Over the weekend, University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett had a bit of trickery and exploited the protections that a quarterback enjoys.

When a quarterback slides feet first, a defender would get a penalty if they hit the QB. Knowing that, Pickett used that to his advantage by employing a fake slide to cause the defenders to let off the throttle while Pickett would keep going and score. Like he did with this 58-yard TD against Wake Forest.

It’s not the most ethical thing to do but it was legal. Pickett was never down but it was a cheap way to score. The NCAA apparently agreed and while they couldn’t retroactively penalize Pickett for the play, they’re making sure he can’t score from it again.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee updated the rulebook and it is now a dead ball once a quarterback attempts a slide, whether or not they actually slide on the ground.


I don’t say this often but the NCAA made the right move. It’s not so much that a player exploited the spirit of a rule but it’s necessary for player safety. If a quarterback can just get away with a fake slide, they’re going to do it all the time. And if they do it all the time, the defender is suddenly in a bad spot where if the let up they risk the QB faking the slide and if they hit the QB they risk a penalty if they actually slide. It might lead to a gray area on what a referee feels is a slide but at least this takes away the guessing game for the defenders.

So congrats to Kenny Pickett for finding a loophole in the system for a score but he can’t do that anymore.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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