Safety Adarius Pickett talks about handling the coaching change, his feelings going into this week’s game and the defense’s performance against USC.
Dalton Schultz hauled in a 3-yard pass from Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello and turned up field. Adarius Pickett didn’t waste any time to come in for the tackle. With the UCLA safety bearing down, the Stanford tight end ducked his head to prepare for impact. What likely would have been a clean hit to the chest sent Pickett to the UCLA locker room for a targeting in the first quarter.
Nearly two weeks later, Pickett is still baffled by the play.
“A guy that’s 6-6, he lowers his head and he hits my head and I’m aiming, as you can see, for his midsection and I get kicked out of the game for that,” Pickett said Tuesday during UCLA’s bye week. “I just don’t understand that at all.”
The targeting call has been a particularly sore spot for the Bruins this year as they’ve lost four players in as many games due to the rule. The 11 other Pac-12 teams have lost three players to targeting combined. The policy designed to protect players has instead confused many about how to define a good football play. Continue reading “UCLA football’s targeting problem” »