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The backfield is the area of an American football field behind the line of scrimmage. The backfield or offensive backfield can also refer to members of offense who begin plays behind the line, typically including any backs on the field, such as the quarterback, running back, and/or fullback. Some of the greatest backfields in the history of college football include those of the 1912 Carlisle Indians, 1917 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado, 1924 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and 1945 Army Black Knights. Joe Guyon was a member of both the aforementioned Carlisle and Georgia Tech teams.

Play in the backfield[edit]

There are many rules which differ for play in the backfield as opposed to play in front of the line of scrimmage. A forward pass can only be legally made from the backfield. Most running plays begin with a handoff in the backfield.

If the offensive ball-carrier is tackled in the backfield, the team will lose yards, in that the distance they need to attain for a first down is more than at the beginning of the play.