“We still want the game to be physical.”

Tony Barnhart picks up on a facet of the new penalties for hits to defenseless players that I hadn’t noticed before.

But they have also made additions to the list of who qualifies as a defenseless player:

 A quarterback any time after a change of possession.

That last one will catch the attention of SEC fans. In last December’s SEC Championship Game, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray got his clock cleaned by Alabama’s Quinton Dialafter Murray had thrown an interception with about a minute left in the first half.

Georgia fans howled that it was a cheap shot to the head of their quarterback. Alabama fans said it was a clean hit and that the Georgia quarterback had become a defender. No penalty was called. The SEC reviewed the play and determined that no further action was warranted. Shaw did say, however, that Dial should have been penalized on the play but that the play didn’t rise to the level of an ejection.

But that was under the old rules. Regardless of which side you take on that particular play, the reality is that moving forward the rule has changed. A quarterback who throws an interception is by definition a defenseless player and any shot above the shoulders will be a penalty and a possible ejection. Players and coaches are going to have to adjust.

For me, that’s a day late and a penalty short.  But what’s really gonna get me is when I see this called against a Georgia player in a questionable setting.  By Penn Wagers.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to ““We still want the game to be physical.”

  1. uglydawg

    To keep asses like PW honest, each coach should get two or three “strikes” (“we don’t want John Doe officiating our game this week”.. as in striking a potential juror) each year. If an official is stricken(struck?) from a game…he sits out that week…he doesn’t go to officiate another game. If that official accumulates four or five strikes in a season, or …say six over two seasons…he gets canned permanently. Another solution would be to swap whole crews out with another conference. There has to be some accountablility. I realize that the SEC can punish officials by keeping them from doing SEC bowl games, but that is for blatant mistakes. Sometimes it’s not something you can prove” on film (AJ Celebrates?) but the coaches know it when they’be been screwed.
    This is probably a completely unpractical suggestion, but maybe it will start people thinking about practical solutions.

    • GaskillDawg

      SEC basketball used to do that. A coach could request that a certain official not do that team’s games.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      How about the SEC being responsible and just firing the flagrantly bad officials? (PW being #1 on the list but there are others, too). The fact that it hasn’t happened speaks volumes about current SEC leadership. I have been saying for years that Slive has been using certain crews to fix the outcomes of games.

  2. W Cobb Dawg

    Putting Dial’s cheap shot aside for a moment, I’d be more interested in knowing how rule changes effect gtu’s chop blocks. We’ve seen first hand how their blocking causes serious leg injuries (A. Jones, Thornton). Chop blocks aren’t an occaisional dirty hit, its a cornerstone of their offensive approach.

  3. So a qb throws an interception, then he tackles the player that made the interception? I guess the player that made the interception will be penalized since the qb is “defenseless”?

    • Macallanlover

      Haven’t read the rule but there is a huge difference in a player making an “offensive” move than one who is far removed from the play and making no attempt to be a part of the ongoing action.

      I can agree that the play in question should have been flagged simply because of the existing “unnecessary roughness” rule and there is no need for a new rule but I don’t see any difficulty in this rule being simple enough to enforce by a competent official. Dial should have been flagged, and ejected for his cheap shot he took on Murray under the current rules. To argue he was blocking for the return is absurd. If the SEC wants to show it is trying to protect players Shaw should never have said it was a case for ejection, there were plays during the season where players were suspended for legitimate hits making a play on the ball. For clarity the SEC has to take action against unnecessary violence before it attacks borderline calls where they assume they know the puropse was targeting..

  4. Chitown-Dawg

    The thing that still bothers me about the play with Murray and Dial is that it occurred directly in front of an official. He saw it happen and still did not throw a penalty flag despite the helmet to helmet contact. The new rule is still highly arbitrary much like the old, so as the Senator points out, how does this really change things.

    • 69Dawg

      Hell the SEC is the absolute worst at calling any unnecessary roughness, except when it is a UGA player. When last we played LSU one of their pass rushers launched himself at Joe Cox’s head and it was photographed but there was no call. The SEC is the “Million Dollar” Conference with the Twenty-five cent Refs.

    • Otto

      Agreed, and the talking heads were blathering the officials will throw a flag on a hit like that.

  5. Henceforth known as the “Dial-Murray” rule.

    Hey – I like the Voir Dire and referee strike idea. There are plenty of referees at the next level who are anxious to get to the SEC. Weeding out the prima donnas (PennyWagers) and incompetents (Marc Curles Crew) is good for the game.. And – if the SEC has too many weeded out – then Rogers Redding needs to go as well.

  6. If you don’t want to be hit, leave the field. Murray was moving toward the play and the play was still ongoing. That it should be a penalty is debatable but this in not like he was in a throwing motion. Let’s make it simple put the qb in a black jersey, he can’t run the ball, and he can’t make a tackle in the case of a fumble or an interception return.