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Big 12 football: Players, coaches concerned about new 'targeting' rule

by Jenni Carlson Published: July 23, 2013

photo - Texas head coach Mack Brown argues a call during the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in San Antonio.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas head coach Mack Brown argues a call during the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

* Art Briles, Baylor coach: “It's something that we're going to have to certainly discuss. I've got to look over it. I've heard two or three different things the last couple days … It's a fine line that everybody's walking. That's the good thing about it. It's not just one conference, one school. Everybody's walking it. We're all doing the same thing at the same time, trying to figure out the parameters that we can coach within and play within. I think the easy concept is if that head's not up, you're in trouble. If there's a guy coming across there and you're leading with (your head), you're in trouble. If you're a running back and you happen to catch a guy and go into him like a bucking bull, so to speak, then you could be in trouble. That's just the reality of the game, and it will happen with us the way it happens with everybody else, and we'll learn as we go. We want to compete, we want to win and we want to be a tough, respected person and country, and that's not going to change. Whatever we can do to help the safety of the game is certainly beneficial. But as far as the game being played in 2085? You better get your seats. You better get them now.”

* Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma cornerback: “I'm not worried about the rule. It is at the back of your mind, but at the end of the day, you can't let that affect your play because that's when you start playing timid. My game is just going out there and playing hard and playing fast. If it happens, it happens. But at the end of the day, as long as I'm going hard, I won't be mad at myself.”

* Trey Hopkins, Texas offensive lineman: “Not very (worried about it) from an offensive line standpoint. I guess on downfield screens, you can sometimes turn back. That would be the only time you would have to be aware of that rule. But I know it will probably affect more linebackers and DBs. I know our coaches, they'll implement that during camp and two-a-days so the guys will be prepared when the season comes.”

Adrian Phillips, Texas cornerback: “I'm actually not worried about it right now. Our coaches prep us on hitting. All I have to do is trust that the refs make the right decision. As a DB, it's more stress, but you can't worry about that.”

* Jacques Washington, Iowa State defensive back: “The targeting situation, I don't like it personally. I understand the penalty. That's cool, but then taking a player out of the game could really change some games this year just because of one play, one mistake. It's all in the ref's hands now, so that's a touchy subject. You've got to kind of aim a different way. It's something you've been taught ... to separate the ball from the player. Now, you kinda got to make sure you don't hit ‘em.”

* Karl Joseph, West Virginia defensive back: “A little bit, because sometimes in the heat of the game, you can't really control it. It just happens. I understand it's to protect players, but I don't think it's a really fair rule for the defense. But we've just got to play smarter, I guess.”

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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