Portal:American football

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American football, known as football in the United States, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players with an oval ball on a rectangular field 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide with goalposts at either end. The team in possession of the ball (the offense) attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball. In order to continue their drive, the offense must advance the ball at least 10 yards down the field in a series of four downs. If they succeed, they receive a new set of four downs to continue their drive, but if they fail, they lose control of the ball to the opposing team.

The team that has scored the most points by the end of the game wins. The offense can score points by advancing the ball into the end zone (a touchdown) or by place or drop kicking the ball through the opponent's goalpost (a field goal), while the defense can score points by forcing an offensive turnover and advancing the ball into the offense's end zone or by tackling the ballcarrier in the offense's end zone (a safety).

American football evolved from early forms of rugby (particularly rugby union) and association football (soccer), with the first game played on November 6, 1869. Rule changes from 1880 on by Walter Camp included the snap, 11-a-side teams and downs; further rule changes legalized the forward pass and created the neutral zone along the width of the football.

Today, American football is the most popular sport in the United States, where the National Football League (NFL) is the most popular league. The league's championship, the Super Bowl, is among the most-watched club sporting events in the world. College football is also popular in the United States, with the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as the top level competition.

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The Virginia Tech Hokies football team takes the field before the start of the game.
The 2009 Orange Bowl game was the 75th edition of the annual college football bowl game known as the Orange Bowl. It pitted the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion Virginia Tech Hokies against the Big East Conference champion Cincinnati Bearcats on January 1, 2009 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Cincinnati scored first, converting the game's opening possession into a touchdown and a 7–0 lead in the first quarter. Virginia Tech responded in the second quarter, tying the game at seven before taking a 10–7 lead with a field goal as time expired in the first half. In the third quarter, the two teams battled defensively, with only the Hokies able to score any points as Tech extended its lead to 13–7. During the final quarter, Virginia Tech scored its second touchdown of the game, giving the Hokies a 20–7 lead that lasted until time expired. In recognition of his performance during the game, Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans was named the game's most valuable player. Three months after the game, players from each team entered the National Football League (NFL) via the 2009 NFL Draft. Cincinnati had six players selected in the draft, while Virginia Tech had one.


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Quarterback
Credit: Mike Kaplan, USAF

In gridiron football, the quarterback is the leader of the offensive team. At most levels, but especially at the college and professional level, the quarterback is one of the most visible and important roles on the team, being responsible both for calling plays and making decisions during the play. Shown here is Shea Smith of the Air Force Falcons during the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl.

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Scott Zolak
Scott Zolak (born 1967) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. Over the course of his career, he played in 55 games for the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, completed 124 of 248 passes for 1,314 yards, threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and finished his career with a passer rating of 64.8.

A graduate of Ringgold High School and the University of Maryland, Zolak was selected 84th in the 1991 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He did not play in 1991, but started a few games in 1992 and had his most productive season statistically. When Drew Bledsoe was drafted in 1993, Zolak became his backup for the next six seasons. He appeared as a replacement for Bledsoe when he was hurt, but only started three games during this time.

He was released at the end of the 1998 season, and signed with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in 1999, playing in one game for Miami before retiring. After his retirement, he became a sportscaster and football analyst in the New England area.


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