Maybe the reason the officials weren’t calling pass interference in Saturday’s game was because they were too preoccupied with targeting.
“Me and Quincy Mauger, we definitely had maybe two or three chances – I know I had maybe had one shot – of knocking (the receiver’s) helmet off,” Matthews said. “But I let up because the referee had already told me about the rule in the game. He was telling me to watch where I aim my head. He said on a couple of plays I was leading head first. And he was like, ‘we will kick you out for that.’ So one of those plays I actually did let up when I could have just knocked the receiver out and knocked the play out probably.”
Mauger thinks the mindset under the new rule is having an impact.
Mauger said he also let up when he had a play on a receiver catching the ball over the middle. And he thinks it’s part of the reason offenses are putting up such big numbers early on this season.
“It’s definitely had an effect over the whole NCAA,” said Mauger, a freshman from Marietta. “It’s kind of hard for a safety to go from being able to make big impact plays to having to second-guess a play. But we’ve still got to be aggressive towards the ball. That’s it, really.”
Do you think the rule is a big a reason for the defense’s performance as Mauger does? Is the experience factor a bigger deal?