The dangers of football are real, even when there’s a rule in place to avoid it.
Quarterbacks are given a right to slide without the fear of being hit once they come to the ground or else the defender will receive a penalty.
When a quarterback is sliding, the defender(s) pursuing him are faced with the difficult task of both stopping their momentum and not initiating much contact. That specific issue was brought to the forefront in Arizona’s 2OT 37-30 upset win over No. 10 Utah last Saturday.
Anu Solomon slid after a 10-yard run and had a major collision with a Utah defender.
Solomon exited the game and would not return. He finished 17-for-27 with 277 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also had 86 yards rushing and one touchdown.
Regarding Solomon’s health, Rich Rodriguez said on Doug & Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he was good.
“Obviously something happened there, but he was pretty good after the game and he was a whole lot better yesterday so we’ll see what he’s like the next couple of days,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez had an issue with the hit.
“We’ve got pictures we kind of questioned, thought there should have been a penalty,” Rodriguez said.
Arizona did issue a formal complaint Monday to the Pac-12.
Because of this problem sliding presents, Rodriguez actually has a different approach he teaches his quarterbacks.
“It seems like, to us, that more quarterbacks get hurt sliding feet first than instead of diving. We’ve tried to teach them how to dive, to get down and avoid harm’s way,” Rodriguez said.
The dilemma sliding presents for both the offensive and defensive player poises a bigger issue and Rodriguez went over that specific point.
“If he slides at the last minute feet first, how are you supposed to hold up? But if he’s diving and he dives early enough then he won’t get there in time. That’s my point. As crazy as it sounds, you kind of almost have to teach them the art of sliding early enough so you’re completely out of harms way and there’s no question what you want to do.”
At the end of the day though, it’s football and Rodriguez acknowledged that.
“It’s a physical game, it’s a violent game, and things happen.”