There have been several comments, positive and negative about the way we called the hit on Wisconsin cornerback, Devin Smith in the third quarter of the Big Ten Championship game on FOX Sports. What I first want to make perfectly clear is that neither Gus Johnson nor I revel in a hurt player; I did not and will not ever celebrate a player injury. If you go back to that point in the game, you’ll hear me say, “The best part of the play right there is that Devin is up and they got him over to the bench and are working on him.”
Now, onto what happened on the field and how it corresponds to the rules. Nebraska’s Kenny Bell was a pursuing tackler within a couple of yards of the ball — it wasn’t away from the ball. It was toward the runner. He never left his feet and as FOX’s official’s analyst, Mike Pereira said, it was shoulder-to-shoulder, but officials are staunch in their training in today’s game to call any blind-side tackle. I get that. I simply believe that based on the many angles that we had the benefit of watching, it was a good hit. I assure you, our crew watched that play time-and-again because we wanted to make the most accurate analysis possible.
I respect every one of you for your opinions, as I hope you will mine, and other analysts who calls games. We don’t expect everyone to agree with what we say. We realize that people are passionate about the game and the voices that deliver calls to you. When it comes down to it, as my partner Gus eluded last night, this is a brutal game with human beings executing and taking the hits. In no way did or will we ever glamorize a defenseless player. We did not celebrate a young man lying on the turf.” (c) Charles Davis