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“Targeting” rule sparks controversy in Ohio State game

[ 0 ] October 19, 2013 |

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The “targeting” rule designed to protect defenseless offensive players from hits above the shoulders led to a controversial moment Saturday in Ohio State’s victory against Iowa.

When quarterback Jake Rudock connected with C.J. Fiedorowicz on an 11-yard, first-quarter completion in Buckeye territory, second-team All-America cornerback Bradley Roby delivered a vicious hit as the tight end turned upfield.

Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) hits Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) helmet to helmet during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) hits Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) helmet to helmet during the first quarter at Ohio Stadium. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)

Officials ruled Roby violated the rule and a mandatory ejection followed.

“You guys could see — was it below the shoulder?” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer asked. “That’s my question. I guess I don’t know. I got fined $30,000 one time for going after an official. So I’m not going to do that.

“But I’m curious to find out the rule and the replay official. That’s supposed to be all replayed. If that’s not true, then I need an answer.”

Meyer is right about NCAA Rule 9, Section 1, Article 4: It is reviewable. The rule outlines, however, that it’s a foul when doubt exists.

The ruling also sparked debate about the ejection of a Georgia player Saturday in that team’s loss to Vanderbilt.

In Iowa’s game, the call led to an All-American missing the remainder of the game. The Hawkeyes were able to later capitalize against a backup on Rudock’s 85-yard touchdown pass to Jake Duzey in the third quarter.

Replays showed that Roby’s initial contact began around the shoulder area, but finished higher.

It was the perfect example, however, of a new rule that continues to be argued.

“The rule’s in place and you live by the consequences of the rule,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I didn’t think that was the closest call today, if that’s what you’re asking. It didn’t appear that way to me. That’s a tremendous crew of officials that we had on the field today.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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