You definitely can’t do this:
That’s Alabama defensive back Tony Brown running into and obstructing Florida State receiver Nyqwan Murray late in the second quarter of the teams’ game Saturday in Atlanta. Brown contacted Murray well before Deondre Francois’ pass arrived.
On his way to the locker room at halftime, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher looked angry. ABC’s Maria Taylor asked him what his issue was, and he replied: “Why that wasn't interference?" Fisher’s beef about the lack of a call was entirely legitimate.
DBs can contact receivers before the ball gets to them, but they can’t ram into them on purpose without making any play on the ball. That’s what Brown did, and the Big Ten officiating crew calling the game somehow let him get away with it.
From the NCAA’s football rulebook:
If opponents who are beyond the line collide while moving toward the pass, a foul by one or both players occurs only if intent to impede the opponent is obvious. It is pass interference only if a catchable forward pass is involved.
I haven’t asked him, but Brown’s intent to impede Murray is about as obvious as it gets.
Instead of having the ball on Bama’s doorstep, FSU eventually had to settle for a field goal attempt. That got blocked, leaving FSU down three at the half.