Key Rule Changes for 2019 College Football Season

NCAA branding on a football, Photo Date: 7/22/2011 / Cropped Photo: Tom Woodward / CC BY-SA 2.0 / (MGN)

Madison, Wisconsin As kickoff of the 2019 college football season is around the corner, there are key rule changes all fans should be aware of.

The first rule change pertains to one of the most controversial calls in any game, targeting. As is, the targeting foul carries the penalty of ejection for the player committing the foul. New in 2019, if a player is ejected for targeting a third or more time that season, they will also be ineligible to play the following game. If the third targeting foul occurs during week three, the player will be ineligible for the team's week four game, or if the third or more penalty occurs during a bowl or CFB playoff game, that suspension will carry over to the season opener the following season.

As targeting fouls have been questioned in the past, a new rule for instant replay administers that the call on the field will either be confirmed or overturned. This is different from targeting calls being affirmed as "stands" in the past.

Additionally, college football is changing it's overtime rule to help protect players from fatigue should a game go into seven extra time periods, like the LSU-Texas A&M game of 2018. Starting in 2019, each team will have only one play: a two-point conversion attempt from the three-yard line starting with the fifth overtime.

A rule change to special teams will also occur, as the two-man wedge will be illegal on kickoff return, and carry a 15-yard penalty. Two-man wedges are still legal during an onside kick or when the play results in a touchback.

The final rule change is for the blindside block as it is now illegal to deliver a blindside block with forcible contact. If the block delivers a blow to the head or neck area, it is ruled as targeting. The new rule makes any blindside block, no matter the area delivered to, carry a 15-yard penalty.

All these rule changes were reviewed and approved by the NCAA in April of 2019.