Friday, August 15, 2014

Taking look at officiating points of emphasis

Anybody watching a preseason NFL game can see that limited the hands to the face and contact by defensive players after the offensive player has gone more than five yards down field as major points of emphasis. I couldn't even guess how many times a player was whistled for a hands to the face call in last night's Jacksonville/Chicago game.

So it is only natural to want to report on what the points of emphasis are in the college game. Thankfully the National Football Foundation in conjunction with the Rogers Redding, College Football Officiating's national coordinator, put together a cheat sheet.

First, the rules changes. This year replay can not only reverse the ejection of a player called for targeting but can also remove the 15-yard penalty as well.

Defensive players can no longer make contact with the quarterback at the knee or below if he is in a passing posture.

There will also be a great emphasis on cracking down on taunting and unsportsmanlike behavior as well as making sure players and coaches remain off the playing field while play in going on. There will likely be more flags through for sideline interference than in past years.

At the last media availability session I asked UConn football coach Bob Diaco for his thoughts on the new rules and points of emphasis by the officials.

"It is a huge piece," Diaco said. "There are major points of emphasis specifically in our conference and in the country. One is taunting, that is not going to be accepted or acceptable; sideline control is not going to be accepted or acceptable; obviously they changed the rule on targeting, it is still the same but a higher emphasis point on what is a strike zone and now the quarterback now has a strike zone and it is not just below the shoulders. If you don't abide by that, you are going to get penalized and it is a good thing."



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