Marketing senior Franny Garcia will be watching the Super Bowl but said she doesn’t understand the rules or know the teams. Meanwhile, public relations freshman JQ Gammon said she is a football fanatic.

Although Garcia plans to tune in for “commercials and Beyoncé,” she would also like to know some of the football basics while watching the Super Bowl. Journalism sophomore Trevor Howard is an aspiring sports journalist and said nonsports fans should know a few basics before Sunday.

It’s Super Bowl 50. At 5:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS 11, the Denver Broncos (12-4) and the Carolina Panthers (15-1) will play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. This year, the halftime show will be performed by Coldplay and will feature Beyoncé.

Gammon said she is definitely rooting for the Broncos.

Players to Know

Some important names to know: Cam Newton, Josh Norman, Michael Oher, Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Von Miller, according to Howard.

For the Panthers

Cam Newton, quarterback for Carolina Panthers

“He’s a great precision passer; he can run either in the pocket or out of the pocket. He’s good at scrambling and he can make quick decisions,” kinseology sophmore Johnny Jackson said. “Mainly because he’s young and he’s extremely strong. He can run over any defensive backer or linebacker there is on the field.”

Josh Norman, cornerback for the Carolina Panthers

Norman is arguably one of the best corners in the game; he’s good at guarding receivers and is quick, so he can watch the quarterback and his receiver at the same time and make quick decisions, Jackson said.

Michael Oher, offensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers

“He is huge so it takes different corners, defensemen and linebackers to get around him,” Jackson said. “He’s also strong so he can just push off and throw down players easily and protect the quarterback.”

For the Broncos

Peyton Manning, quarterback for Denver Broncos:

“Basically, the all-time leader in passing,” Jackson said.

Manning is the sole owner of most passing touchdowns in an NFL career and is the oldest quarterback to play in the Super Bowl.

Demaryius Thomas, wide receiver for Denver Broncos:

Jackson said Thomas is one of the best wide receivers on the team because he’s tall and has quick bursts of speed.

Von Miller, outside linebacker for Denver Broncos:

Because of his speed and precision, the guards always have trouble pinning him down, Jackson said.

What do the yard lines mean?

There are 100 yards divided into 10, 10-yard areas from end zone to end zone. The whole purpose of the game is to drive down the field and get a touchdown, which is 6 points.

The team has four chances, or downs, to get to the next 10 yards. Each time you get past 10 yards, the downs start over. When the team makes it past the 10 yards in the first down, that’s referred to as first and 10.

If the team doesn’t get past 10 yards in four downs, they have two options. The team can either try for a field goal, which is 3 points, or the team can try to get the rest of the remaining yards they have during the fourth down.

Terminology to know

Touchdown: The most valuable score in football, worth six points. A touchdown is scored when a player takes the ball across the other team’s goal line or when he catches the ball in the opponent’s end zone.

Field goal: A score worth three points. The kicker scores three points when he sends the ball through the posts and over the crossbar.

Interception: A change of possession where the defense wins the ball back for its offense by catching a pass that was intended for the opposing team’s receiver.

Fumble: When the ball carrier loses possession of the ball. Any player on both teams can recover a fumble.

Turnover: The collective name for interceptions or fumbles recovered by the opposition; a play where the offense turns the ball over to the defense.

Penalty: A foul signified by the throwing of a yellow flag.

Holding: A penalty called for the illegal grabbing of another player, usually called on offensive linemen attempting to block defenders.

How did teams make it to the Super Bowl?

There are two conferences: The American and the National. Each conference contains 16 teams for a total 32 teams in the NFL. Each conference is divided in North, South, East and West divisions. Six teams from each conference make it to the playoffs. The four division winners on each side qualify automatically and are joined by “wild card teams” who qualify with their “win-loss” record.

Howard said once a team makes it to the playoffs, it just comes down to winning the game. From there, the winner of each conference plays each other at the Super Bowl.


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