When you think of the greatest quarterbacks in Auburn football history, it would be impossible to leave Jason Campbell off the list. What he accomplished on The Plains is the stuff of legends, and yet is still underrated by many college football fans. Time and time again, he found ways to win and that 2004 season is all the proof you need to look at.
For four seasons, including three years as the full-time starter, Campbell made the Auburn Tigers one of the most dangerous teams in the SEC and across the country. Under head coach Tommy Tuberville, the star quarterback dazzled and gave opposing defenses fits.
Winning the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and SEC Championship as senior meant he did it often, but there is one play that helped him become a superstar.
Jason Campbell’s Flea Flicker TD vs. Arkansas
Coming off six-straight wins to start the season, including over No. 5 LSU and at No. 10 Tennessee, the fourth-ranked Auburn Tigers hosted the Arkansas Razorbacks for a mid-October beatdown at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That ultimately happened, and quarterback Jason Campbell was a big reason why.
Campbell went 17 for 19 with a career-high 297 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters of action. His dominance started on the opening drive and the Tigers never let up.
On the third play of the game, Campbell took the snap and tossed it to running back Cadillac Williams, who handed it off to wide receiver Courtney Taylor on a reverse. Then, all of a sudden, Taylor pitched it back to Campbell and he fired the football to a wide-open Devin Aromashodu for a 67-yard touchdown.
The reverse flea flicker worked to perfection. The Tigers then rolled to a 38-20 victory to keep their undefeated season alive.
It was one of the prettiest plays of the entire college football season.
Auburn QB Jason Campbell Highlights
A star quarterback at Taylorsville High School in Mississippi, Jason Campbell arrived at the Auburn University campus looking to make a name for himself. He left a legend.
In four seasons, Campbell completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 7,299 yards with 45 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He also added 307 rushing yards and nine more scores for good measure.
Campbell won Music City Bowl MVP as a junior in 2003, and led the Tigers to a perfect season in 2004, which included a win at Alabama in the Iron Bowl and beating Tennessee again in the SEC Championship Game. He was capped it off with a Sugar Bowl MVP performance against Virginia Tech. He finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy ballot, which was won by USC’s Matt Leinart.
After Auburn, Campbell was a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft. He didn’t play his rookie season, but eventually had a solid career with the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals.
Nobody will forget his final NCAA season, though, and the reverse flea flicker certainly helped cement his legacy.
This post was originally published on May 13, 2020.