Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State Football Forum

Ohio State football talk.

Option pitch or forward pass?

osu_killernuts's picture
September 2, 2014 at 10:52am
25 Comments

I noticed this a few times on Saturday against Navy and it posed the following question in my head.

There was a pitch by Navy (at one point in the game) that appeared to be a fumble, but after review, it was deemed a forward pass and ruled incomplete.  In this case, why isn't a penalty called on the offense for an 'ineligible man down field' penalty?  It seems like if the option pitch is ruled a forward pass, lineman that are 5-10 yards down field should be ruled ineligible, right? 

I know a flag isn't initially thrown for something like this because the refs are making the assumption that it was a legal pitch and not a forward pass.  Just something that popped in my head during the game against Navy....

Killer nuts's picture

Birm tweeted about this also. If they rule it a lateral/fumble on the field they can't retroactively throw a flag for ineligible receiver

InTressITrust's picture

Another interesting thing along the same lines, I have a hard time believing there were only 4 pass attempts in the game.

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

+2 HS
mb5599's picture

Only 4 passes by Navy and yet we are only ranked #4 in passing defense??????  Who the hell could possibly have better stats?

Big B

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

I've been wondering the same question. How do you achieve fewer than 20 yards passing?

11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Teams on bye weeks
 

Does anyone know if BucksFan changed his icon?

+1 HS
kareemabduljacobb's picture

We're actually ranked 3rd. (According to http://www.cfbstats.com/2014/leader/national/team/defense/split01/catego... )

New Mexico St #1 -- Gave up 6 yards passing.  They played Cal Poly... who was 2-7 passing for 6 yards and 1 INT.

Texas is #2 at 15 yards.  They played North Texas who went 3-17 passing for 15 yards with 4 INTs.

+2 HS
stittracer99's picture

Texas allowed 15 against North Texas and New Mexico St allowed 6 against Cal Poly. We are 3rd with 20

mb5599's picture

Fire Ash!!!!!!!!!

Big B

+5 HS
YTOWNBUCKI's picture

That also depends if he caught the "pass" behind the line of scrimmage in which case it could be considered a screen.

+6 HS
NW Buckeye's picture

This.  Linemen can get down field on any pass thrown to a receiver behind the line of scrimage. Most refs will allow a couple yards beyond the line of scrimage as well. 

What I find more interesting is the 'touch' pass on the jet sweep that teams are utilizing.  The Q never gains controll of the ball on the snap - he simply redirects the ball into the runner's hands.  If the ball is dropped, it is an incomplete pass.  Yet on a difficult snap that the Q can not handle, a tap of the ball off his hands is ruled a fumble even if it carreens forward.  

+4 HS
rdubs's picture

I guess it is a matter of control, it is assumed that if he is intentionally tipping it forward he had control so it makes it a pass whereas if he is just slapping at it to prevent it from going over his head, he doesn't have control and therefore is a fumble.

+1 HS
thirtytrap's picture

Ding, ding, ding!!!! We have a winner!!!!  The play in question was behind the line of scrimmage and was considered as Ytown pointed out..a screen pass. 

BuckminsterFullback's picture

If you hit the QB after he pitches it forward, does that qualify as "roughing the passer"?

osu_killernuts's picture

That was another thought I had....just some food for thought.

Honestly, it doesn't matter.  I never expect every call to be perfect in football, that is part of the game.

Hate is a strong word.  I hate ESecPN almost as much as I hate the whole SEC conference which is a close second to TTUN.

Estes3833's picture

Even if the pitch is forward, but behind the LOS offensive linemen are allowed to block downfield with out being called for illegal man down field or OPI
 

Kris Estes

+2 HS
BuckeyeTrappedInSouth's picture

http://www.teamspeedkills.com/2010/8/12/1616767/know-your-annoying-penal...

It is acceptable and not a penalty if the pass is made behind the line of scrimmage.  That fumble looking forward pass never crossed the line of scrimmage.

In Urban We Trust

+2 HS
hodge's picture

This is one of those "judgement" calls in the game that really irritates me.  Had that "incomplete" pitch been caught, it would have been deemed a rush, and stats compiled accordingly.  It was only after the pitch was dropped that the refs felt it necessary to review it and retroactively determine it to be a pass instead of a lateral -- this tells me that statisticians generally consider all pitches like that to be laterals, since they're unable to review every play to determine whether the pitch was slightly forward or not.  

So here's my source of frustration: if all of these plays are considered (and scored) as runs by default (case in point: ineligible receivers downfield are always ignored on these infinitesimally forward laterals), why are slightly forward laterals deemed "passes"?  I understand the rules of the game here, but wouldn't it be easier to disqualify "laterals that travel less than one yard forward" as passes?  If refs aren't calling obvious infractions here, isn't it giving the offense an unfair advantage?

+3 HS
CC's picture

Hodge, If I understand your gripe, I would say that most laterals which happen beyond the line of scrimage must be equal or back.  The discretion occurs before the line and really only affects the stat line.  To which I say, if all games are statified the same, it doesn't matter.

On a slightly different note, you really don't see much uption the way it used to be run where the pitch occurs beyond the line, a la Nebraska in the 90's.  In theory if two guys are running full speed and the back receiving the pitch was equal or slightly behind the QB the ball would still be traveling forward to get to the back.

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

Yet it would be ruled as a rushing play had nothing gone wrong. I think that if you are running an option it should always be considered a pitch no matter what because it is obviously a rushing play not a pass

BuckeyeTrappedInSouth's picture

My thinking is, a forward pass should be called for any pass play where the ball is thrown forward from above the shoulder.  Anything thrown below the shoulder should be considered a pitch and subsequent to a fumble call if not properly caught.

In Urban We Trust

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

This sounds pretty good to differentiate run and pass I just think the idea that losing a ball on an OBVIOUS rushing play can be ruled a pass is ridiculous

rdubs's picture

It seems to me that if I were coaching that offense, I would encourage the QB to pitch the ball forward whenever feasible to avoid a possible fumble.  That's the point of the tip pass on those fly sweeps instead of handing it off, just a bit less risky.

buckeye4life050233's picture

Not the same play but on the navy touchdown that shouldn't have been a touchdown did anyone else notice Darron Lee was illegally blocked right in front of the official and gets no call.  He was being engaged by a lineman and a pulling lineman comes in and takes his legs out.  It was ridiculous

CC's picture

They didn't get the main call and you want them to get the call away from the play?

+2 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

If they woulda got one of the 2 right I wouldn't have been so mad but to miss both is hilarious and not a good start to officiating for the year.