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Three-Point Stance: Saturday Shine and Shame, targeting

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MORE: Five weird things from Week 8 in college football National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with Saturday Shine and Saturday Shame from the weekend, as well as more targeting awfulness.


Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore (AP Images)

Here's a look at the teams, units and players that should feel good following their performance in Week 8.

Purdue – What a great win for the Boilermakers in a dominant fashion over the No. 2 team in the country. They played a complete game from offense to defense to special teams and Urban Meyer was out-coached by Jeff Brohm.

Antonio Blackmon, Purdue – He made so many plays on the football that he looked like Jalen Ramsey out there.

Rondale Moore, Purdue – The former three-star is an absolute difference-maker and was the best player on the field for either team.

Michigan – A big, gutty win over a ranked rival, this was an important win for Jim Harbaugh especially with Ohio State losing. The Wolverines are sitting pretty right now.

Washington State – This was a huge win for the Cougars as they hosted Gameday and played to a great crowd.

James Williams, Washington State – Did you see the run where he broke eight tackles? Williams is one of the best players no one has heard of.

LSU – Another dominant performance from LSU, especially on defense, as the Tigers march toward the big showdown with Alabama. This game was a joke and LSU outclassed Mississippi State.

Clemson – The big ACC showdown was a blowout as expected as Clemson dominated NC State with ease. NC State had zero chance from the start.

Alabama – The Crimson Tide continue to dominate and put teams away in the first quarter just as they did with Tennessee this weekend.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama – He is easily the Heisman front-runner with 25 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Oklahoma Kyler Murray continues to dominate and the offense continues to outscore anyone not named Texas. TCU hung around for a bit,, but in the end it was a blowout.

Nebraska – Congrats to Scott Frost on his first win as Nebraska’s head coach. The Huskers didn’t beat a great team, but they held on for the win over Minnesota and he got a bath anyhow.

Washington – I’ve been railing on Washington for not beating a good team by more than a score for awhile now so the Huskies deserve a few props for their win over Colorado. They beat a good team by a good margin.

Utah – This Utah team is hard to figure out. The Utes handled USC with ease after playing down to opponents numerous times this season. This is how they’ve been for years now.


Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer (AP Images)

Here's a look at the teams, units and players that should be feeling some heat following their performance in Week 8.

Ohio State – Once a year it seems Urban Meyer and his team just drop the ball against an opponent they should beat. Purdue dominated this game in many ways and the Ohio State defense was an embarrassment.

Michigan State – I like Michigan’s defense but the Michigan State offense looked horrible all game long. The Spartans were lucky to score.

Oregon – The Ducks came out flat and lost to an inferior opponent and also got out-coached. Oregon should have won this game on paper.

Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State – He’s one of the most overrated players I’ve seen in the SEC in a long time. He looked absolutely horrible against LSU.

NC State -- Ryan Finley? Good wide receivers? I didn’t see anything that showed me this was an NC State team that had any chance to beat Clemson. The Wolfpack looked outmatched from the start.

Penn State – The passing game was awful and the Nittany Lions barely escaped Indiana. James Franklin said they want to be “elite” rather than “great” and they barely look good.

Kentucky – A one touchdown win over Vanderbilt as a top-15 team in the country is nothing to brag about at all.

USC – This is the biggest disappointment of a team in the country when it comes to talent and wins and losses. How do the Trojans keep playing at such a weak level?


I’m upset again. If you watched the awful LSU-Mississippi State game into the fourth quarter then you saw what I saw – the problem with the targeting rule. LSU star linebacker Devin White pushed Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald just below the neck late in the game on a pass pressure and was flagged for targeting. This means that he was not only ejected from the game but now has to sit out the first half of the Tigers' showdown with Alabama in a couple of weeks. What a joke.

This rule has to be looked at and looked at quickly. The fact that we won’t get to see LSU’s top defensive player against the potent Alabama offense in one of the best games of the season because of a weak push sickens me. If they are going to keep this stupid targeting rule, at the very least there should be some flexibility with it.

Here's my suggestion: separate targeting into Grade 1 and Grade 2 categories. A Grade 1 offense would be an egregious helmet-to-helmet blow with the crown of the helmet lowered, while a Grade 2 offense should be a weak push like what White did Saturday. Players guilty of committing a Grade 1 targeting penalty could be ejected and miss the next half, while a Grade 2 penalty would simply be a 15-yard penalty.

What I saw from the White play on Fitzgerald would have barely qualified as a Grade 2 and 15-yard walk off, but it should never be a suspension for the first half of the next game.

We have a big problem when weak calls start potentially influencing outcomes of de facto playoff elimination games. And that’s exactly what we are dealing with here. In the waning minutes of a game that was over and meant little, we lost one of the game’s stars for a big game. Take a look back at the hit and tell me I’m wrong because there’s no way I am.

White should be playing against Alabama in the first half and this targeting garbage needs to be refreshed. Enough said.