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College Football Rule Change Primer - How Will New Rules Impact Wake Forest?

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There are couple rule changes for the NCAA this year. Some are minor but one is very important.

NCAA Football: Florida State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

College football rules are changing again. This year is no same as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons prepare for the upcoming season.

Although most of the rules are very minor and detailed here (courtesy of AL.com). While most of the rules talk about jersey designs, field markings/advertising, coaches headsets, fair catch of free kicks, etc. a couple of changes that will make the game different to the eye are the uniform requirements and redshirt rule.

Now, knee pads must cover the whole knee and the stomach/back plate will not be exposed. T shirts are also unavailable to hang below the jersey. Due to these rules, the picture above with WR Greg Dortch would be a violation. The penalty would be for the player in question to leave the game for a down or be forced to take a time out and make the equipment legal.

The biggest rule change however is now the redshirt rule. There is clarity about redshirts with players being allowed to play in four games and still maintain eligibility. With this rule in effect, coaches will be allowed to play players, regardless of class year, to play in four games a season before redshirting them, saving a year of eligibility.

For Wake Forest, there are a few players that could really benefit from this rule, most notably QB Sam Hartman who might be a starter at QB until Kendall Hinton comes back from suspension. Other notable players are Zion Keith and Marquis Alston who have both turned heads at camp. Coaches now can play these young players in live game situations and decide if they are seasoned enough to continue playing or better to save their precious four years of eligibility.

Coaches are in love with this rule and finally it seems that players will get earlier chances to prove things in game situations.

There are also a couple of other rules of note. The biggest one here is that a fair catch inside the 25 yard line is now automatically ruled a touchback and it comes out. This is obviously a safety issue, but it will be interesting to see how teams use strategy to their advantage.

One big thing that could also come into play if players and coaches aren’t aware of it is the ten second runoff after a play is overturned with under a minute under a half or game:

The addition of a 10-second runoff was approved when instant replay overturns the ruling on the field inside of one minute in either half, and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock.

This could easily catch a team off guard if they aren’t cognizant of what is going on clock-wise.

The improved pace of play after touchdowns and kickoffs will be welcomed, particularly inside the stadium where the times between those events can often feel very long.

Overall these rules should improve the game, and while the uniform rules somewhat comes off as overregulation it definitely is for the safety of the players.

What do you guys think?