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Confusing College Play Scores One Point

Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

College football is in it’s final week of the bowl season but there’s still a few surprises left. In the Fiesta Bowl last night which featured the number four Oregon Ducks (12-1) facing off against the Big 12 Champion Kansas State Wildcats (11-2). In true Oregon fashion the game was under control from the first snap as the Ducks went on to win 35-17. But in the third quarter after taking a 31-10 lead, things got weird on the extra point attempt.

Kansas State defensive lineman Javonta Boyd blocked the extra point kick which in the NFL would mean that the play is dead but remember this is college, so the ball was still live. The ball bounced to the two yard line where defensive end Ryan Mueller snatched it out of the air and while trying to get away from his opponents and score the 2-pt conversion for the Wildcats, he ran into his own end zone. He was caught and tried to lateral it to his team mate Allen Chapman who was tackled in the end zone, giving the Ducks a one point safety.

“I’ve never heard of a one-point safety rule,” Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown said.

Now if this all seems confusing don’t worry, it is. The rule in college football is if a defensive player goes back into his end zone after grabbing a missed conversion and is tackled there, it is a one-point safety. All other safeties, such as when an offensive player is tackled with the ball in the end zone, are worth two points.Still confused? Check out the video below.

“We got a safety for one point today, and I had no idea what that was,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “When they told me they were going to give us one point, I said, ‘We’ll take it.’”

A blog named Quirky Research listed only four known one-point safeties in all of college football, first in a NAIA Division II game and the second in a Junior-college game both in 1996. The third was in 2004 between Texas and Texas A&M, and the last night was number four.

In that Texas-Texas A&M game, a snap on Texas’ extra-point attempt was dropped and the kicker hit a ground ball off the ground that went into the end zone. A Texas A&M player fell on it and was tackled in the end zone for the one-point safety. You can check that out below.

This is an extremely rare situation so you should feel lucky that you got to witness it. It may be twenty years before we see anything like this again So enjoy it while you can.

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