The way Auburn played last week they could have declared a "defenseless player " on every down in the second half..
After Saturday’s 45-7 win over Auburn, Georgia’s Mark Richt singled out for praise a wicked lick delivered on a Tiger kickoff return as his favorite play of the game:
“I thought the most impressive play of the game was when Quintavious Harrow had that knock-’em-back, get-everybody-in-the-stadium-excited tackle. That ignited our football team.”
For good reason. Harrow’s hit belted Auburn’s Tre Mason into the exosphere. Of course, the hit was also a pretty clear helmet-to-helmet blow:
So how will the SEC see that play? Harrow was not flagged by SEC officials during the game. Perhaps the SEC office will arrive at the conclusion that Harrow leaning in with his shoulder and his helmet and Mason’s motion took him into Harrow’s helmet. Or maybe the league office won’t view Mason as a “defenseless” player.
While the hit is not as straight-on, no-questions-about-it nasty as the lick that earned Arkansas’ Marquel Wade a suspension two weeks ago, it’s far enough into the same ballpark to draw comparisons:
If Harrow is not given a suspension, you can bet Arkansas fans — some of whom have already been emailing us — will howl (or snort) in protest.
If Harrow is given a suspension of some kind, Georgia fans will yelp.
In the NFL, intent matters little and Harrow would receive a fine for that hit. But the SEC typically weighs in only on egregious rules violations. Best guess: The league office will not view Mason as defenseless while it did so in the case of Vanderbilt’s Jonathan Krause, whose eyes were clearly turned toward the heavens searching for a punt. Mason had the ball in his hands and was returning the kick.
Harrow’s hit was part of a collision. Wade’s hit was all on Wade as he teed up a punt returner.
But we’ll have to wait and see. We were correct in expecting a harsh, full-game suspension for Wade, but we were incorrect in believing that LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu would receive a half-game suspension for the blindside clothesline he used on Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick a week ago.
In other words… we’re not Mike Slive.