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Big 12 Releases Statement on Kennedy Brooks/Caleb Williams Handoff Ruling

The Oklahoma quarterback took the ball away from the Sooners running back to pick up a crucial first down in the fourth quarter.

It was one of the most heads-up plays you’ll ever see on a football field.

But, was it actually legal?

According to the Big 12 - yes, it was.

On a 4th & 1 with just over three minutes remaining in Oklahoma’s contest with Kansas on Saturday, the Sooners elected to go for it despite being on their own side of the 50-yard line.

Quarterback Caleb Williams handed the ball off to redshirt junior running back Kennedy Brooks who got stuffed with nowhere to go, but then alertly handed the ball back to Williams who pushed it across for a first down.

After a lengthy review, it was deemed the play was in fact legal and the Sooners were awarded the first down.

After the game, Big 12 Coordinator of Officials Greg Burks released a statement on the ruling which in fact did confirm that the call was made correctly during the game.

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“The reviewable aspects of the play were position of the ball in relation to the line of scrimmage and if possession was ever lost by the offense,” Burks said in the statement. “The ball never crossed the line of scrimmage and there was never a loss of possession, not a fumble, so this play was a forward hand- off behind the line of scrimmage.”

“That action is allowed under Rule 7- 6- a which states: ‘A Team A back may hand the ball forward to another back only if both are behind their scrimmage line and the player handing the ball forward has not had their entire body beyond the neutral zone.’”

So, the incredible play by Williams and Brooks holds up as a legal play and can be celebrated as such moving forward.

The effort by the two picked up a massive first down for Oklahoma that helped them move down the field and eventually score the game-clinching touchdown in the final minute.

The Sooners’ 35-23 win over Kansas moved them to 8-0 on the season and extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 16 games. 

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