William Correro Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009


In/out of bounds players cause trouble

When you read this one, the Super Bowl will be history and hopefully all will be recovered from the mass quantities of food and drink consumed. I heard that in the last several years Super Bowl Sunday is just second behind Thanksgiving regarding the most food consumed on one day. I saw where all our military personnel would get an issue of two beers each for the day, too. You might think that’s not much but don’t forget: not all will drink their allotment so the ones that do should get plenty.

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We had an interesting situation in the Sun Bowl that I thought I’d mention. It concerned a punt and an Oregon State player. This player was the “gunner” or coverage guy who is split wide and tasked with getting downfield to the punt receiver as fast as possible. We always have to watch these because the receiving team will block them hard to prevent their coverage. Lots of illegal things can happen there.

As the receiver came off the line the Pitt defender was on him but not that tight. The gunner was trying to get around him and ran along the sideline and then went out of bounds for several yards, came back in and got down to tackle the receiver. That was what the officials from the Mountain West Conference saw anyway. This going out of bounds happened close to me and I saw the defender pushing the gunner out of bounds as he tried to get around him. And this illegal act showed up on TV too.

The rule is that if any player of the kicking team goes out of bounds on their own during the kick down, it is a penalty if they return.

Doesn’t matter if they participate in the play or not after coming back in. I saw a flag down where the play/punt ended but none anywhere else. The proper way to work that play is for the covering official to put his hat down on the sideline when the player goes out.

Then if it’s determined he went out on his own, a flag should go down where he comes back in or if he is blocked out by an opposing player there’s nothing to call. Since I saw no flag down there and knowing he was shoved out of bounds anyway, I had no idea what they had called. CBS was going ape wanting to know what it was all about and it took a while to decipher what they had done on the field especially since I saw the gunner get shoved out. But the crew finally got it sorted out and even apologized to me for the mistake when they didn’t have a flag down immediately when the gunner came back in. I didn’t get into the fact he was really blocked out and it should have been a no-call anyway. They had a supervisor there watching and grading so I left that for him. Safe in knowledge I wouldn’t be credited on-air though, I did explain to CBS how it should have been handled.

We’ll go ‘round one more time next week for the last one of this season.