Fake slides now against rules after Pickett’s trick vs Wake

Sports

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett runs for a touchdown against Wake Forest during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The fake slide Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett used to help clear his path for a long touchdown run in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is now against the rules.

National coordinator of officials Steve Shaw has instructed officials, starting immediately, to blow a play dead at the spot where a ball carrier fakes a slide to cause defenders to back off from making a tackle.

“As far as the fake slide play from the ACC Championship Game, there is concern that QBs could be rehearsing their ‘fake slide’ for their post season game,” Shaw wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

Shaw noted the intent of the slide rule was to protect sliding ball carriers who are deemed defenseless.

“Defenders have learned to hold up and back off,” Shaw said. “If we allow the fake slide, the defense may now not hold up, and we could see many unnecessary and dangerous hits to our QBs.”

The ban on fake slides is the result of Pickett’s 58-yard touchdown run against Wake Forest last Saturday. Pickett dropped back as if to pass, took off running and at the Wake Forest 40 dipped his right knee as if he were going to slide to end the play. The move briefly caused a defender in front of Pickett to pull up and briefly stop his pursuit of the quarterback. That allowed Pickett to continue to the end zone.

Pickett acknowledged after the Panthers’ 45-21 win that his fake slide was intentional. Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said after the game the NCAA needed to review its rule on slides.

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