I think it’s fair to say that every girl sometimes feels a little lost during football season – whether it be terminology, conferences, rankings, stats, names of players… whatever it may be! It’s hard to grasp when you didn’t grow up playing it like the boys did. Truth is, football is easy if you’re around it enough. I wouldn’t know near as much as I do about the sport if I hadn’t been working in it for the last 6 years. That’s all it is! It can be learned by anyone if you spend enough time around it. Good news is, to grasp the basics you don’t even really need to be around it that much. So I’m going to help break down the bare minimum that you need to know to survive all the football talk that you’ll be hearing the next 6 months!
Before we begin, let’s cover a little basic football terminology. Some of these might seem a little silly to be going over, but let me tell you a little story about one of my best friends in college (beautiful girl, happily married, and knowing her husband I’m sure he’s taught her more about football!)… Anyway, she called me at a football game one time asking where I was sitting. I told her the section and she follows by saying “I’m on the 52-yard-line.” Truthfully, I couldn’t contain my laughter. She’s a smart girl, just doesn’t understand football. If you don’t giggle a little at this, you probably don’t realize that there is no 52-yard line – once your team reaches the 50-yard-line, you start counting backwards. But that’s okay! Because I’m going to teach you everything you need to know and you’ll giggle at this story later! So, I wrote this whole article keeping in mind how I would explain football to my friend. With that being said, let’s begin:
End Zone: Each end of the field, where touchdowns are scored
Touchdown: When a player with the ball reaches the end zone, worth 6 points
Field Goal: Can be kicked at anytime, worth 3 points
Extra Point: Kicked after touchdowns are scored, worth 1 point
2-Point Conversion: After a touchdown, an offense can run the ball into the end zone in lieu of an extra point, worth 2 points
Turnover: Term used when the ball goes from one team to the other due to a fumble or interception
Interception: When the offense throws the ball and it is caught by someone on the defense
Fumble: When a player has the ball and drops it, or the ball is hit out of his hands by someone on the defense
Quarters/Halves: There are 4 quarters, split into two halves – 1st/2nd Quarters (1st half), 3rd/4th Quarters (2nd half)
Play Clock: 40 second clock counting down to when the offense has to snap the ball
OT: “Overtime;” I’ll address the rules of OT further later on
Time Out: Each team gets 3 30-second time outs to use each half
Safety: When a member of the offense with the ball is tackled in their own end zone, worth 2 points
Downs: 4 downs; 4 tries to move forward 10 yards
Red Zone: The 20-yard range leading up to a touchdown
Touchback: When a ball is kicked or bounces past the end zone; the offense automatically starts on the 25-yard-line
Sack: When a member of the defense tackles the Quarterback before he can throw or hand off the ball
Incomplete Pass: When a Quarterback throws the ball and it is not caught
Line of Scrimmage: Where the football starts for each play
Live/Dead Ball: A live ball is playable; a dead ball is not. Fumbles are live balls while incomplete passes are dead balls.
To start, we’ll go over the bigger picture of football – conferences. Over 1,200 sport programs across the country are a part of the NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association. Under the NCAA, you have divisions based on school size. You can forget about that, though, because we’re going to just focus on Division 1.
Division 1 includes all of the major programs out there that you can think of: Alabama, Michigan, USC, Texas Tech, LSU… and so on. Each of these schools belongs to a conference. There are 5 major conferences in the NCAA, called the “Power 5” conferences: SEC, ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, and Big 12. There are other conferences outside of these 5, but due to my background in sports these are the 5 conferences that I, and most everyone else, automatically think of when the football talk starts. So we will focus on the Power 5 conferences as these will be the 5 that you will be most exposed to!
Why are conferences important to know? Each conference has their own ranking, and the top two teams in a conference go to their Conference Championship game. Winning your Conference Championship game makes a great case for getting selected to go to the playoffs. Now the College Football Playoff process is a little complicated, and to be honest, you really don’t need to know much about it to follow along during the season. But, I’ll touch base on it later on for those of you who are interested! And if your team happens to make it to the playoffs, it’s great information to know!
The SEC is debatably the best football conference in the country, mainly due to the fact that teams from the SEC have claimed 8 of the last 11 National Championship titles. The SEC is broken up into two divisions: the SEC East and the SEC West. Below is a breakdown of who is in the SEC and what division they are associated with:
Now I mentioned divisions just a minute ago. Let’s address that really quick: excluding the Big 12 Conference, each Power 5 conference is broken up into two divisions. This is because of some simple math. Bear with me, the math isn’t hard! And I’m going to do it all for you: So each team is guaranteed to play 12 games a year. 3-4 of these games are teams that are NOT associated with your conference (called non-conference games) and 8-9 of these games are conference games. Now for the math – if there are 13 other teams in your conference, and you only have 8-9 slots to fill, how do you decide who you play every year? This is where divisions come in. You play every team in your division, and then you rotate teams in the other division into your open slots.
Let’s use LSU as an example: LSU plays 4 non-conference games this year and the other 6 teams in the SEC West. So what about their other 2 games to make 12? This year in the rotation, they play Florida and Tennessee from the SEC East to fill those slots and make up their 12 games.
At the conclusion of the 12 guaranteed games, the top team from the SEC West meets the top team in the SEC East in their Conference Championship game. The SEC Conference Championship game is currently held in Atlanta, Georgia in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Until 2017, the Conference Championship and the Atlanta Falcons both played in the Georgia Dome, but with the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium opening up this year, both have relocated to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
This is also true for the other conferences, with the exception of the Big 12. Let’s take a look at those other conferences now.
The ACC is another Power 5 conference with a lot of history like the SEC. The ACC is home to the 2016 National Champions, Clemson. But unlike most other conferences, they label their divisions a little differently – instead of North/South or East/West, their divisions are Atlantic and Coastal. Here is the division breakdown of the ACC:
For the ACC Championship game, the top team in the ACC Atlantic meets the top team in the ACC Coastal. The ACC Conference Championship game is currently held in Orlando, Florida in Camping World Stadium. Fun fact about Camping World Stadium: there is not a team that plays in the stadium year round. Unlike the SEC Championship site that is home to the Atlanta Falcons, no one team calls this stadium home. Instead, various events are held here year-round. Football wise, they host college games, the ACC Championship, the Citrus Bowl, and now the NFL Pro Bowl.
The Big 10 Conference is the only conference that is only up in the north. While the ACC and Pac-12 have schools up north, they also have schools down south. So it’s safe to say that this conference sees a LOT of snow! Also safe to say that I will hopefully not ever be at a Big 10 school, because truth be told, I wouldn’t be able to handle the weather! Here’s a breakdown of the Big 10 and what division each school is in:
In the Big 10 Conference Championship game, the top team from the Big 10 East meets the top team from the Big 10 West. The Big 10 Conference Championship game is currently held in Indianapolis, Indiana in Lucas Oil Stadium. Lucas Oil Stadium is also home to the Indianapolis Colts and is definitely on my bucket list!
The Pac-12 actually doesn’t stand for anything – it’s just the Pac-12, short for Pacific. They were established as the Pacific Coast Conference, which is fitting considering their schools run from Southern California all the way up through the top of Washington (much like the ACC). The Pac-12 is broken up into a North and a South division. Below are which schools belong to which division:
In the Conference Championship, the top team from the Pac-12 North meets the top team from the Pac-12 South. The Pac-12 Conference Championship game is currently held in San Francisco, California in Levi’s Stadium. Levi’s Stadium is also home to the San Francisco 49ers.
I saved the Big 12 for last mainly because it’s the most complicated conference. While the other four Power 5 conferences have 12-16 members, the Big 12 only has 10. This basically means there is not enough members to have divisions in the Big 12, so everyone plays everyone. For those of you who like history, the Big 12 used to have 12 teams and it was split into North and South divisions. But, Missouri and Texas A&M got scared and ran off to the SEC! Before I explain this further, here’s a list of the teams still in the Big 12:
Until 2017, there was no Conference Championship game – whoever had the best record in the Big 12 automatically won the Conference Championship title. Beginning this year, the #1 and #2 teams in the Big 12 will meet for the Conference Championship game. The Big 12 Conference Championship game will be held in Arlington, Texas in AT&T Stadium. AT&T Stadium is also home to the Dallas Cowboys – ‘Merica’s team! Go Boys!
Now… you can skip this part if you like, this is just my personal rant on why adding a Big 12 Conference Championship game with 10 members is silly. Unlike the other 4 conferences, the Big 12 automatically plays everyone in their conference. That is a true champion – you play every single team just like everyone else does in your conference. But for some reason the media decided to pick on the Big 12, saying that not having a Conference Championship game was actually a weakness whenever the College Football Playoff started (there are 4 Playoff spots and 5 Conference Champions – someone is the odd man out). Then, to make matters worse, the Big 12 was the team left out of the playoffs and the other 4 Conference Champions moved on during the first year of the College Football Playoff. The reason why? The Big 12’s genius Commissioner (and I say that totally sarcastically), Bob Bowlsby, decided to name Baylor and TCU Co-Champions because they had identical conference records. Why is this silly? Because TCU beat Baylor. Bob Bowlsby basically handed the media their evidence to back up their claims that not having a Conference Championship game was a weakness. Starting this year, the Big 12 now has a Conference Championship game. It will be a guaranteed repeat of a game previously played earlier in the season because there are no divisions. And the best part? It’s probably going to be OU and OSU, who play the week before the Conference Championship game.
Next most important thing to understand is positions – offense versus defense. Now, it’s safe to say everyone knows who the Quarterback is when they look at the screen (Hint: he’s the guy throwing the ball), but do you know where the Linebacker is? Hell no. Probably not. I will be totally honest with you: there are positions that I can’t even pick out when I look at the TV screen. And that’s absolutely okay. You don’t need to know where they are on the field, you just need to know if they’re an offensive position or a defensive position.
These are your basic positions in football, broken down into offense and defense. All together, there are 11 men on the field at one time. We’re going to start with the positions under offense.
Quarterback: He’s the man in charge. He calls the plays and he throws the ball. Sometimes he might even run the ball himself.
Center: This guy snaps the ball to the Quarterback. He’s also usually the smallest guy on the Offensive Line.
Offensive Line: There are 5 Offensive Lineman on the field: the Center and then 2 huge guys on each side of him meant to protect the Quarterback. The outside boys are Offensive Tackles and the inside boys are Offensive Guards. These are BIG boys!
Wide Receiver: These guys are the fast ones. They’re the ones that run way down field to catch the ball. Definitely can’t beat one of these guys in a foot race, or at least you shouldn’t be able to!
Running Back: Have you seen the quarterback just hand off the ball to someone before and he just runs with it? That’s a Running Back.
Tight End: To be honest, a Tight End is a little hard to explain in simple terms. You’ll be fine just knowing this is an offensive position.
Defensive Line: There are 4 Defensive Lineman on the field. The outside boys are called Defensive Tackles and the inside boys are called Defensive Ends. They try and stop the offense from getting further down the field.
Outside Linebacker/Inside Linebacker: For simplicity purposes, we’re going to lump these two together. Linebackers, in a nutshell, are responsible for tackling close to the Offensive and Defensive Lines.
Corner: These guys cover the wide receivers that are running down the field.
Safety: These guys are the last line of defense if the person with the ball makes it past everyone else. They are WAY further downfield than everyone else. And basically exactly what their name says they are – a safety net.
The next topic we’re going to cover is the coaching staff. Do you need to know who all of the coaches are on your favorite team? Absolutely not. No one would blame you for not knowing this. Should you know who your head coach is? Yes, probably. The in-between that you should understand to survive all the football talk is what KINDS of coaches there are, not necessarily WHO they are. Outside of the Head Coach, here is what you’re looking at on an average coaching staff:
Depending on the team, these can vary a little. We won’t get that in depth on the coaching staffs though, because there’s really no point. Just know that these are the different position coaches that exist on an average coaching staff. In addition to position coaches, there is also an Offensive Coordinator and a Defensive Coordinator. The Offensive Coordinator is the Head Coach’s right hand man on the offense and is in charge of these coaches. The Defensive Coordinator is the same thing, but for defense. As far as a coaching staff goes, this is pretty much anything and everything you need to know! They’re really not that complicated.
In actual football terms, X’s and O’s refers to plays being called. You do not, I repeat, you DO NOT, need to know anything about plays. I don’t even know anything about plays. People talk about plays and I can usually just get away with nodding, since most everyone assumes if I know everything else about football, that I know plays. It’s not true. No girl needs to know plays to survive football season. Trust me!
But I’m going to kind of twist X’s and O’s into how your team moves down the field. Up in the football terminology, you’ll see “downs”. That’s what’s important here! Understanding downs and how your team moves down the field to score a touchdown is a critical portion of surviving football season! In all honestly, it’s hard to understand just from reading these words, so if you’re serious about keeping up I’d recommend reading this while watching a game on TV. That way you can visually see these case scenarios that I’m referring to. Pick the game that you care the least about watching (like LSU vs. Chattanooga, because that’ll be a snooze), and brush up on your knowledge!
I’ll keep with the trend of using LSU as my example team. We’ll throw in Arkansas as their opponent. There are two main ways that points are scored: touchdowns and field goals. A touchdown is worth 6 points and a field goal is worth 3 points. After a touchdown, you have the option to kick for an extra point. For the most part, these aren’t missed and the total score ends up being 7. That’s pretty straightforward, right?
Another way of scoring points is called a safety, though it doesn’t happen that often. A safety is when the defense takes possession of the ball in the offense’s end zone. So let’s say LSU is on their 1-yard-line for purposes of learning about safeties. By “their” 1-yard-line, I’m referring to the fact that each half of the field “belongs” to a team. By that I mean whatever half of the field LSU’s back faces is their “territory,” and vice versa for Arkansas. Why is this important? Because you’ll hear people say things like “their own 25-yard-line.” What do they actually mean? They actually mean LSU is on the 25-yard-line and have 75 yards to go for a touchdown. Now what if they said LSU was on “Arkansas’s 25-yard line?” That would mean LSU only has 25 yards to go to score a touchdown. LSU scores in Arkansas’s territory, and Arkansas scores in LSU’s territory. Continuing on with the topic of scoring safeties, think of the positioning on the field this way: the Center is the person on the 1-yard-line, not the Quarterback. When the Center snaps the ball to the Quarterback, he is anywhere between 5-7 yards behind the 1-yard-line. In this case, the Quarterback is inside the end zone. One of Arkansas’s players breaks through and tackles LSU’s Quarterback in the end zone. This is a safety for Arkansas and they get 2 points. A safety can also occur for Arkansas if the Quarterback was to hand off or pass the football to someone else, but they were still tackled inside of the end zone.
To keep the ball in LSU’s position, they have to travel 10 yards in 4 tries. These tries are called downs. For example, let’s say LSU starts as 1st down and 10 on their 25-yard-line (announcers will say “1st and 10 on LSU’s 25” so I will use this phrasing from now on), meaning it’s 1st down and they have 10 yards left to travel before they receive another 1st down. In other words, they must make it to or past the 35-yard-line in 4 tries or Arkansas gets the ball.
To explain how LSU advances the ball, I’m going to start LSU on their side of the field and work them all the way down to scoring. Let’s start with 1st and 10 on LSU’s 25. Let’s say they make a play and gain 5 yards. Now it will be 2nd and 5 on LSU’s 30. Now they have 5 yards to go until they receive another 1st down. Okay so now let’s say that LSU makes a play and they don’t gain any yards. No gain on the play results in 3rd and 5 on LSU’s 30. Then, LSU makes a play and gains 15 yards. Now it’s 1st and 10 on LSU’s 45. Here’s how this breaks down: LSU only needed 5 yards to keep the ball and receive another 1st down, so LSU gets those 5 yards and then some. No matter how many yards LSU gain past what they needed, it will always be 1st and 10.
Got it? I promise it’s pretty simple once you actually watch the game. Here’s a trick when you’re watching the game to tell where these milestones are: if you’re watching on TV, that yellow line you see is where LSU has to get to in order to get a 1st down. The red line you see is the Line of Scrimmage. The Line of Scrimmage is where LSU is starting at. Remember how I said earlier that LSU was starting on their 25? That’s the line of scrimmage for that play. If LSU makes it past the line of scrimmage, they gain yards. If LSU makes it to the line of scrimmage, they haven’t gained any yards but they also don’t lose any either. If LSU is tackled behind the line of scrimmage, they lose yards. If you’re watching the game in person, take a look at the sidelines. On one side of the field, you’ll see two tall neon-orange sticks with circles that look like targets on top of them. One marks the line of scrimmage and one marks the line to get another 1st down. Not sure which one is which? Take a look at the other sideline. One is another giant neon orange stick, but the other is a tall black stick with a number at the top. The number marks the line of scrimmage, and the giant neon orange stick marks the line to get another 1st down. Want to know another trick? That number is what down it is – 1 to 4.
Next, let’s say that LSU advances to the 50-yard-line. The 50-yard-line is midfield. Midfield is not part of anyone’s “territory,” but is where LSU’s territory ends and Arkansas’s territory begins. Anywhere between LSU’s 40-yard-line and Arkansas’s 40-yard-line is what’s commonly referred to as “no man’s land.” We’ll come back to this when we talk about punting and 4th downs.
Now let’s say that LSU makes it up to Arkansas’s 20-yard-line. They are now in what is known as the red zone. The red zone for LSU is the 20 yards leading up to a touchdown. If LSU gains another 10 yards, you will see that it is no longer 1st and 10, but 1st and GOAL. What this basically means is there is no more room for a 1st down and in 10 yards they will have scored a touchdown. At this point, LSU is on Arkansas’s 10-yard-line and has 4 downs to score a touchdown.
To end this long series of plays, we’ll say LSU scores a touchdown. From start to finish of what I just explains is called a drive – LSU’s “drive down the field.” At the end of their drive, they have the option to either kick an extra point or run for a 2-point conversion. Unless the game is winding down and math adds up to being short one point at the end of the game, most people will just kick the extra point and not run a 2-point conversion. 2-point conversions are always fun to watch though because of the risk involved (unless of course, it’s your team running it and they don’t get it).
Okay – let’s rewind to the beginning of LSU’s drive. What if LSU would’ve ended up on 4th down? Take a peek back at where I said LSU was on 3rd down with 5 yards to go. Let’s say they didn’t gain anything again, and now it’s 4th and 5 on LSU’s 30. This where punting and punt return come into play.
4th downs are always exciting because it involves a lot of risk if you try to run another play and get a 1st down. Most of the time, teams will choose to punt on 4th down and then the other team will get the ball. When teams choose to “go for it” on 4th down, there can be a variety of reasons. The main reasons will be they’re losing late in the game, it’s 4th and 1, or they’re in “no-man’s land.” But if team don’t decide to go for it, they punt the ball.
So let’s say LSU came up to a 4th down and decided to punt the ball. LSU kicks the ball into the end zone and it rolls out of the field. This is called a touch back. In college football, Arkansas will automatically start on their 25-yard-line (side note: NFL starts on the 20-yard-line).
Now let’s say LSU didn’t kick the snot out of the ball. There are two case scenarios. The first case scenario is the Arkansas player catches it in the end zone. He now has two options: he can either kneel (called “taking a knee”) and start their drive on 25-yard-line, or he can run the ball as far as he can down the field before he is tackled. The second case scenario is the Arkansas player catches it outside of the end zone on the 10-yard-line. He still has the same two options of taking a knee or running the ball, but if he decides take a knee then Arkansas will start their drive on the 10-yard-line.
There are a lot of rules with punts, unfortunately. Really the most important one is how a punt can result in a turnover. If Arkansas were to touch the ball after LSU punts it in any way, whether it be the Arkansas player tried to catch it and dropped it or it accidentally bounces into an Arkansas player, LSU can then pick up the ball and it will result in a turnover. The key to remember is that Arkansas must touch the ball first.
Kick return is basically the same thing as a punt, it just begins differently. Instead of being after a 4th down, a kick return takes place at the start of the 1st half, at the start of the 2nd half, and after points are scored. Simple, right?
It’s actually pretty easy to understand the game clock. There are 4 quarters in a game: 2 in the first half (1st and 2nd) and 2 in the 2nd half (3rd and 4th). Each quarter is 15 minutes. There is also a play clock, which is 40 seconds long. The offense must snap the ball to the Quarterback before the play clock hits zero. 1st downs stop the game clock until the ball is put on the new line of scrimmage, and incomplete passes stop the game clock. Running out of bounds also stops the game clock, too. That’s really all you need to know!
Next thing we’re going to talk about are penalties. There’s probably a penalty for everything under the sun. We’re not going to go over all of them – we’re just going to touch on the most common ones and what the punishments for each of them are!
False Start: No one on the Offensive Line or Defensive Line can move until the ball is snapped. If they do, it’s a false start and a 5-yard penalty. Usually if you watch a replay of a false start, you’ll see someone “flinch.”
Delay of Game: This occurs when the Center doesn’t snap the ball before the play clock runs out of time. This is also a 5-yard penalty.
Offsides: Offsides occurs when someone is lined up too far forward than everyone else. This is another 5-yard penalty.
Holding: There’s such thing as illegal holding in football. For the most part, you won’t ever notice it because you’re watching the ball and this usually happen near the ball. Just know it’s a penalty and it’s one of the most common ones. It’s a 10-yard penalty, but it’s a “spot foul,” meaning the 10-yard penalty is enforced from the yard line on where the penalty occurred. For example, if LSU is on their 20-yard-line, but Arkansas commits a hold on the 30-yard-line, LSU will be placed on the 40-yard-line, and also receive an automatic 1st down. Why? Because to gain a 1st down LSU needed to make it to the 30-yard-line. Because of the penalty they are on the 40-yard-line, resulting in an automatic 1st down.
Facemask: This one is pretty self-explanatory and involves a high penalty. If someone grabs another player’s facemask, it’s a 15-yard penalty.
Defensive Pass Interference: In a nutshell, this happens a lot on long passes where a defender is chasing after a receiver. Rule of thumb is the defender needs to turn and look at the ball and make an effort to actually catch the ball. If he puts his hands on the receiver and doesn’t turn his head, it’s illegal. Another common call is a defender grabbing the arm of a receiver. This is also a spot foul and a 15-yard-penalty.
Offensive Pass Interference: Pass interference can also be committed by the offense. The receiver can’t push off of the defender, or pull on his arms either. Basically it goes both ways, but offensive pass interference is only a 10-yard penalty.
Unnecessary Roughness: Unnecessary roughness can be a variety of things but I mostly see it called on the sidelines for a late hit out of bounds. If a player is out of bounds, or is clearly going out of bounds, there’s no need to hit him out of bounds. If a defender does this, it’s a 15-yard penalty and can result in disciplinary action.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: This is exactly what it sounds like. Celebrating in the end zone, taunting another player, getting into a fight… all unsportsmanlike conduct and also result in a 15-yard penalty and possible disciplinary action.
Targeting: Oh, targeting. This is a new penalty that caused an uproar when it was first put in place. Targeting is defined as hitting a defenseless player with the crown of your helmet. Breaking that down, it’s saying you cannot lead with your helmet and hit a player in the head if he’s not looking. It’s meant to help prevent concussions. If a targeting penalty is called, it is automatically reviewed by referees. If they confirm that the player committed targeting, it is a 15-yard penalty and that player is ejected. He also misses the 1st half or whole next game, depending on when the targeting is committed. Stiff penalty. Yikes.
The last thing we’ll talk about here are turnovers. There are really two types of ways to turn over the ball to the other team: fumbles and interceptions. A fumble is anything from someone dropping the ball to someone getting the ball knocked out of their hands. In simpler terms, someone on the offense has the ball at the start of the play… and then the defense ends up with the ball at the end of the play.
Now what qualifies as a fumble? If a player’s knee or elbow is touching the ground before the ball comes loose out of the players hands, then the player is down and it is considered a dead ball. No fumble. Now if the player doesn’t meet this criteria and is not considered down, then it is a live ball and the defense can recover it. That’s the very, very basic of fumbles. You’ll be good with just that!
An interception is different in the sense that the ball is being thrown by the Quarterback and is then caught by a member of the defense. Pretty simple! And totally heartbreaking when you’re for the offense. Nothing quite frustrates me like an interception.
Overtime rules in college football are totally different from overtime rules in the NFL. Because my main focus is college football (and because I personally think the overtime rules in the NFL are, for lack of a better work, totally stupid and make absolutely no sense logically) we’ll just cover the college football rules!
A new coin toss happens at the beginning of overtime (OT) and LSU wins again. 99.9% of the time in OT, the winning team will let the losing team receive the ball first. They do this because it forces the losing team to go first (either scoring a touchdown, a field goal, or getting no points at all) and then the winning team knows what they will need to either tie the score or win.
Each drive will automatically start on the opposing team’s 25-yard-line. So in this case, Arkansas would line up on LSU’s 25. All the regular rules apply like I’ve previously explained, the only difference is that they have a much shorter distance to travel in order to score. Let’s say Arkansas doesn’t score anything. It’s now LSU’s turn with the ball. Each team will always get a chance with the ball. So now LSU lines up on Arkansas’s 25-yard-line and doesn’t score anything. Now what?
Now we go into “2OT,” which is basically the second quarter of overtime. Note there isn’t a limit to how many overtimes you can have, but there usually isn’t more than 3. Because Arkansas received the ball first in the first OT, LSU will receive the ball first – it flip flops each OT.
LSU once again starts out on Arkansas’s 25-yard line, but let’s say they don’t make it to a touchdown and they have to kick a field goal. Now Arkansas gets the ball. Arkansas now knows that they at least have to score a touchdown to tie the game, but to win the game they have to score a touchdown.
We’ll give this one to Arkansas with a touchdown.
Now here’s a funky rule: if LSU and Arkansas were to go onto 3OT, extra points would no longer be allowed and the teams would have to go for 2-point conversions after every touchdown. That always gets scary!
Well ladies, y’all made it through the Crash Course to Surviving Football Season! Is this everything about football? Nah. Do I know everything about football? Absolutely, positively not! It’s all about how much you’re around the sport, and that was very easy for me to do with my job. I credit my knowledge to the hours I’ve put in around the sport, and I’m definitely just an average girl! Any girl can talk a little football with the boys if they can keep up with these basics. My hope is that this broke down football all in one area for you – and broke it down into simpler and comprehendible terms. Also, if you bookmark this page and peep at it on your phone while talking football with that cute guy you’ve been wanting to ask you out, don’t worry – that’s exactly why I made the word charts prominent and the vocabulary list at the top – so they’re easy to find in a hurry! I got y’all, don’t worry!