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Monday, November 28, 2011

Did a Blow to the Head Knock RG3 Out...of Contention for the Heisman Trophy?

My fellow Baylor Bears and I were privy to another exciting game this weekend (actually three, but I'm talking football here). Our 66-42 rout of Texas Tech was significant for many reasons. For one, it capped the Red Raiders' first losing season since 1992, and we knocked them out of Bowl contention. Probably the most exciting play of the game came late in the third quarter, when Joe Williams, our stocky, 5'10" sophomore cornerback, picked off Tech QB Seth Doege and ran the ball back 90 yards for Baylor’s seventh touchdown of the game.
What the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout (which apparently is what this game was called) will probably most be remembered for is Robert Griffin III's head injury and subsequent absence from the second half. As Stephen Hawkins of the AP put it:

Griffin had scrambled from one side of the field to the other and slid inside the 5 with a first down when defensive back Cornelius Douglas came in hard with an elbow that knocked Griffin’s head back to the turf. The quarterback remained flat on his back for a couple of moments before coming out of the game for a play. He then returned for his second touchdown run to make it 31-21.
What's missing from Hawkins's summary but probably obvious to anyone familiar with the rules of the game is that Douglas's blow was a late (and ergo illegal) hit. Had this occurred in the NFL, he would've been fined and probably ejected from the game. Instead, his team was penalized, and he was allowed to play the rest of the game.
In fairness, it's not clear whether Douglas intended to hit RG3. Often times, these guys already have their bodies or body parts in motion when the clock stops. The bigger story may be the stellar performance of backup Baylor QB Nick Florence, who was 9 of 12 for 151 yards, including a pair of long touchdowns. Here on the Baylor campus, however, there's much chatter about how this might effect Griffin's Heisman chances.
Last week, after his record-shatterring performance in Baylor's unprecedented defeat of OU, RG3 was the talk of the town. Y! Sports' Eddie George and Pat Forde both listed him as their No. 1 pick to win the Heisman Trophy. I even joined in the media hype. Now, people are wondering if he'll even play in our season finale vs. Texas. He insists he will, but I'm getting tired and would like to wrap up this post. Good night.

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