Football Basics Every College Girl Should Know

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Saturday morning I woke up at 8am, rolled out of bed, hopped in the shower and did all of the above without a single complaint or grumble. Why? Because it’s Football Season (which, yes, needs to be capitalized) and my game started at 11, which meant I needed to be tailgating by 9 at the latest. Some of my hardcore friends, you know who you are, were up and tailgating by 7am. Football Season is intense. Drinking all day on Saturday is really fun, but I think the game is really important too. So here I am, CollegeCandy readers, to bring you an article on football basics – just in case you want to impress that cute boy with some football knowledge, show your dad up, or just learn something.

I thought the best way to tackle (hahah, get it? Tackle?) this was to outline some definitions for ya’ll. So here are the things I think every girl should know about my favorite sport.

Touchdown: Starting off simple, a touchdown is when a player runs into the end zone or catches a ball in the end zone. It’s important to note that this only counts if the team that scores is on offense. Please don’t make me explain offense and defense to you. Also, a touchdown is 6 points. But wait, Molly, why does the scoreboard sometimes say 7 after a team scores, you may be asking. That’s the…

Point After Touchdown (PAT): After a team scores they have the chance to score the “PAT.” Basically 9 times out of 10 they will kick the ball into the goal posts and they’ll score that extra point. But sometimes, if a team needs to they will “go for two” which is called a Two Point Conversion. They do this if they need the extra point, and they do it in the same manner they would use to score a touchdown.

Downs: Okay. This is where it can get kind of messy. A team has four tries to move the ball 10 yards. Each of these “tries” is called a down. Also, if your team succeeds in moving the ball 10 yards – it’s called a down. You can move the ball by either passing it or running it. Running it is usually safer, but passing the ball gets more yards. Bonus points? Find out if your college team is a team that’s more likely to run the ball or pass the ball.

Quarterback: Okay, the quarterback is often of the most important players on the field. He’s the one that decides whether to pass the ball or run. He’s kind of in charge. It gets more complicated than that when it comes to plays your team likes to run, what plays the QB executes well and which ones the coaches like to run.

Field Goal: A field goal is the last way a team on offense can score. It happens if they are usually within 40 (which is pretty impressive) to like 25 yards from the goal posts. Typically a field goal is kicked when a team is on their fourth down (or try) to move the ball and they don’t want to risk giving up their last try and want to put some points on the board. A field goal is 3 points.

Interception: So, this is the awful thing that happens when the quarterback accidentally throws a ball to a player on the defensive team. When that happens, the defense gets the ball, and they can run it back to their own end zone for a touchdown. It’s a terrible, terrible feeling.

Punt: This also happens on the fourth down if a team isn’t in optimal field goal position. This gives them a chance to get the ball further away from the opposing team’s end zone so that when the opposing team does get the ball it’s harder for them to score.

Sacking: This is when a defensive player annihilates the quarterback before he has a chance to decide what he wants to do with the ball. This results in a loss of yards, so instead of moving the ball 10 yards, or whatever it happens to be – they have to start from where ever the quarterback falls. Bam. Whenever my team is on defense and they sack a player, my dad always yells, “THAT’S A BIG 10 HIT!”

I think that’s everything that’s important, but I’m not going to pretend I’m not missing a whole lot of really awesome stuff that happens during a football game. I think if you’re still at a loss Google is an awesome source, or your best guy friend. He probably knows a lot. In any event, I am so excited it’s finally football season again. If I can’t drunkenly yell at my screen, then I really don’t want to live anymore.

[Lead Image Via Photo Works/Shutterstock]

Molly is a senior Journalism/English/Broadcasting major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She’s not very good at small talk and English bulldogs are her only vice. She also laughs too hard at any good pun. Follow her Midwestern ramblings @gwacamolly on Twitter.

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