Three-Point Stance: Saturday Shine and Shame, targeting
Rivals.com 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.
1. SATURDAY SHINE
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.
Washington State – This was a huge win for the Cougars as they hosted Gameday and played to a great crowd.
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.
2. SATURDAY SHAME
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.
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?
3. FLEXIBILITY NEEDED IN TARGETING DISCUSSION
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.