In the second half of the Mizzou Tigers and Nebraska Corn Huskers game on Saturday in Lincoln, Mizzou QB Blaine was knocked to the ground by Huskers safety Courtney Osborne with a helmet-to-helmet hit. I posted the video on Monday citing it as an illegal hit and promptly received emails from multiple Huskers fans telling me --politely I might add -- that it was a legal hit.
I'm not sure what tape they're watching.
The TV announcers on the game, particularly ABC's Ed Cunningham, did a great job of quickly identifying the hit as illegal. Both college and NFL are trying to eliminate these types of hits from the game because of the incredible damage it can cause to the players getting hit. The media needs to stop glorifying illegal hits so that fans can understand the hits they're trying to remove from the game and I think the announcers did a great job here of making sure folks knew that this was not an acceptable hit.
"I don't think there was malice involved there," Pinkel said. "We would like them to review it and give us their opinion."
I don't think anyone is suggesting there was malice involved. Frankly, the intent shouldn't matter. The result should. It was an illegal hit and that's what they're trying to eliminate from the game.
When a reporter on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference asked Pelini about what he thought of Osborne's hit, the coach asked, "What do you mean?"
Asked if he thought there was anything wrong with the hit, Pelini said, "I thought it was a good tackle."Pelini said Martin's suspension and the Big 12's review of Osborne's hit won't change the way his defenders play.
This is the second consecutive week we've seen a hit like this from a Huskers player. LB Eric Martin was suspended for a helmet-to-helmet the week prior. Now that Huskers head coach Bo Pelini said that Osborne's was a legal hit -- clearly, it's not -- it makes me wonder if A.) he understands what is and is not an illegal hit and B.) whether they're teaching the wrong technique.
He says he won't change the way his players play despite one of his players being suspended and another one of his players laying a similar hit on a player the following week. I'm sure the Big 12 is thinking to themselves, 'Um, you should change. That's why we suspended one of your players in the first place...so that you would, you know, understand this was illegal.'
That was a big game that lots and lots of fans saw on TV. If the Big 12 and college football is serious about changing the culture of the game, then some sort of discipline needs to be levied. I'm not saying a suspension or anything like that but the conference does need to make some sort of public statement recognizing that it was an illegal hit and there is no place in football for "targeting" like that, as Cunningham suggested on the telecast.