Nothing fires up Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer more than a big, clean hit. He’s spent hours watching players like Jadeveon Clowney light up opponents, hoping to recreate that same magic in his players.
Now all that work may be for naught as NCAA officials will be cracking down this season on the big hits and targeting players — even leading to possible ejections.
“It’s ridiculous,” Spencer said during the Oklahoma State media golf outing at Karsten Creek. “In a fraction of a second you’re asking (Clowney) to do something different. We had three incidents last year where we got personal fouls because at the very last second the offensive player ducked or slipped and there was some head-to-head contact.”
The latest in a controversial rule change stems from Clowney’s hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl, sending Smith’s helmet tumbling across the field — a hit that officials said would have resulted in Clowney being ejected.
“I just hope there’s some common sense that’s applied to (the new rule),” Spencer said. “I hope that people that make the rules realize (players) have made tackles before in their lives running full speed against guys that are running 4.3 (second 40-yard dashes), and they’ll be realistic about it. But at the end of the day a rule is a rule, and if something is called against us out on the field, we have to go to the next play and you have to live with it — whether you like it or not.”
Even with the new rule in place, don’t expect the Cowboy defenders to back off any time soon.
“We just have to make the kids aware of it,” Oklahoma State defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements said. “It’s my understanding that the way they call the penalty might not be any different than what they did last year. The guys on the course gave me the stat that the flag for that penalty was thrown 17 times last year in the Big 12. Now the repercussions are tremendously more stringent with the ejections and everything, but it’s also my understanding that they’re going to review it and make sure it’s the right call to make.