Nothing to celebrate for high-stepper

Posted: October 29, 2017 at 2:18 a.m.

Justin Hobbs

Justin Hobbs

Hide your eyes, Deion Sanders. This is your worst nightmare.

Tulsa wide receiver Justin Hobbs got penalized and his team lost a touchdown because he briefly high-stepped -- a move Sanders made famous during his Hall of Fame NFL career as a cornerback and return specialist -- on his way into the end zone in the third quarter against SMU on Friday.

The absurdity lies with the sideline referee, who decided Hobbs' brief high-step was worthy of a taunting penalty.

Can't we at least get to Halloween before Ebenezer Scrooge shows his face?

It's not like Hobbs high-stepped backward into the end zone while taunting the SMU defenders he blew by for a sensational catch. When he realized he was going to score, he briefly celebrated and went on his merry way to what should have been a touchdown.

The NCAA rulebook says any act that is "very demonstrative" or considered to be taunting can get a touchdown wiped off the board, but the NCAA needs to tell officials to loosen their belts. Or just stop enforcing it all together and wipe it from the books.

The Golden Hurricane lost four points when they ended up kicking a field goal on the drive to go ahead 31-21 with 11:01 left in the third quarter.

The lead wouldn't last. SMU overcame the 10-point deficit and won the game, 38-34, so the penalty ended up playing a big role in the final outcome.

We've seen a few other touchdowns taken off the board because of "excessive celebration." Iowa's Akrum Wadley was penalized against North Texas for a similar high-step.

And Missouri's Damarea Crockett (Little Rock Christian) also lost a touchdown because he dove into the end zone against Missouri State in Week 1.

It's time for officials to get over themselves and realize these kids are playing a game and officiate accordingly.

Scary Mallett

Former Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett is a big dude, someone you wouldn't want to start a fight with at 6-6, 245 pounds.

The Baltimore Ravens current quarterback is apparently so intimidating, even Miami Dolphins notoriously nasty defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh apparently feared for his life when face to face with Mallett.

Suh, 6-4, 307, felt so threatened when Mallett confronted him during Thursday night's 40-0 Ravens' victory that he grabbed him by the throat.

That's what Suh said anyway. In the fourth quarter, Suh went offsides and hit Mallett just because, well, he's Suh. When Mallett got angry and stepped to Suh -- Mallett had his hands at his sides -- Suh figured it was fine to reach for Mallett's throat and push him away.

"He came at me," Suh told the Palm Beach Post. "Tried to attack me. And I'm protecting myself. Regret what? No, I'm never going to regret protecting myself."

It would be easier to buy that tale if Suh didn't have a long history of cheap shots, but that's Suh's story and he's sticking to it.

That exchange was lost in the shuffle after Kiko Alonso's brutal hit on Baltimore starting quarterback Joe Flacco earlier in the game. Suh said he had no problem with Alonso launching himself at Flacco's head as the quarterback was initiating his slide.

"I didn't see it, but I know Kiko's not a dirty player," Suh said.

No matter how the Dolphins try to pass off their various dirty actions -- let's not forget Dolphins defensive end William Hayes poking Ravens offensive tackle Austin Howard in the eye -- the NFL is going to look into it. Maybe the league will decide Suh's feat was self-inflicted.

After Baltimore Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett (15) confronted Ndamukong Suh, Suh grabbed the Ravens’ quarterback by the throat in the Ravens’ 40-0...

Sports on 10/29/2017