Texas Tech defensive lineman Eli Howard has apologized for a personal foul penalty for a low hit on Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks.
Howard was flagged after Douglas Coleman pulled down an interception after a pass from Jalen Hurts bounced off Nick Basquine’s hand in OU’s 55-16 win on Saturday. As Coleman started running the other direction, Brooks and other Oklahoma players rushed to force him toward the sideline.
That’s when Howard hit Brooks. As Coleman was stepping out of bounds, Howard dove low in an attempt to block Brooks, who immediately grabbed at his knee in pain after the hit. You can see his knee bend awkwardly in the video below.
It was good to see Kennedy Brooks walk off the field after taking this dirty shot. pic.twitter.com/wpZR6UWdK1— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) September 28, 2019
Brooks was briefly down on the Texas Tech sideline before he walked across the field to the Oklahoma sideline with no assistance. In his apology, Howard said he hoped Brooks would be OK and also apologized to his coach, Matt Wells, and his teammates. It’s clearly outlined in the rule book that it’s a penalty to make a blindside block like Howard attempted on Brooks.
My deepest apologizes to @TTUCoachWells @kirbyhocutt for my illegal hit. It is a terrible look for TTU. Also, sorry to @kennedyBrooks26 I hope there is no serious harm done. pic.twitter.com/oL8pftsldh— Eli Howard V (@EliHoward5) September 28, 2019
“Obviously, my personal foul play has been receiving a lot of attention through social media. During the play, I thought my player (ball carrier) had the corner and I tried to help by laying down a block. However, I had already launched when the ball carrier had stepped out of bounds. Personally, I truly felt like it was a bang bang play. But it’s easy to build your own perception with a remote in your hand. The block was illegal and could easily be viewed as ‘dirty’ without a doubt. But I can assure you it wasn’t intentional. There is a fine line between playing hard and playing safe. Sadly I put another player in harms way and I accept full responsibility. This game is violent enough, let alone with an illegal hit. Players need to take care of each other. I was told he was able to walk off the field and I pray there isn’t a significant injury. With this being said, I would like to apologize to Coach Wells and the rest of the Texas Tech program. This is not the playing style he coaches or accepts. I did not represent my university well. Also, I would like to apologize to the player I hit illegally and again, I truly hope he is okay. Hope ya’ll can forgive me! Wreck Em.”
Brooks didn’t return to the game after the hit, but Oklahoma was up big anyway so the Sooners didn’t need him. And it looks like he escaped serious injury too. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said after the game that Brooks was “good” and “lucky” that the hit didn’t result in anything worse.
Riley: Kennedy Brooks "is good. We're lucky because it was a bad, bad play. Coach Wells was classy about it. He felt about it what I would've felt about it. We were lucky he wasn't hurt worse, because he could've been." #Sooners— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) September 28, 2019
Lincoln Riley says “we’re lucky” on Kennedy Brooks’ hit. “It was a bad play and thankful that Kennedy wasn’t hurt worse, because he should’ve been (looking at the play) #Sooners— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) September 28, 2019
Brooks had eight carries for 29 yards in the win over the Red Raiders. He entered the game as a major part of Oklahoma’s three-headed running back attack with 17 carries for 177 yards.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
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