College football pass interference rule, explained

College football pass interference rules are different than the NFL. Here’s the big difference in the college football pass interference rule and the NFL.

Every year, football fans get confused by the difference in pass interference rulings in both the NFL and the NCAA.

It is quite the stark difference, and we have you covered.

What is the college football pass interference rule?

Here is how the NCAA 2021 rulebook officially defines the defensive pass interference rule:

Defensive pass interference is contact beyond the neutral zone by a Team B player whose intent to impede an eligible opponent is obvious and could prevent the opponent the opportunity of receiving a catchable forward pass. When in question, a legal forward pass is catchable. Defensive pass interference occurs only after a legal forward pass is thrown.

As for the penalty itself, there is a maximum penalty of 15-yards enforced in college football, regardless of where the interference occurred. However, if the foul took place closer to the line of scrimmage, the on-field officials will enforce it at the spot of the foul.

That is a vast difference from the NFL’s penalty, where defensive pass interference can be enforced at the spot of the foul, no matter how far downfield it occurred.

So there you have it. That is the major difference between the pass interference penalties in the NCAA and NFL.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

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