Most of us have seen it by now, and nearly everyone agrees—the hit delivered by Texas Longhorn receiver Mike Davis to the knees of Iowa State defensive back Deon Broomfield was a cheap shot.
Bush league, dirty, inexcusable and vicious are all words that have been thrown out there to characterize the hit. Deon Broomfield himself even chimed in shortly after the game, tweeting, "Mike Davis really tried to take me out."
But apparently, Mike Davis didn’t feel the same way. He took to Twitter to defend himself, saying that "The tape without knowledge of the circumstances is unfair," that he plays "to the whistle" and he did “exactly what we are taught" to do on a WR screen.
I play to the whistle ..... Sorry I was taught that.— Money Magic Davis jr (@MikeDavis_1) October 4, 2013
Unfortunately, it looks like he actually was taught that.
The biggest head-scratcher of the whole deal is that his head coach made matters worse by defending Davis. The TV broadcast of the game shows Mack Brown giving the officials an earful about the penalty, and after the game, he said he thought Davis was competing.
To be fair, it is unlikely Brown had seen a replay of the hit before his postgame comments. But in a situation like this, it would have been wise for him steer clear of the subject.
Mack Brown strongly defending Mike Davis' block, thought Davis didn't hear whistle. "I thought it was competing."— Max Olson (@max_olson) October 4, 2013
There will always be the argument that Davis was just doing his job by making a block, but that wasn’t the case here. The play was a run near the goal line, and all Davis needed to do was stand in front of Broomfield and lock him up if he needed to.
Davis points out that his fellow receiver is simply making a block, but that isn’t the issue. If anything, Davis just highlighted what a clean block in that situation actually looks like.
Free advice: Don't follow Mack Brown's football teachings RT @MikeDavis_1: I did exactly what we are taught to do on a WR screen.— Fake Bo Pelini (@FauxPelini) October 4, 2013
Not surprisingly, Davis and Brown weren’t able to escape the wrath of social media.
Big 12 office can't pretend to care about player safety if they don't suspend Texas WR Mike Davis for Red River Rivalry.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 4, 2013
At a time in which football is dealing with lawsuits over player safety, it is important for the Big 12 to address the hit.
The new targeting rules in college football are a good start, and with time they will be ironed out. But a hit like this, even though it was not to the head, is also dangerous to a player's career.
It will be interesting to see if the conference hands out any punishment to Davis, but you can bet it will face scrutiny if it doesn't.