College Football Overtime Rules [NCAAF OT Rules 2023]


For those who love football, there’s nothing, like the excitement of time on the field. Nobody really enjoys ties right? While the NCAA also appreciates gameplay they have implemented their set of regulations to prevent games from dragging on indefinitely. In years they have made some changes to avoid long matches although a few still manage to push the boundaries.

A couple of years ago during the face-off between Illinois and Penn State, these teams engaged in an epic nine-overtime showdown that ultimately saw Illinois triumph with a 20 18 victory.

How does overtime actually work in college football? What are the rules, for 2023 that you should know about?

How Does College Football Overtime Work?


If the game is tied at the end of play each team will have a chance to possess the ball in overtime starting from their opponent 25 yard line.

If the score remains tied after the overtime period both teams will still get possession in the overtime period beginning from their opponent’s 25-yard line.

In the fourth overtime period, each team will have possession. Must start from their opponent’s 3-yard line.

If four overtime periods pass and the score is still tied then the game will be declared a tie.

These new rules were introduced in 2021 to minimize death scenarios and provide both teams with an opportunity to secure victory. In rules whichever team scored first in overtime would win immediately. This sometimes resulted in sudden death situations where one play could decide the outcome of the game.

The updated rules also give both teams a chance to win. In rules, there was an advantage, for the team that went first in overtime. However, under these regulations, both teams now have an opportunity to score during overtime.

New College Football Overtime Rules for 2023

  • In the third overtime period, teams will now alternate two-point conversion attempts instead of starting a new drive.
  • The play clock will reset to 40 seconds after each play during overtime.
  • Timeouts will not be permitted in overtime.

How to Win in College Football Overtime

Securing a win, in college football overtime requires a mix of skill, strategic planning and keeping calm under pressure. In this segment, we will delve into the tactics used by teams to achieve success when a game goes into overtime. From approaches to knowledge, we will share valuable insights, on the crucial elements necessary to come out victorious.

History of College Football Overtime Rules:

Before 1996 college football often ended in ties as there was no overtime. However, the concept of ties didn’t sit well with everyone so the NCAA decided to introduce overtime rules. 

Initially, the rules were straightforward; teams would start at their 25-yard line. Continue until one team failed to score converted on fourth down or turned the ball over. Possession would go back and forth until a clear winner emerged.

In 2019 some changes were made to include two-point conversions starting in the overtime period. After five overtimes alternating two-point conversion plays were introduced. Two years later the NCAA adjusted these changes slightly by requiring two-point conversions, from the overtime and introducing alternating two-point conversions in the overtime.

FAQ’s about College Football Overtime

As with any exciting aspect of the game, questions often arise. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about college football over time and will provide clear and concise answers to help you better understand this thrilling dimension of the sport.

How many overtime periods are there in college football?

There are four overtime periods in college football.

What happens if the score is tied after all overtime periods?

If the game remains tied after all four overtime periods it is considered a draw.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the new college football overtime rules?


  • Give both teams a better chance to win
  • Increase the excitement of overtime


  • Can be complicated and confusing
  • This can lead to more ties
  • Can make overtime longer

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Aishwary Pratap Singh
Aishwary Pratap Singh
Aishwary Pratap Singh is a content creator at Sportzhive who loves sports and anime. He is passionate about both the physical and the creative aspects of these two worlds, and he finds joy in both the action on the field and the adventures on the screen.


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