September 11, 2010
To recap from last night's lesson, children, even when you are running free in the open field with no defenders around you, the ball must be in your possession when you cross the plane of the goal line to count as a touchdown. Obviously, highly touted Notre Dame freshman T.J. Jones wasn't paying attention in class:
Fortunately for Jones, his premature exuberance didn't cost the Irish: The touchdown stood to bring the Irish within 21-14 early in the third quarter, though it should have gone down as a touchback, Michigan ball at its own 20-yard line. (As I write, the Wolverines still lead 21-17 with nine minutes to play in the fourth and the Irish still trying to lay a hand on Michigan's super sonic sophomore quarterback, Denard Robinson. UPDATE, 7:03 p.m. ET: It's final: Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24).
No one champions the elaborate touchdown celebration more than I do, but as a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to at least have the option to hand the ball to the ref.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.