While Oklahoma State managed to hang on and win 41-31, Texas Tech came out of the gates firing. The Red Raiders marched downfield and scored on their opening possession.
Then, with the Cowboys on their heels, they pulled off what — at first glance — looked like a brilliant surprise onside kick.
Not so fast.
Oklahoma State’s Demarco Jones pulled something that will make his special teams coach beam with pride.
The redshirt junior out of Tulsa waved his arm to signal for a fair catch.
Check it out again.
Blink and you’ll miss it, but there’s no doubt Jones signaled. According to Yahoo Sports, what Jones did is legal based on the wording the NCAA rule book. It says, “a fair catch of a free kick is a catch by a Team B player who has made a valid signal during an untouched free kick.”
It also specifies that players can call for a fair catch whether the ball comes directly off the tee or “is immediately driven to the ground, strikes the ground once and goes into the air in the manner of the ball kicked directly off the tee.”
Texas Tech also ended up with a penalty — kick catch interference — on the play.
Is this the kind of thing where we’re going to see more teams copying Oklahoma State as the season goes on? You’ve got to think it will. It’ll be interesting to see if any players are quick enough to think of signaling for a fair catch like Jones in the heat of the moment.
It’ll also be interesting to see if it keeps happening, and whether or not that will necessitate a rule book change.
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