August 13, 2013 - 6:34 PM
By Rodney McKissic
NCAA referees are placing an emphasis on head
hunting or targeting this season, which has Lou Tepper concerned.
The UB defensive coordinator understands
the intent of the rule – concussions are a huge point of discussion – but he
would prefer that instant replay was involved.
If a hit to the head is deemed intentional or if a
player lowers his head and leads the crown of his helmet, the player will be
ejected from the game. If the play occurs in the second half, the player will
be tossed and also suspended for the first half of the next game.
Tepper said during training camp a defender hit a
player on the shoulder pad with his head and Tepper figures if that were a real
game he would have been ejected.
“There’s going to be errors and there’s going to be
prejudice toward the defense,” Tepper said. “I’m very concerned about the rule.
If we were going to have instant replay and they say, ‘Hey, that’s a good
penalty or not’ but they don’t. They throw you out and then afterwards they
decide whether you’re going to play the next week.”
There are tailbacks who lead with their helmets, and
Tepper figures defenders will get hit with penalties more often than not during
those kinds of collisions.
“They’re coming head first and right into you and
that’s rarely ever called,” he said. “We can be aiming for your chest and you
could come with your head down and we’re going to get called for spearing. I
think it’s troublesome legislation.”
Tepper teaches the “biting the ball” technique where
if a ball carrier has the ball in either arm, the defender puts his facemask
wherever the ball is.
“I want to attack it as though I were biting it and
that keeps my face and not my head down,” Tepper said.
Junior tailback James Potts appears to have
progressed nicely after tearing his ACL which kept him sidelined for most of
last season. Other than missing a day when he sat out for precautionary reasons
because of a knee bruise, Potts has participated fully in practice.
He said he has shown no ill effects from the
surgery, cutting with ease on the left knee, and added he feels fast than when
he arrived from Boynton Beach, Fla., four years ago.
“My freshman year during the summer, I ran a 4.37
but I haven’t run it since then but I definitely think I’m faster,” he said.
“Every year you get bigger, stronger and faster so it’s only right that I get
Running backs coach Matt Simon said there was
evidence of Potts’ increased speed prior to suffering the injury during the
team’s win against Morgan State.
“He’s playing faster,” Simon said. “He’s more
knowledgeable so his reaction and execution is a step quicker.”
UB has good depth in the backfield and they need it
because it’s been rare when the Bulls had a leading rusher who appeared in all
12 games in a season.