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How over-extending changed the outcome of the Missouri vs. Auburn and Arkansas vs Texas A&M games in the SEC.

By: Charles W. Boatright

Never Get Over Extended Regardless– of the Advantage that You Might Think You have or gain by Over-Extending gets You into Your Danger Zone

Saturday, September 24, 2022, there were two examples where the football player extended the football out from their body that helped decide the outcome of both games. One was between Missouri playing at Auburn in Overtime and the other was Arkansas playing Texas A&M at Arlington, Texas during the first half.

The first game- Missouri and Auburn that extending the football changed the outcome of the game. The second game- between Arkansas and Texas A&M that just changed the momentum in the game that was favoring Arkansas in one-and-a-half quarters during the first half. Both incidents were where the player extended the football out from their body that analytics don’t support and were bore out in both of these games.

A turnover in a game is a game changer that can devastate a team’s ability to execute their game plan regardless when the turnover occurs. It is very tempting for a runner at the one-yard line of their opponent’s goal line to extend that ball out in hopes that the football will break the plane of the goal line. But there are real ramifications of extending the football beyond one’s body.

One ramification is that over-extending can cause a fumble and the other is that the football goes out of the end zone causing a Touch Back. A Touch Back is where the possession is turned over to the opposing team on their 20- yard line. The risk doesn’t outweigh the few advantages that a team can gain by extending the football.

In The Missouri vs. Auburn Game

In the Missouri versus Auburn game in Overtime, Auburn kicked a field goal to go up by 3. When Missouri took possession at the 25- yard line for their chance to score with a run down the left sidelines for a possible firstdown. The runner was actually tackled short of the goal line inside the five yard line. This could have setup three (3) attempts to score a touchdown at best for a win; and at worst for a field goal on the fourth down to extend the game into the second overtime.

The first down was negated by Missouri runner fumbling the football into the end zone where Auburn recovered and won the game. When I was a running back in high school we were told that the objective was to get the ball into the end zone and not just get the ball across the goal line. That way this would avert a possible devastating fumble on the goal line.


Instead the Missouri runner extended the ball out dropping the ball short of the goal line that traveled into the end zone where the football was recovered by Auburn forcing a Touch Back; and in this case ending the game in Auburn’s favor.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Game

While in this case of Arkansas versus Texas A&M, Arkansas had the ball at the four- yard line of Texas A&M. Arkansas extended the ball over the Texas A&M offensive line without any obvious reason because there wasn’t a first down to pick up or touchdown to score four yards out from the goal line. The football still had to be advanced four additional yards to reach the goal line.

But extending the football out by Arkansas exposed the football to one of the most risky situations, a game changer fumble or takeaway. Texas A&M took the second option of taking the ball away and advanced the football by going around the left end where Arkansas temporarily stopped the runner. But that was short lived; Texas A&M ball carrier handed off the football to another A&M player for a 85- yard touchdown down the life side lines in the first half.

While this takeaway by Texas A&M in the first half didn’t decide the game, it did do something else dramatic, it changed the momentum of the game that was totally in Arkansas’ favor to now being in Texas A&M’s favor. Momentum on such a big stage is difficult to regain, if not impossible, by Arkansas in the second half. That turnover was like a spark that ignited Texas A&M to take over the rest of the game.

Just Thinking Out Loud

I will be watching Thinking Out Loud, hosted by Spencer Hall and Richard Johnson, on how they will cover these two situations on their show that airs on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the SEC Network after The Paul Finebaum Show.

The Week Before in the Arkansas Game

There were two instances in the previous week where Arkansas extended the ball that led to a turnover at key points in the game with Missouri State University. The moral of the story that I’m trying to make in this article is to NEVER EXTEND THE FOOTBALL OUT FROM THE BODY. In most of the cases as I have presented here proves one thing– NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN FROM EXTENDED THE FOOTBALL.

It is pretty simple, it comes down to ball security! Because to cross the line of gain for a firstdown, or to cross the goal line for a score, you have to retain possession of the football. It was drilled into my head to keep the ball until it went out of the back of the end zone and then only relinquished the ball to the referee.

One reason for this type of ball security was that I thought that I was getting enough running exercise in during our strength and conditioning training. I certainly didn’t want to incur more running up and down the stadium steps with the football after practice.

Also for those Working Around the House

Overextending is the number ONE cause of falls off ladders, as well. Even a 6- foot fall can cause serious injuries, especially if you are over the age of 40. I spent five-years on our Fall Protection Safety Committee where I was Chairman for a major utility here in Mississippi.

Below, I showed during my last month working at age 57 with one of my transmission line crews testing out a design for a horizontal life line. I’m the one in the middle on the Double-Steel Channel Crossarm. I retired in June of 2015 to start a sportswear and performance business that I am operating.

First Fall Saturday during College Football Season

I had some friends that have box at Davis Wade Stadium that asked me to join them to see Mississippi State host Bowling Green on Saturday morning. Navy Pilots refer to weather like we had on Saturday 24, 2022, as CAVU- Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The temperatures didn’t reflect the Fall day that we would like to have had. I’m shown below with our A-2 Leather Flight Jacket that I carry in my Online Store.