Football rules question

I saw a strange two-point conversion play over the weekend in one of the wild multiple overtime games. The defender intercepted the pass effectively foiling the attempt, but then immediately fumbled it out of bounds. It almost went into the end zone though. Now if it *had * gone into the end zone and he jumped on it there, or if it rolled through the end zone and out of bounds, that would normally be a safety, right? What happens on a conversion attempt? And is it different in the NFL and NCAA?

If the defender had fallen on the ball in the endzone he was defending, it would be a touchback. But during a two point conversion attempt it means the play is dead and the attempting team did not get any extra points.

Kentucky - Tenn, right?

The ball was intercepted outside the endzone, then fumbled back into it, muffed around, and then went out of bounds.

If it went OOB in the endzone, this would be a safety awarded to the offense (ball dead behind goalline, team defending the goal line is responsible for it being there). Safeties are worth 1 point on an extra point try.

That’s the NCAA rule, BTW. In the NFL, the defense can’t score on a try, so the try ends immediately when the ball is intercepted.

Yep, Tennessee v. Kentucky. In the NFL, the play would end on the interception even if the ball was then taken away by the attempting team and run into the end zone?

Yes, according to the “rules digest” the play ends immediately when the defense gets possession. I have a 2006 NFL rulebook at work; I’ll look up the rule reference tomorrow if you’d like.

NFL 11-3-1: (b) if a Try results in what would ordinarily be a touchdown by the offense, two points are awarded. If a touchdown is not scored, the Try is over at the end of the play or if there is a change of possession.

(emphasis mine)

Safeties on a try score 1 point, but since the try ends when the kick is blocked or the defense gains possession, a safety can only result from the defense kicking or batting a fumble back into the endzone.

A.R. 11.3 During a Try, placekick holder A1 fumbles. B1 kicks, bats, or muffs the loose ball (new impetus) on his 2 and it goes out of bounds behind the goal line.
Ruling: Ordinarily a safety (11-4-1). Award one point.

OK, a follow-up question then: has any team ever had the score of one point for any period of time?

In American football, you can’t finish with just one point. You can only get one point as either kicked PAT or a safety on a PAT.

I believe a forfeit in football is recorded as 1-0.

This is another difference between US and CFL rules - in the CFL, if the defence intercepts on a two-point conversion attempt, the ball is live and the defence can try to run it back for two points. That happens very rarely. The last time I remember seeing it was 10 years ago, in the Western Semi-Final between the Stamps and the Riders - the Riders scored 2 points on a defensive convert.

I doubt it. It would take the unlikely event that a team scores a touchdown, then somehow manages to lose 98 or 97 (NFL/NCAA) yards on the point after attempt and the defense is awarded a safety.

A 6-1 score is possible, but I doubt it will ever happen.

Happens all of the time in Canadian football.

But that’s because any kick(punt or field-goal attempt) that is downed in the end zone scores a single point.

If the interception had been returned 100 yds, would it have been one point, or two? In regulation, it would’ve been two points…is it different in OT?

(I’m talking NCAA rules…let’s not muddy the waters any further.)

2 points. Any sort of TD scored during the point after try is worth two points. Safeties and field goals are worth 1.

Just to be clear, 'cause I’d very much like to have such a trivia question to torture my friends. If a safety is worth 1 point on a 2-point conversion try in the NFL, then:

The team that has scored a touchdown goes for 2 on the PAT. For whatever reason (Heinz Field on Monday, for example), the ball goes all the way back to the offensive team’s end zone, where it is recovered by the offensive team such as to score a safety for the defense.

Would this be worth 1 point? If so, a team could really end up scoring only 1 point in a game.

Farfetched, but theorically possible, yes or no?

Yes theoretically possible, and exactly the improbable event I was imagining in post #11.

But-- while the NCAA rules are very clear that this would be a 1-point safety, and the score then 6-1 (assuming it’s the first TD in the game), the NFL rules are not so clear.

The rule says “© if there is no kick and the Try results in what would ordinarily be a safety by the defense, one point is awarded to the offensive team.”

There is no analogous rule for “safety by the offense”. “If a touchdown is not scored, the Try is over at the end of the play”, would imply no points are awarded and the Try just ends.

The only example for a safety on the Try in the NFL rulebook is AR11.3 I cited above.

I’ve been told that there is no way the defense can score on the Try in the NFL.

Note also that the score would be 6-1. It’s impossible for the score (south of the Canadian border) to ever be 1-0.

Thanks aktep. That was precisely what was behind my question: NFL rules are not clear on this matter. But I’ve also heard many times that the defense cannot score in any way on a PAT attempt.

Which at least creates consistency with the ‘play is immediately over when the defense gains possesion’ rule. Otherwise, if a ball somehow rolled backwards 98 yards to the end zone, the offense (if they were smart enough to think it through) would be trying to get the defense to recover the ball (immediately ending the play), while the defense would be trying to get the offense to recover it (giving them point(s) for the safety).

There was another wrinkle in the Tennessee-Kentucky game, however, because the PAT in question took place during the third overtime, when the rules require the offense to go for two.

The rule says,

Here we would have had a situation where the offense attempted a two-point try, but ended up with a one-point try anyway. Would the point have counted?