Arizona safety Adam Hall: That was a clean play on Rodgersby Anthony Gimino on Oct. 12, 2010, under Sports
Arizona Wildcats sophomore safety Adam Hall has seen the replays. He says he and coaches have taken snapshots off the game film to see where he started to tackle Oregon State receiver James Rodgers.
“I grabbed him on the 2-yard line,” Hall said after Monday’s practice. “I wasn’t going to give up on a play, especially going into the end zone.”
It was in the second quarter of Saturday’s game against the Beavers, and Rodgers was about to score on what appeared to be a 56-yard touchdown reception.
Hall, on Rodgers’ heels, tries to strip the ball from the receiver’s right arm near the goal line.
“I don’t like to ever give up on a play,” Hall said. “On the touchdown before, he had started to showboat after the caught it and the ball was out. He was running, and I was trying to strip him. Our feet got tangled.”
Both players tumbled into the end zone, and Rodgers, arguably the top receiver in the Pac-10, suffered a torn ACL on the play and is out for the season. The touchdown was called back because of an ineligible receiver down field.
It’s a huge injury for the Beavers, and some Oregon State fans have been howling about the tackle. In the video below (judge for yourself), Versus analyst Glenn Parker, a former Arizona offensive lineman, talks about how Rodgers “was in the end zone, let him go.”
Parker adds about Hall: “In the heat of the moment, you can’t tell him not to do that.”
Oregon State coach Mike Riley told reporters on Sunday that “I don’t have any real comment on that,” perhaps masking his true thoughts on the play. He did, however, have more to say.
“It looked to me like a guy trying to make a play that I’ve seen a thousand times in my life,” Riley was quoted as saying in the Oregonian.
“I thought it started at the goal-line initially. The guy was trying to knock the ball out, and they got tangled in a funny way. I’m not going to hang the (Hall) kid out for something. He was just trying to make a play.”
Arizona coach Mike Stoops acknowledged the border-line nature of the play.
“I don’t think we were intentionally trying to hurt him,” Stoops said.
“Where you’re at on the field, sometimes you get lost. I think Adam was just trying to make a play on him. I don’t think he knew exactly where he was on the field.”
Added Hall: “It was one of those things that happen in football.”
Oregon State believes Rodgers, a senior, is eligible for a medical redshirt and could return next season. Rodgers had seven catches for 102 yards and a touchdown against Arizona before the injury.