One of the biggest plays of the college football season would be illegal if it happened one season later.
During Big Ten Media Days on Tuesday, Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials Bill Carollo confirmed that the field goal block against Ohio State made by Penn State’s Marcus Allen, which was returned for a game-winning 60-yard touchdown return by teammate Grant Haley, would have been ruled no good in 2017.
Allen ran forward from what is considered a “second level” to block the kick and didn’t jump until he’d reached the neutral zone, which is was considered legal last season.
“Last year, legal. This year, illegal,” Carollo told reporters. “It got a little technical why it was legal: because he did come from the second level, but if you came from the second level and you took off — almost like a long jumper, you know, from the board there — from the line of scrimmage.
“If you take off from the line of scrimmage, you can jump, and it’s legal, and you can land on someone and it’s OK. And he does land on the right guard’s, I think, shoulder, on his left shoulder. But he took off from the right spot. If he would’ve taken off maybe a foot beyond the line of scrimmage … Now we’re saying, any time you come from the second level. You don’t even have to land on anybody.”
This rule will apply for both field goals and extra points. Punts will keep the same rules they had previously.