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Cannot have holding penalties during the take-a-knee period

Posted by John T. Reed on

In the 11//21/20 Army-Georgia Southern game, Army punted on 4th and 5 with 2:20 and no GS timeouts left. I did not notice if Army waited until the end of the play clock. But the most important clock management technique is getting first down which they failed to do.
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Oh, Army just intercepted GS with 2:07 left. Take a knee four times. Game over. Army wins.
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Army ran the correct play—the delayed take-a-knee—twice in the final series. That a manifestation of having read my book Football Clock Management. Excellent.
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But the two Army players drew holding penalties on the first such play. WTF? That stops the clock on a play designed to start the clock and let it run for :46 or more seconds. The penalties took Army OUT OF the take-a-knee period. The game was won. The players who drew those holding penalties UN-WON THE GAME!
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The QB can see the defense coming at him. He is going to take a knee when they get close. He needs no protection. The game is won, over, nothing for anyone to do but a little make-sure-it’s-legal pass blocking.
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I suspect Coach Monken failed to adequately teach and emphasize what a disaster it would be to get a penalty. I probably did not do that either in my book or in my coaching. But I never had such a problem or saw one by another team in any game. And Monken actually had TWO different players get flagged for holding on that first play of the last series.
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Monumentally stupid.
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Subsequently, with :22 left and needing only a field goal to win well within field goal range, GS stupidly ran a play intended to gain yards up the middle. A massive pile of players ensued. Army understandably was in no hurry to get up off the pile, but they did not commit palpably unfair acts that would have allowed the officials to put time back on the clock. GS tried to spike the ball to kick the field goal, but the officials said they were a fraction of a second too late. Army handed the game to GS with the holding penalty stupidly but then GS handed it back with their even dumber play designed to get yards they did not need. Army won by one point.
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Football Clock Management book

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