Fight Breaks Out After Ohio State Fake Punt
College football is basically the pinnacle of a Saturday in the fall and this past Saturday afternoon the Scarlet Knights from Rutgers University were in Columbus, Ohio taking on the Ohio State University Buckeyes. This is a game that's played every year as both teams are a part of the Big Ten's East Division. They have gotten to know each other very well and the battles on the field don't always stay there.
The Buckeyes have been beating up on Rutgers for some years now, and not just beating them by a few scores, but instead blowing right out the stadium and back to Piscataway, New Jersey. Constantly being blown out by the same team is never fun and you begin to harbor feelings about this team, and if they throw salt on the wound it's bound to get ugly. Ohio State threw some salt on the open wound and got a response they weren't ready for.
Early in the 4th quarter, the Buckeyes had a 39-point lead and were preparing to punt the ball away. As Rutgers lined up to attempt to block the kick, they were assuming at best we block the punt and make an exciting play, we gain momentum from a nice return, we get a fair catch, or they down the punt somewhere. Well, none of those things happened, instead, Ohio State called an audible and elected the fake the punt and have their punter scramble for the first down plus some. This turned out to be a crucial decision as things heated shortly after this.
In the video below you can see the punter tuck the ball and escape to his right side, there was no one in front of him and the Buckeyes saw nothing but a surefire first down and a continuation of their offensive drive. On the flip side, the Scarlet Knights saw a sign of disrespect and immediately acted on it. There was a wide receiver back to accept the punt and try and return it, well he became a defensive player very quickly. He saw the punter take off, he sprinted at him full speed and laid the BOOM after the kicker had already been out of bounds for a few seconds, prompting a late hit penalty and a fight.
The announcers obviously reacted to the hit, with oohs, ahhs, and touches along with the crowd showing their displeasure for the hit and then following it up with cheers of approval for the yellow laundry that was laying on the field. There were tons of flags on the field as players were shoving each other, coaches were arguing, and so much more. Then the announcers blame Rutgers for the outcome of the play saying "You can take issue with the fake punt, but the look you put out there with the punt block team was inviting it 100% of the way, overload look."
I understand the viewpoint on Rutgers lining up the way I did and how it presents the opportunity for Ohio State to fake the punt, but it's still not Rutger's fault. Ohio State is 100% in the wrong, in my opinion, because you're up 39 and actively trying to run the score up instead of just playing plain ole football. What do you think, who was wrong, Rutgers or Ohio State?