Video: Kenny Pickett scores touchdown on what should be illegal play
Kenny Pickett scored a touchdown to open the ACC Championship Game for Pitt against Wake Forest on Saturday night, and he scored using a move that should be illegal.
Pitt had a 3rd-and-5 at their 42 just a few minutes into the game when Pickett felt some pressure and took off running. He saw some defenders converging on him as he approached the Wake Forest 40 and began to go into a slide motion. He started to slow down and tuck his right leg like he was giving himself up to slide.
— Armstrong 4 Heisman (@chickenbarmesan) December 5, 2021
Once the defense stopped pursuing, Pickett decided to keep running and scored.
This angle of the fake slide is awesome. He must have spent some time practicing this because it’s too good to have been completely improvised on the spot. pic.twitter.com/6dh2DVwhNo
— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) December 5, 2021
That 58-yard touchdown helped give Pitt a 7-0 lead. They won 45-21.
That touchdown should never have counted. As soon as a player begins to give himself up, the play should be dead. Both college and pro football are trying to protect quarterbacks by penalizing defenders who hit them when they’re giving themselves up. If you are penalizing the defenders and ejecting them from games to discourage them from hitting a quarterback who is giving himself up, you can’t also incentivize quarterbacks to fake the slides.
Think about it this way: as soon as a punt returner signals a fair catch, they can’t advance the ball. As soon as a quarterback begins to slide, the play should be blown dead, just the same as a fair catch. Otherwise, you are completely putting a defender in the unfair position of choosing between risking a penalty or risking a touchdown.