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Why the PSU kick block that won the Big Ten is now illegal


(SB Nation)
CHICAGO – In March, the NFL banned players from charging forward and leaping to block field goals. Earlier this summer, the NCAA followed suit. The leaping block is dead.
The NCAA’s new football rulebook for 2017 strips away two provisions that made the leaping block permissible up until now. It’s long been a foul for a player to charge at the line of scrimmage, leap to block a field goal try, and land on someone. Now, it’s a foul whether the player lands on anyone or not. And just as critically, this line is gone:
"It is not a foul if the player leaps from in or behind the neutral zone.”
Before, players couldn’t be flagged for leaping if they reached the line of scrimmage before taking flight. That’s now irrelevant. If a defender lines up more than a yard from the line of scrimmage, he can’t “run forward” and jump to block a field goal or PAT.
The only way it’s legal now is “if the player was aligned in a stationary position within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped.” Because field goals happen so quickly, that makes a charging leap block close to impossible — especially without landing on somebody, which would make the play illegal anyway.
Penn State beat then-No. 2 Ohio State in Happy Valley in October, and the game’s decisive play was a Marcus Allen field goal block that turned into a 60-yard touchdown runback by teammate Grant Haley. It took PSU from behind to ahead in the fourth quarter, and it held on to win the game, the East, and later the whole Big Ten. This play turned out to be the moment not just of the night, but of the Big Ten season.
For more, go to SB Nation



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