Friday, September 9, 2011

Pigskins & Pearls 101: Kickoff

For the initial kickoff at the beginning of each half, the ball is placed on the kicking team's 30-yard line.  Following a touchdown and a field goal, barring no penalties, the ball will be kicked from the 30-yard line, as well.  

Penalties committed by the kicking team following the score will be assessed on the kickoff.  Typically, this will be an unsportsmanlike penalty for excessive celebration.

About half the time, the return-man will field the ball between the 20-yard line and the goal line.  From here, he will rely on his blockers to give him a open field to get yards.  When the ball is kicked into the end zone, the return-man by run it out of the end zone or take a knee.  If he takes a knee, it will be a touchback.  The ball will be brought out to the 20-yard line to begin play.

The on-side kick is utilized at the end of half or the end of the game when a team is trailing by one score or less.  The kicker will muff the kick and direct it to one side of the field in hopes that his team will recover the ball.  The ball must go 10 yards before the kicking team can touch the ball.  Last week, Auburn won their game because they recovered an on-side kick.

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