On Nov. 3 at Iowa State, linebacker Corey Nelson grabbed Cyclones quarterback Steele Jantz’s facemask on the first play from scrimmage.
Saturday against Baylor — on a third-down play — a pass intended for Antwan Goodley was tipped in the air, and senior safety Javon Harris hit him high, drawing a 15-yard penalty.
“I know I’ve been susceptible to that rule and trying to find that medium to where I should hit someone,” Harris said Monday. “I’ve always been a firm believer in going hard. Sometimes they count it as that type of play and sometimes they let it go as a big hit.
“A lot of times, when you are going hard, you don’t think too much about what’s going on as far as if I should hit this guy in the legs … to me, I’m never going to aim at a guy’s face mask. I honestly didn’t think that I did on Saturday.”
Harris admitted that it’s a tough call for everyone involved, including the officials.
“They have to make a call, but I also have to make a play,” Harris said. “When it comes down to it, you have to look at it and play hard. As long as I continue to play hard, sometimes it will get called, sometimes it won’t. You have to find a happy medium.”
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said that, on Thursday of last week, he showed his defensive players a video clip from the Big 12 about targeting.
“(The play in the video) wasn’t excessive to the point of being a suspension or anything, but should have been called but wasn’t,” Stoops said. “It was plain as day and explained and very similar (to Harris’ play). He needs to hit him lower.
“Protecting these kids matters. You can still be tough, physical. You can hit him down here where the ball is. … I thought on that play, the ball was bouncing around up here … I would have liked to have seen him grab the ball off the top of his head and run in for a score instead of hitting him. You just have to keep educating them.”