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Late Game Strategy (Tennessee/North Carolina) ...


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The way the last 30 seconds unfolded in the Tennesee/North Carolina game, I think we will begin to see coaches take advantage of the rules in comeback situations. At the end of the game last night, you had about 20 men on the field but the North Carolina QB spiked the ball with 1 second on the clock with only the cost of a five yard penalty. Here are a couple of potential loopholes that teams could use:

1) Let's say you have a late game situation and throw a long pass downfield with no timeouts (see LSU from last year in the Ole Miss game), a coach could have two specialists who are set up on the sidelines well down the field. Those specialists' only job would be to sprint on the field with one guy snapping to the other one who spikes the ball.

Who cares that you have 13 men on the field because it stops the clock and you only lose five yards. Seems this would work more efficiently in some situations than counting on a 300 pound lineman and QB to run 40 yards downfield to complete the spike to stop the clock.

2) Also, in situations where the clock is running at the end of games, you very often see an official stand over the ball to allow the defense an opportunity to substitute. Again, if the clock is running out like last night, just snap the ball and the QB can spike it. That would just be a five yard offensive delay of game penalty which would have netted the same result for North Carolina last night.

3) Again, if you are having trouble getting everybody lined up to spike the ball, have one offensive player whose job it is to false start (i.e., he lines up set on the line and takes off) -- another five yard penalty that would stop the clock.

The one reason we may not see these loopholes implemented is I bet the Rules Committee takes a long and hard look at adding a 10 second run-off rule inside of a minute, as in the NFL. Nevertheless, kudos to the North Carolina quarterback last night for snapping the ball and spiking it during all of that chaos and forcing the official's hand on extending the game.

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If the Rules Committee does not change the rule going into next year. I see a lot of teams exploiting this rule and abusing it. Then the Committee will be forced to make that change, but it will be a year to late.

The situation last night could also be used going into halftime as well.

Edited by Cable Guy
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