At least one team is looking to copy the XFL.
According to the Post and Courier, the Citadel is swiping a pair of rule tweaks from the rebooted XFL league that are different from the NFL’s game to add intrigue to the team’s spring game.
“The last two weeks I’ve been watching the XFL, and I really liked a couple of aspects of it,” Citadel coach Brent Thompson told The Post and Courier. “One thing I really like is the kickoff. During a spring game, you don’t usually do a kickoff, because it can be a dangerous play. But the way the XFL does it is pretty safe, and it was a chance to get a special-teams play executed.”
The XFL kickoff changes have been widely praised for the way they eliminate the violent collisions that so commonly happen at other levels of the game. In the XFL, the kicker lines up from the kicking team’s own 35-yard line to boot the ball. On the other side of the field, the entire return team lines up at the return team’s 30-yard line, while the entire coverage team lines up just 5 yards away at the return team’s 35.
Neither the coverage team nor the return team can move to engage opponents until the kick returner catches the ball.
The Bulldogs will also use the XFL’s extra point system, where teams who score touchdowns have the option to go for conversions of one point (from the 2-yard line), two points (from the 5-yard line), or three points (from the 10-yard line). The scoring team lines up at the designated yard line and has just one play to get into the end zone to complete a successful conversion.
“We have our punter (Matt Campbell) also playing place-kicker for us, so I thought the next best thing was the extra point rule,” Thompson told the Post and Courier. “And the more I thought about it, I said let’s just play a game with XFL rules, and the kids will have fun with it.”
Another tweak to the Citadel’s spring game will be the XFL’s double forward pass option. It stipulates that there can be an offensive play with two forward passes, as long as the first forward pass is behind the line of scrimmage.
Quarters will be 12 minutes long, and overtime will be in a shootout format that mimics what the XFL has in place – even though none of the league’s 16 games so far this year has been tied at the end of regulation – where teams alternate with one offensive play from the 5-yard line to score.
One final twist to the game is that senior quarterback Brandon Rainey and senior linebacker Willie Eubanks III will act as head coaches of their respective teams and will draft the remaining spots left on their teams.
The game will be held March 7.
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