clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Following up on Syracuse’s targeting calls vs. Holy Cross

You may still be annoyed, but apparently the calls are correct.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Holy Cross v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange had a fairly uneventful win over Holy Cross on Saturday, save a few moments here and there. Two of those more notable happenings were targeting calls against Orange defenders Tyrell Richards and Andrew Tuazama, respectively.

Personally, wasn’t surprised at all with the second, but the first led to some head-scratching (and the same went for much of the SU fan base). Richards came at the quarterback unblocked and led with his forearms. However, he lowered his head before completing the sack. And that, apparently is the key to him getting flagged.

The Daily Orange spoke to Terry McAulay, the former coordinator of football officiating for the Big East, about the hits and he agreed with both calls winding up “targeting.” Tuazama’s was pretty cut-and-dry, but Richards’s really did come down to lowering the helmet, despite what he led with.

I was adamant that the call was wrong on Saturday, and while I still don’t agree with the rule as it stands, Richards probably could’ve went lower, or avoided lowering his helmet before tackling Connor Degenhardt. The replay shows there was some time for adjustment, and with the rules written the way they are, it’s tough to argue against the penalty and ejection.

Of course, Syracuse has seen its fair share of bad hits against quarterbacks in recent years — especially with regard to Eric Dungey, who took quite a few from 2015 to 2018. While some of those were flagged, plenty weren’t and some of that potentially gets chalked up to how Dungey seemed to court contact. There was also a suplex move some may have remembered from the SU-Clemson game at the Dome several years back — one that looked much worse than what Trill Williams was flagged for against Holy Cross (not a targeting call, but a personal foul). The linebacker in question, Ben Boulware, was celebrated for such a tackle. At least he was flagged at the time.

This may sound like a lot of complaining about officiating, but more, we’re just looking back at what occurred in light of the D.O.’s interview. Hopefully SU just avoids the same sort of behavior going forward, so it’s not an issue.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Explained: The NCAA’s targeting rule and how Syracuse fits into it (Daily Orange)

“Had those plays not been called targeting by either on-field [officials] or replay they would’ve really been remiss in their duties,” said McAulay, who now serves as a football rules analyst for NBC Sports. McAulay added that Syracuse’s hits met the “exact criteria” of targeting.

4 Syracuse football backups who made a case for more time vs. Holy Cross (

Jones appeared squarely in that camp. The first-year linebacker has started to progress in his development and looked more confident in his decision making after the snap. He made a tackle in space holding the edge early in the second quarter, timed out a blitz perfectly early in the fourth to help force a fumble and disrupted an RPO so early that the quarterback had no choice by to keep the ball and be tackled by Drew Tuazama near the line of scrimmage.

Best case scenario for every ACC football team (247Sports)

Syracuse. Best case: 8-4, 5-3 — The special season Syracuse fans dreamed about all summer went down the tubes against Maryland in Week 2 and a 35-point home loss to Clemson the week after that put the Orange on life support outside the Top 25. Dino Babers will salvage a bowl invite out of this and there’s been promising signs offensively over the past two games, both blowout wins, but we aren’t going to know if Syracuse has fully recovered until a Thursday night game at N.C. State on Oct. 10.

Fear keeps NCAA from embracing name, likeness changes for athletes (USA Today)

When you talk to athletics directors without notepads or tape recorders, many of them will acknowledge privately that big-time college athletics has grown too big, too rich, too corporate and too hypocritical to forever maintain a system that prevents athletes who clearly have monetary value from receiving anything beyond their scholarship.

Handicapping the race for the Raptors’ final roster spots (The Athletic)

Oshae Brissett – 75 percent. This number has climbed significantly since Summer League, where Brissett underwhelmed and it looked as if he may have gone pro too early. It’s been nothing but momentum from there, first with Canada Basketball under Nick Nurse, then in the Raptors’ offseason player development program and now with one of the first championship belts awarded in camp.

Wesley Johnson on TalkBasket: The career expectations in NBA and Europe, his years in LA, Pitino’s advice and being crossed over by Harden (TalkBasket)

How Tyrann Mathieu helped convince Antwan Cordy to return to Syracuse football (

Freshman Alex Steigelfest is emerging as one of Nicky Adams’ leaders for the future (Daily Orange)

Laura Graziosi manages a mechanical engineering major while starting for Syracuse (Daily Orange)