While re-watching the South Carolina game, I saw something

I am not sure on the rules here, but I believe there is something about going out of bounds then coming back in to touch a live ball. Not sure and may just be mixing things up with basketball.


There was a play in the 4th quarter around the 14 min mark where QB Spencer Rattler makes a dump off pass to RB MarShawn Lloyd coming out of the backfield. As he is going around the short side of the field, Latavious Brini knocks the ball away and it bounces forward and Hudson Clark jumps all over it. Well Clark was guarding a sideline route and went around the outside of his receiver to track back to the loose ball. It looks very much like he stepped out of bounds when he planted to jump forward and gathered in the ball. It’s hard to even tell if he was re-established in the field of play before he touched the ball. I’m not saying he was out of bounds and touched it at the same time - that would make it a dead ball. He planted and jumped back in towards the ball so he was in the air then got to the ball looking as if he touched the ground and the ball almost at the same time.

I didn’t notice it the first time, but did the second time I watched it. Is that an issue in football or is my aged brain mixing up my sports.

Sir Votan, I don’t know the rules, but I am sure that, as competent as this referee crew was throughout the rest of that game, they would not have missed an infraction if one had occurred. (FWIW, I just looked in the mirror and it looks like I might have mumps on one side, what with that cheek poked out so far!)

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Had similar thoughts when watching this play. I seem to remember that after going out of bounds, you cannot be the first to touch the ball after re-establishing position in bounds. Maybe I am confusing football rules with basketball rules.

I’m sure that’s a rule, so long as you haven’t been forced out of bounds. However, it may be a penalty for the offense only. It may not be a rule for a defensive player after a turnover?

I don’t think he stepped out. Looked like his toe dug in and his heel lifted up and you see dirt get kicked to the sideline. Close but not out imo. I thought he did a great job goin to get it.

I could be wrong but I think the first to touch thing is only for receivers. Otherwise, in football, you are only concerned with making contact with the ball while any part of your body is touching out of bounds.

Having to establish yourself inbounds before doing anything with the ball I think IS just a basketball rule–and one I only remember being called once a long time ago. I’m sure someone who knows more than me will come along and straighten us all out.

Pretty sure that is correct. If he was out, as long as he got back in before touching the ball, it would have been OK. I am not 100% sure, but pretty sure.

I thought the rule is a receiver who goes out of bounds cannot be the first person to touch the ball.

Not really OK unless the receiver was forced out. Otherwise, if he goes out of bounds on his own, then catches the ball inbounds it’s a penalty for illegal touching. Since Clark isn’t a receiver there isn’t any question about illegal touching, just whether or not he was considered out of bounds when he recovered the ball. I think his recovery was legit.

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