Missouri Tiger middle linebacker and team captain Andrew Wilson will miss the first half of Saturday’s game at Indiana after being ejected during the Toledo game for targeting a defenseless player. There are still a lot of grey areas to this rule. At the beginning of the season I asked coach Gary Pinkel if this rule would apply to ball carriers who had the ball and ducked down as they were getting hit. Pinkel said the rule really only applied to players who were going up for passes and were left vulnerable. Pinkel said ball carriers were not considered to be defenseless.
I believe the Wilson hit is legal. First of all, how defenseless can the receiver be if he has the sense to start ducking. Second, Wilson is not leading with the crown of his helmet and his tackle is lined up for right between the receiver’s numbers. The only reason Wilson’s facemask hits the player’s helmet is because the receiver braces for the hit and lowers his head into the tackling area.
Watch Wilson’s hit. Let me know what you think, by commenting below.