Don’t think twice, it’s alright.

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?


Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA

22 responses to “Don’t think twice, it’s alright.

  1. William

    Maybe to a degree. However, many times our secondary is just not in position to make a play. Maybe its affecting 3 plays a game or so, but I can’t imagine it impacts more than that.


  2. 92dawg

    I think the rule is having a substantial negative impact around the country on corners/safeties. They just are not making the hits to separate receiver from ball like we have typically seen over the years (legal hits or not – because that’s just too tough of a call for a corner/safety to be able to make in real time – and Lord knows the refs are not going to always get it right even if the hit is legal). It is having an impact on UGA’s defense and all defenses. And the receivers and quarterbacks and offensive coordinators all know it and are taking advantage. Now I know the intent of the rule is good, and I’m not even saying that the rule should not have been made – just saying it is having a significant impact (not by being called, but by the threat of it being called) and I personally don’t like the way it is impacting the game (though if my son was the receiver, I’d definitely like that rule and I get that). It is certainly not the biggest factor in the Dawgs’ defensive play, but it is a factor and I think it has made the adjustment to college ball tougher for our young DBs. They are battling adjusting to the speed of the game and knowing when/where to be, plus the “play fast and hard, but don’t make a hit that will get you tossed.” That’s very, very tough. I wish I knew the science/evidence of the serious injury rate/numbers due to the types of plays that the rule seeks to prevent. If the rules are actually correcting a serious problem as to the health of players, then it is tough to argue against it. But so much of this type stuff seems to be knee jerk and not based on legit science/evidence.


    • The Lone Stranger

      I’ll go ahead and say it for you — “the Rule sucks!” It is the equivalent of instructing a chef to whip up a series of entrees but only after he/she has visited the table and cleared the ingredients with the customers. Lunacy! And eventually it probably will lead to more DEFENSIVE injuries.


  3. fuelk2

    I can tell you that Mauger put the brakes on at the end of play where Landry (I think) caught the ball over the middle right before LSU’s last TD. He was heading right into perfect position and just stopped. There has to be some explanation for that.


  4. fuelk2

    One other thing – JHC knows how to deal with this. That hit he put on the backup fullback to break up the play on the wheel route was textbook and totally clean.


  5. Joe Schmoe

    First, I don’t think this is as big an issue for our DBs as the inability to communicate and get in the correct positions.

    Second, I wonder if this rule is also having an impact on the psychology of WRs and OCs. It now seems a lot less scary to make plays in the middle of the field without the threat of being totally blown up by a DB. WRs aren’t “hearing footsteps” quite as loudly as they once did. It would be interesting to study attempt and catch rates for passes to the middle of the field to see if they have gone up.


  6. AthensHomerDawg

    I know we have all griped one time or another about how he changed his music up… but I liked this a lot. Anyway.


  7. Me too! Man you really know how to rock a girl.


  8. Normaltown Mike

    Don’t think twice, it’s alright?

    Well maybe. But when those yellow hankies start flying, the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.


  9. Bright Idea

    Sounds like the refs too are afraid if they are talking to the players about it. Who wants to make a bad call, have it reversed but the 15 yd. penalty stand in a big game?


  10. mdcgtp

    Richt mentioned this is his PC today. He said that he thinks Matthews play has been impacted by not being sure. He thinks the players have been over coached about the issue. They are going to try to get them to be a bit more aggressive while still emphasizing the need to avoid going high.


    • shane#1

      Amen, I watched Matthews stop running and turn sideways to a reciever that was running down the sideline. It is obvious to me that he is tentative and too afraid off being ejected. I think the staff read him the riot act after his hit on JSW in practice. Matthews playing scared is likely to get HIM injured!


  11. Class A

    Perhaps this is a reason some of the pass interferance calls are not being made. Perhaps this is the way refs can level the playing field. Just saying.


    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Whatever the reason, I have never seen anything like the way the refs called, or did not call, pass interference Saturday…You gotta wonder if the new rule is impacting the way the refs call pass interference in some way…hit early, just don’t hit high?

      There has to be some explanation other than lack of interest.


  12. They were calling it a lot more like it’s called in the NFL. A hand here, a hand there, it is what it is. A nearly-simultaneous hit, probably not gonna be a flag. Tackle the dude before the ball gets there, flag. That’s kinda how it’s going now. The rules tilt towards the offense. “Let them play” levels the field a little. It sucks when they only call it one way, but the line was clearly established in this game, and was held.

    Ticky-Tack PI calls are far more offensive than “let them play” mentality.


  13. Brandon

    To the extent this is an excuse for our defense’s performance particularly it’s bs. Is the rule hurting defenses generally, yes, it is changing the game no question, but that is a problem everyone is facing.


  14. JRW7

    It’s a bad rule, but it errors on the safe side!