One-point safety adds spice to dull Fiesta Bowl

1:02 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
Ezra Shaw, Getty Images Kansas State gave Oregon a free point by earning a one-point safety in the third quarter.
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by Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports


Sometimes, if you watch enough college football you see something you've never seen before. It's rare, but it happens.

For example, Thursday night's Fiesta Bowl featured a one-point safety, the Halley's Comet of NCAA football rulings.

First, what happened:

In the third quarter, after scoring yet another touchdown, Oregon lined up for an extra-point try looking to push its lead to 32-10. The kick by the Ducks' Alejandro Maldonado was blocked, however... so no points, right?

Wrong. The kick was blocked in the field of play (in front of the end zone) and recovered by a Kansas State player, who then ran the ball into the end zone under his own power and tossed the ball to a teammate, who was tackled in the end zone.

By NCAA rule, that's a one-point safety. You know something was amiss when legendary explainer Ron Cherry, the head referee for the Fiesta Bowl, began his explanation by saying, "We have an unusual ruling on the field."

The full ruling via the NCAA:

"On a try attempt... a Team A fumble that is recovered in the Team B end zone by Team B. RULING: Safety, award Team A one point (Rules 8-3-1 and 8-5-1)."

See? That makes perfect sense!

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