Fuzzy Math: Spring Game Scoring System Explained

Fans attending the annual Orange-White Game at DKR should make note of a new scoring system recently installed for Saturday's scrimmage that will award points for defensive stands as well as bonus points for offensive productivity.

"We tried to make it a lot more fair and now we think it's a good (system)," head coach Mack Brown said. "We feel like it's a very competitive system. One of my jobs will be to make sure that it stays competitive and the kids are in a game type atmosphere so that they'll understand the pressure they'll have in a game."

Every explosive play (runs of 12+ yards, a completion of 16+ yards) results in a bonus point for the offense. So does three consecutive first downs. Oh, and a TD still counts for six points. But the defense gets the extra point if the PAT fails.

The defense will also receive a point for every three-and-out it forces. The defense will be credited with seven points if it returns a turnover for a TD.

"The offense wouldn't kick the extra point," Brown said. "There will be no extra points if the defense scores. It will just be seven points."

A turnover, unless it's a TD, gives the defense three points. The offense will still get three points for a FG but the defense will get the three points if the attempt is blocked. A QB sack is worth two points. The defense will receive four points for a "sudden change", defined as a situation where the offense starts inside the 35 and the defense holds them to no more than a FG.

Brown explains it like this: "If your offense drives from the 10-yard line down to the 10-yard line and misses the field goal, that's still a heckuva change in field position. Last year, the defense would have gotten four points but they thought that was wrong because the offense should have gained something for the 80 yards in field position. If you start inside the 35 and you don't get the field goal, the defense gets four points. The defense gets rewarded for stopping the offense on sudden change with a short field. If the offense gets a long field, then there's no points."

The offense or defense will get the maximum number of points for a certain play rather than the cumulative total. For example, if QB Vince Young breaks a 60-yard TD run, the offense will be awarded six points but not the bonus points for the explosive play. If CB/SS Michael Huff returns an INT for TD, the defense gets seven points for the score but not the extra three points for forcing the turnover.

Got it? Me either. It wouldn't hurt to sit next to an MIT graduate this Saturday. Hey, I mainly just want to see improvement at WR, some semblance of a pass rush, and RB Ramonce Taylor bust a couple of long ones.

Co-Defensive Coordinators Gene Chizik and Duane Akina huddled with OL coach Mac McWhorter to develop the system earlier this week.

"It worries you that I had a Georgia graduate, a Washington graduate and a Florida graduate make these rules up," Brown joked. "It's really scary."

Otherwise, coaches want to approximate as much as possible an actual game day environment for younger players who may not have seen extensive action in front of large crowds. UT Athletic officials estimate that there will be 35,000-40,000 in attendance.

"It will be a game type atmosphere this weekend," Brown said. "We've got a lot of recruits coming in. I think we'll have a big crowd. We just want the guys to feel like they need to finish the spring better than they started. One of our words to them when we started (on February 26) is that there's no finish line in spring practice because it's not the end of the season, it's really the beginning. So, we're looking for a great game this weekend."

Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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