even after he had departed Baton Rouge for a head-coaching job at Northwestern State as Miles used the same fake late in the fourth-quarter of a comeback win against an Urban Meyer-coached Florida team in the Swamp. And Peveto's Northwestern State team also perfectly executed a fake punt against top-ranked LSU in 2011.

Mansour's touchdown came on one of the more complicated fake-field-goal plays in football. It's one Peveto's teams seem to execute perfectly, while imitators around the country have struggled to master it.

"There are a lot more moving parts to any fake that meets the eye," Peveto said. "We keep several of them greased up. That was one we thought was a good one to carry into that game. I'm just glad we have a head coach like Coach Stoops, who's a big believer in special teams and having fakes greased up and ready to go."

Indeed Peveto, himself a former head coach, is fiercely loyal to Stoops and most everyone he has worked with throughout his career. The UK special teams coordinator is insistent on passing along most of the credit for the play-call's success with Stoops.

"Coach Stoops is highly involved in our special teams, highly involved in what we do," Peveto said. "He makes it really clear that if we're in a situation where we see an opportunity to run a fake, were we feel the fake is there, we are going to get it ready to go. It was a situation where we thought it was there. Coach Stoops wanted to call it.

"He's the guy that has a say in whether you run a fake or not. Basically we look at the tape, and if we think one of our fakes are there we get it ready to go for that week and run it in the game."

Calling the fake largely resulted from watching Florida game film, as the Gators had shown aggressive block formations throughout the year, but Mansour's decidedly un-kicker-like speed must have made the coaches' decision easier.

"I mean, he can run," Peveto said of Mansour, who showed off the speed that made him a successful high school receiver in Georgia.

Still the players had to execute a play with a very high degree of difficulty. After all, if a blind overhead flip from a holder to a 189-pound kicker was easy it would likely be seen more often on Saturdays across the country. 

"We executed perfectly," Mansour said. "We practiced it and we went out on the field and they gave us a perfect look like we have been working in practice and we executed. We got a perfect snap from Kelly Mason and a perfect toss from Jared Leet and I ran for the touchdown."

As well as Peveto prepared his specialists to execute on Saturday, he still pulled Leet aside before the holder ran on the field for the fourth-down attempt fully ready to make a difficult pitch. Peveto's success as a special teams coordinator can largely be attributed to those types of details.

"One of our goals on special teams every week is to make a difference for our football team. That play made a difference. Another one of our goals is to score, and we scored to give us momentum.

"That one kind of encompassed everything in one. Our job is to make a difference, to put our offense and defense in positions to have a chance to be successful. We had a chance there and we did it."

As UK embarks upon the third leg of a four-game stretch during which each of the opponents is currently ranked inside the AP top-20 the Wildcats will look to special teams to continue making a difference. So Peveto will very likely keep plenty of the options in his bag of tricks "greased up."

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