For anyone who saw the Eastern game on Saturday, you may remember a 2nd half hit by a certain #20 on Eagles wide receiver Greg Herd. Actually, it was more in the path of a severe W.W.E. smack-down move, as Deone Bucannan railroaded the defenseless Herd to the ground with a vicious hit to the facemask area. Herd had all but stopped his momentum after jumping for a high throw that floated a few feet too high from quarterback Kyle Padron. The hit was so hard it is uncertain whether or not Herd will be able to play at Weber State on the 22nd.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott handed down a first half suspension when the Cougs play UNLV on Friday and had his thoughts on handing out the suspension:
In order to appropriately protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we monitor and when needed, act in situations where a blow to the head of a defenseless player was flagrant and/or unwarranted, especially in situations where the hit occurred well after the play was over.
I applaud Scott’s decision here, to be honest I was shocked that Bucannon wasn’t ejected from the game because the hit was so late and blatant. Not only was I shocked, but I was very disappointed in Bucannon’s lack of judgement and self-discipline on the play. Apparently Coach Leach and the coaching staff were on board with my thought process, as Bucannon was immediately pulled from the game (can’t remember if he made his way back in the game or not, although I don’t particularly remember his return). Leach also imposed his own undisclosed disciplinary action on the young Strong Safety from Fairfield, CA.
Anthony Carpenter, who also plays cornerback is currently listed as Bucannon’s backup heading into this week’s game, while former starting safety Tyree Toomer waits in the wings for an opportunity at playing time. Deone will be missed in the first half (if that’s all he misses), because he is the biggest play maker in the Cougar secondary and leads the team with 19 tackles, which also ranks 5th in the Pac-12 through 2 weeks.