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Football scoring question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by littlehurt98, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. littlehurt98

    littlehurt98 Member

    Okay, I witnessed one of the craziest touchdown plays I have ever seen tonight and I am wondering how to score it.

    Here is the setup:

    Team A has the ball at its own 42-yard line and throws a wide receiver screen pass that the wide out does not catch. The pass actually went behind the line of scrimmage but everyone one the field assumed it is incomplete. Wide out picks the ball up and tosses it back (backwards so it was legal) to his quarterback, who has noticed the refs have not blown the play dead. Quarterback catches the ball and runs from his own 36 yard line and into the end zone for a score.

    Does the wide out get credit for a touchdown pass?
  2. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Nope. As you described it, he tossed the ball backward, which is a lateral, not a pass.
  3. Greg_Brownell

    Greg_Brownell New Member

    I'm assuming that the initial pass was ruled in play because it wasn't a forward pass? If so it's not clear to me how he could then toss it backward to the quarterback. At any rate, if he tossed it backward to the quarterback, then it becomes a standard rushing play the rest of the way.
  4. littlehurt98

    littlehurt98 Member

    I should have done a better job explaining.

    The quarterback threw the screen pass and it went behind him. The ball was dropped by the wide out. Both teams thought the play was dead and walked back to their huddles. The wide out reached down and picked up the ball, at which point the quarterback had started walking back to the huddle. Somewhere along the way the quarterback realized the play was still alive and yelled to his receiver to toss him the ball. The receiver was walking back from the sideline in a straight line and thus the quarterback was standing behind him, back the huddle when the ball was tossed to him.

    Like I said, goofy play. I thought it would be like a lateral, but I just wanted to be sure.
  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    If that's the case then all it is statistically is a 58-yard run by the QB. Both passes were backward, which makes it nothing more than a running play, as Greg said.
  6. HackyMcHack

    HackyMcHack Member

    No passes at all on this play. You will need to determine if the wide out could have caught the ball. For the sake of this argument, let's say that he could have caught the ball.
    --Credit the wideout with 1 rushing attempt for minus-6 yards and a fumble not lost.
    --Credit the quarterback with no rushing attempts but 64 rushing yards, a rushing first down and a rushing touchdown. If that was his only rushing yardage of the game, his stat line would read "Smith 0-64"

    Now, for the sake of argument, let's say the initial pitch was uncatchable, and the ball is loose at the 40.
    --Credit the quarterback with 1 rushing attempt for minus-2 yards and a fumble not lost.
    --Credit the wideout with no rushing attempts and minus-4 yards ... 0-(-4).
    --Credit the quarterback again with no rushing attempts, 64 rushing yards, a rushing first down and a rushing touchdown.

    The key point here is, you can only have one rushing attempt on a play.
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Hacky, good point. I wasn't thinking about the fumble, which it clearly was when the WR dropped the ball. That complicates things a bit.
  8. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    I'm not sure how NHFS rules state it but in NCAA rules, Hacky's explanation isn't entirely correct. Yes you do only have one rushing attempt, and two guys involved in the play. But all rushing yardage is determined from the line of scrimmage, not the point of the fumble.
    In other words, there is no negative rushing yards on this play, only positive. If it's the wide receiver who should have caught it ad didn't then he gets 1 rush 0 yards, QB gets 0 rush 58 yards.
  9. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Any pass that's backwards is not a pass, it's a rush (no different than a handoff or a pitch backwards).

    I had a year-long argument with the father of a QB we covered, because a big part of his team's offense was throwing laterals to the receivers, which are run plays statistically (and I called them as such in the box). Shut him up when I told him that if a lateral was "intercepted," it was a lost fumble and not an INT.

    Back to this play ... the first pass was obviously a lateral. Credit the QB with a fumble not lost.

    The second pass ... was it forward (was the QB who received it ahead of the WR who threw it) or backward?

    If forward, score the play as such ... 58-yard TD pass from the WR to the QB (it's like a "double pass" play that starts with a lateral to the WR and then he throws it back to the QB), charge the QB with a fumble not lost.

    If backward, the QB gets a fumble not lost for the bad lateral and a rushing attempt for zero yards, QB then gets a 58-yard rush with zero attempt.
  10. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Indeed. You wouldn't debit the quarterback -2 rushing yards on a simple handoff, or -4 on an option pitch. And no one can gain more yards on a single play than his own team does.
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