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Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston really wanted to snap the ball and moved an official out of the way to do so.
The Seminoles had just completed a six-yard pass on first down and wanted to hurry to the line on second down after the ball was spotted. But since FSU had substituted, Boston College was allowed by rule the opportunity to substitute as well.
So as the Eagles substituted, an official stood between Winston and his center to ensure that Florida State didn't snap it as the line was already set. Winston didn't want him there, as the play call had him directly under center instead of in the shotgun. So he moved him out of the way rather than waiting for the official to get out of the way himself.
It wasn't a malicious play, however, should it have been a penalty? According to the NCAA rulebook (p. 97), "persons subject to the rules shall not intentionally contact a game official forcibly during the game."
Did Winston forcibly contact the official? While some may think so, it's the official who Winston made contact with apparently didn't see it that way, as he quickly moved back to his position and kept the flag in his pocket.
"He was just holding me because he said we had a substitution," Winston said. "It was actually a fast-tempo play, so I was trying to get up under there and let it ride."
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said he didn't think his quarterback realized what he had done.
"I don't think [Winston] realized it. He was caught up in the excitement of the moment," Fisher said. "Hey, you get emotional. He didn't realize. He thought he could snap the ball. ... He knew that was his job -- get out there and set and snap the ball."
Here's another angle. Given how the official moved back to his spot so soon after Winston went under center, if Winston had waited a second or two longer, there would have been no issue at all.
Florida State didn't score on the drive as kicker Roberto Aguayo missed a field goal at home for the first time in his career. The Seminoles won the game 20-17.
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