VIDEO: Why Ejecting Joe Bolden From Michigan-MSU Game for Targeting Was the Right Call
One of several controversial calls in Saturday's Michigan-MSU game was the ejection of U-M linebacker Joe Bolden for targeting.
Officials ruled that Bolden led with head in hitting a defenseless Connor Cook, who had just slid to the ground. The penalty resulted in a 15-yard penalty against Michigan, setting the Spartans up for a score and costing Bolden the rest of the game.
Jim Harbaugh said after the game he believed the call was incorrect. In fact, he said MSU offensive tack
"I tried to explain it to (the official) that Bolden was pushed in the back," Harbaugh said. "It really should've been a push-in-the-back penalty. But his explanation was that the review people saw it the same way. Hard to fathom."
But it's not all that hard to fathom. Check out the video above from Spartan Magazine's Jim "the Pope" Comparoni.
Comp does a great job of slowing the video down and showing that Conklin was, in fact, holding Bolden up from falling on top of Cook. Before I watched this video, I thought the ejection was a bad call, but the breakdown here changed my mind.
While Conklin is suspending Bolden from landing on top of Cook, Bolden can be seen moving his head and observing a defenseless Cook on the turf. At that point, Bolden disengages from Conlkin and lands on top of the MSU quarterback, hitting him head-to-head.
This is probably what the officials saw during the official review and ultimately why they upheld the call. And that's not what's hard to fathom. What's hard to fathom is what Bolden was thinking. He has to know better: It's 2015 and player safety--especially that of quarterbacks--is paramount, particularly when it comes to contact to the head.