While watching the FSU - Virginia catstrophe yesterday, there was a key incidental facemask penalty on a big 4th down play. FSU got 5 yards, but not enough for the first down. But the penalty also included a “replay the down.” Was this a mistake? II didn’t think this penalty included a replay provision. I tried looking it up the NCAA rulebook, but not being a lawyer, I couldn’t decipher it.
So in a nutshell, does the 5 yard incidental facemask penalty also include a replay the down? If so, can a team take the yardage and not replay the down? (if they otherwise had a good play.)
I think all defensive penalties either allow the offense to replay the down or award the offense an automatic first down. Some offensive penalties have a “loss of down” in addition to their yardage (intentional grounding, for example), but most still allow the offense to replay the down.
Usually, if an offense gets more yards than the penalty awards, then they decline the penalty. The exceptions are when declining the penalty brings up a 4th down or a turnover on downs. Then the offense will take the penalty so they can get another chance at the first down. There is no rule that I know of that allows the offense to take the yardage and not replay the down.