When the XFL made its debut earlier this month, we made the argument that college football should adopt a couple of the professional football league’s “unique” rules. Next weekend, one FCS program will do just that. In an unofficial game, of course.
Next Saturday, The Citadel will hold its annual spring game. This week, though, the program announced said game will have quite a few twists.
First, the team will utilize players as coaches, with the real coaches taking a hands-off approach. Secondly, the game will feature several rules currently utilized by the XFL.
From the school’s release:
The game itself will feature four 12-minute quarters, utilizing many rules from the XFL. The most noticeable differences will be on special teams. The Bulldogs will use the XFL kickoff rule where the kicker will kick from the 35-yard line with the coverage team lining up at the return side 35-yard line. The return team lines up at the 30-yard line and neither team can moved until the ball is caught by the returner.
There will also be no kicking of extra points. After a touchdown, the teams will have the option of running a play from the 2, 5, or 10-yard line, worth 1, 2, or 3 points. If the defense is able to force a turnover and return it to the end zone, the resulting score is equal to the number of points the offense was attempting to score on its PAT.
One of the more unique features for this game will be the option for the double-forward pass. The offense has the opportunity to throw two forward passes, as long as the first pass is behind the line of scrimmage.
If the game goes to overtime, the Bulldogs will use the shootout style overtime. Overtime consists of five rounds with each team getting one play to score from the 5-yard line. If the teams are tied after five rounds, then rounds will continue until one team is leading at the end of a round.
Of all of the XFL rules that have been discussed, the kickoff rule is the one that has the highest chance of actually making it to the FBS level. In fact, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said recently that’s the direction this level of the sport is likely headed.
“I think the [XFL] kickoff may be where we’re headed. I think it’s an interesting new approach,” Muschamp said. “It keeps the kickoff in the game and eliminates some of the collisions we are worried about.”