Ask the Official: Can a team score on the same play when it attempts an onside kick?

By Adam Wire | Posted 1/16/2018

Welcome to Ask the Official, a weekly blog series from USA Football. We’ve teamed up with Bill LeMonnier, USA Football rules editor, who’s served as a college football referee and also works with ESPN as a rules analyst. Look for LeMonnier’s blog every week during football season, as we take reader-submitted questions or revisit a controversial play that took place the previous weekend. See below for information on how to submit your questions. Here’s today’s topic:

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Q: Is there any scenario where a kicking team can score on a kickoff or have another play after a kickoff when there is only one second left at the time of the kick?

A: "It's remotely possible, if the receiving team fumbles (not muffs) the kick, and the kicking team recovers and returns it for a touchdown ... or if, on the fumble return, the receiving (fumbling) team pulls the kicking (recovering) team's runner down by the face mask, you would have an untimed down. I say 'remotely' because the receiving team will probably recover the kick and then take a knee."

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USA Football Rules Editor Bill LeMonnier is a former college football referee who currently serves as an ESPN NCAA rules analyst. Click here to ask Bill a question. Make sure to put “Ask the Official” in the subject line.