Tonight on David Letterman...

Here's an interesting penalty call from the Virginia - Florida State game that I'm watching for my bowl project. It was eventually called as an ineligible receiver downfield on the center (the right guard was too but no need to call both). FSU's coach was upset about this call because he thinks his receiver #80 was held and/or pushed beyond the line of scrimmage.

Two sequences of screenshots, first from the goalposts:

Second sequence, from the sideline:

So clearly FSU is setting up a tunnel screen, and the receiver #80 is supposed to catch the ball behind the LOS, making the leading lineman okay to be downfield (because it's not a forward pass if the catch is behind the LOS? I need some help with the terminology here).

My understanding is that the reason the refs called this as an ineligible receiver downfield is that the receiver was beyond the LOS when the ball was released (or when it landed?), meaning that it's just a regular old passing play where you don't get to have linemen downfield.

Question #1 - do I have this right, is this what the refs are thinking?

Next, FSU's coach was hollering at the refs on the sideline, saying it was a hold, presumably by Virginia DT #55. I've tried to provide as much context as I can from the screenshots, the only thing I can add is that it doesn't look like what I understand a hold to be, where something is grabbed and other player is detained. Instead it just looks like the DT just flies at him and whacks him with his hand, which further pushes the receiver past the LOS - the receiver was already retreating from the DT on his own (or I guess advancing since he's going towards the endzone, the hit is backwards and I need help here understanding if that's relevant).

Question #2 - is FSU right and this should have been a hold, or at least negate the ineligible downfield call because the receiver was forced past the LOS? If so, what are the relevant factors about the contact? If not, why not?

/r/ducks Thread