(Written by Ken Crawford)
It seems that the topic of pushing other players forward seems to be getting more attention with every passing year. Starting with the “Bush Push” in 2005, each year more and more controversies errupt about whether some play was legal or not.
Everyone agrees that the rulebook is pretty strick about disallowing any type of pushing on the player. The debate always swirls around the “current interpretation” of the rule and whether this play or that violated the standarding being used today.
What many forget is it is NOT illegal to push a would-be tackler off the runner. So, not only do we have the vagarities of the “current interpretation”, we also have the subjective issues of whether the fellow offensive player is pushing the runner or pushing the tackler. Sometimes it is clear. Other times, particularly in a scrum, it’s not so clear.
All of this is background for the ASU’s 2nd touchdown on Saturday. The fans around me, I sit in the portion of the stadium closest to that particular play, were all up in arms about the pushing. I scoffed at it because I generally take a narrow interpretation of the rule and didn’t see anything unusual there.
That is until I got home and watched it on Tivo… HOLY SMOKES!
I’ve never seen a more blatant example of pushing that this. Herring’s feet were LIFTED OFF THE GROUND for the last two yards of the touchdown run. There were two ASU offensive line guys who literally picked him up and effectively used Herring as a battering ram to get into the endzone. If you’ve got a copy of the game, watch that section again. It was MUCH more blatant tha it seemed from the stands.
That should have been called. If there’s ever a time the pushing rule should be called, that was it.