Following in the shoes of Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels and Jim Marshall, Kent State’s Andre Parker has joined the distinguished ranks of those making the ultimate in blown plays. During last night’s season opener against Townson, Parker jumped on a blown punt reception, picked up the ball and proceeded to make an amazing 58 yard return — in the wrong direction.
Just as amazing as the wrong way run was the solid defense put up by Townson as at least one “defender” falls attempting to make the tackle and two more knock him out of bounds. It also appears that Parker doesn’t realize his mistake until half across the field on his way back to the players bench.
Unlike Riegels and Marshall though, Parker got some redemption as the play was called down where he picked up the ball. Can’t run the ball after recovering your own punt, only fall on it.
New Kickoff Rules
Notice anything different last night? New NCAA rules place kickoffs at the 35 instead of the 30 and touchbacks come out to the 25 instead of the 20. Players will only be allowed to line up five yards behind the tee limiting their ability to get a running start. The entire move is an attempt to reduce injuries in what is apparently not only one of the most exciting plays in college football but one of the most dangerous.
The NFL has adopted a similar rule kicking off from the 35 but bringing touchbacks to the 20.
In a Sports Illustrated article on the subject, Urban Meyer pointed out the difference of five yards on the touchback saying that depending on the team, they may try to drop it close as opposed to kicking it into the end zone.
Nothing like seeing a kick returner break free for a touchdown but there’s also nothing like seeing players lead with their helmets to take out said kick returner. Can’t really argue if the NFL is doing it though.