Tahlequah Daily Press

OSU Sports

July 23, 2013

Offenses creating parity in Big 12 football

Big 12 football notebook

(Continued)

Think young: At 33 years old, Kliff Kingsbury is the youngest head football coach in the history of the Big 12. However, he believes his age will help him on the recruiting trail. After all his last season as Texas Tech’s quarterback was just 11 years ago.

“I think not only age, but being in a place that I played and wasn't too far removed from, I think that helps,” he said. “It’s easy to sell a product when you lived it and you loved it and you're telling the parents and telling the kids. Hopefully, they see that passion.”

Kingsbury was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M last season.

More defensive limitations?: The NCAA has added the stiffest penalty for tacklers targeting about the shoulders this season. Players can be ejected after one offense this season.

The penalty has been implemented because every level of football is doing what it can to limit head injuries.

However, some believe trying to take away vicious hits are just too drastic. Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker is among that group.

“You have running backs that are 6-foot-1, 6-2 and 220 pounds. They have the ability to come at you in the open field and run you over in front of 60,000 fans. They can embarrass you, No. 1. No. 2, the minute you have a wide receiver going over the middle and you can’t do that (stop him with a punishing hit),” he said. “We all understand about helmet-to-helmet and that it’s all about safety. But when you start taking away big hits, it’s not football.”

The hits that used to go directly to highlight videos will now send players directly to the showers. It’s a tough sanction, but leagues from the NFL down to junior high schools are doing everything possible to curb concussions.

Walker believes the “targeting” rule is going make things even tougher for defenses. They were already struggling stopping offenses that make their living with short passes over the middle of the field. The rule change removes some of the intimidation factor linebackers and safeties had over some receivers.

“You’re going to have a lot of players getting kicked out of games or you’re going to have a lot of touchdowns,” he said.

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