In case you needed a refresher, college football rules state that when a player’s knee or body part touches the ground, they’re down and the play is over. There’s not much of a gray area here, but sometimes, the heat of the moment gets the best of a player, and they lay a hit that’s a little too late.
What Toledo Rockets defensive end Terrance Taylor did during a Wednesday night game against the Northern Illinois Huskies, however, was one of the most disgusting cheap shots you’ll ever see.
Northern Illinois quarterback Ross Bowers rolled left on a read-option play during the third quarter of his team’s 31-28 win. The senior QB slipped on the turf, completely rolled over, and came to a stop on his knees. Play’s over, right?
In comes Taylor like a freight train and, not only does he lead with his head for an obvious targeting violation, but the sophomore who had played in 21 collegiate games to this point tried to decapitate his opponent in a terrifying, violent hit.
Toledo’s Terrance Taylor Lays Hit
You can see Taylor’s teammates immediately react because they knew how dangerous this helmet-to-helmet hit was. Unsurprisingly, Taylor was ejected from the Mid-American Conference football game and was suspended for the first half of Toledo’s next game against the Buffalo Bulls.
“I am disappointed in the play,” Toledo coach Jason Candle said the following morning (via The Toledo Blade). “It’s not something we coach. We’ll use it as a teaching tool for our team on the value of discipline in emotional times.”
This is one of the worst targeting calls you’ll ever see in the sport, and it looks more like a public execution than a football play when you watch it in slow motion.
Fortunately, Bowers remained in the game and led Northern Illinois on a touchdown drive. NIU’s Tre Harbison ran for a season-high with 168 rushing yards on 32 carries to power his team to the victory.
Toledo QB Eli Peters set season-highs across the board, finishing 26-of-38 for 300 yards and three touchdowns, but wasn’t able to deliver his team their fourth MAC win of the year.
Missteps happen on a football field. Overzealous kids make mistakes. I get it. But this hit delivered by Taylor was clearly and obviously intended to inflict pain, rather than make a tackle. I hope he learns his lesson because violent helmet-to-helmet hits like this are scaring parents away from allowing their kids learn the correct way to play football.
This was a textbook version how not to play football. It might be time to buy Terrance Taylor reading material on football’s rules so this doesn’t happen again.