Fiesta’s most unusual play? One-point safety


GLENDALE, Ariz.
— It makes sense that a game that used a zoo tiger to predict the winner would have something as wacky as a one-point safety.

A one-point what?

A one-point safety can occur during extra-point tries in college games because the ball is still live. Should the defensive team recover or intercept the ball and then retreat backwards into its own end zone and be tackled, one point is awarded to the offensive team.

That’s what happened in Thursday night’s Fiesta Bowl. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota scored on a 2-yard TD run late in the third quarter, but Alejandro Maldonado’s extra-point try was blocked by Javonta Boyd. Kansas State’s Ryan Mueller caught the ball and took a couple of steps backwards into the end zone before pitching it to teammate Chris Harper, who was tackled by Oregon offensive tackle Jake Fisher, resulting in the one point.

Fiesta Bowl officials reported that it was the fourth one-point safety in NCAA history. Only two have occurred in an FBS game.

Scoreboard operators were momentarily as perplexed as the crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium, first awarding the point to Kansas State before reversing course.

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