What's buzzing:

Dr. Saturday

Duke’s Jela Duncan has helmet ripped off on the way to the end zone… and the play is blown dead

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

The helmet rule, which requires a player to miss a play if he losses his helmet, has been a big source of debate this season because coaches have contended that defensive players are intentionally trying to rip off helmets for an advantage.

What started out as a safety precaution by the NCAA has actually backfired and created some pretty scary moments, especially today during the Duke-Wake Forest game and the N.C. State-Miami game.

[Related: WVU's Geno Smith the most exciting thing in college football]

Duke running back Jela Duncan was heading for a possible touchdown when linebacker Justin Jackson grabbed his facemask and ripped the helmet off Duncan's head. Duncan kept running, but the play was called down and Jackson was given a personal foul penalty.

This particular play constitutes a clear defensive advantage. Duncan had a path to the end zone with blockers in front, but because his helmet was ripped off by a defender - a beaten defender - the play was called back and a penalty was assessed. Duke ultimately scored on the drive, but if it hadn't, Duncan's helmet would have made the difference in the 34-27 game.

Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett, who caught the game-winning pass later in the game, had his helmet ripped off by linebacker Rickey Dowdy during a tackle. Despite Dorsett's pleas, there was no penalty on that play.

While these are two extreme examples of helmets seemingly being taken off on purpose, it's happening far more than usual and the rule should be reexamined before someone ends up injured.

- - -
"Like" Dr. Saturday on Facebook for football conversations and stuff you won't see on the blog. And follow Dr. Saturday at its new home on Twitter: @YahooDrSaturday

MLB coverage on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
NFL referees overwhelmingly approve new contract
New England hoops prep power under NCAA investigation
Rasheed Wallace returning to NBA
Y! News: Loaded gun gets through TSA

View Comments (524)
  • Tuesday Sports In Brief

    Tom Brady denied under oath to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he tampered with footballs before the AFC title game, and investigator Ted Wells said in a transcript that he never warned the New England Patriots quarterback he would be punished … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Special feelings for families involved in inductions

    Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson was thrilled to hear that the Pro Football Hall of Fame will allow Junior Seau's daughter to speak from the stage during Saturday's induction ceremonies. ''I think it would really have been sad for her considering her dad … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Semien homers to push A's past O's 5-0

    Semien homers to push A's past O's 5-0

    Chris Bassitt knew early on that he was overthrowing, and the Athletics' rookie pitcher wasn't having much luck slowing his delivery down. A few calm reminders from teammate Stephen Vogt was all it took to get Bassitt on track for his first win in … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • The brain or a game, former player Utecht asks

    EDS NOTE: Ben Utecht was a standout tight end for the University of Minnesota who played in the NFL for six years, becoming a starter and winning a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006. Utecht is now a national speaker, concussion … More »

    AP - Sports - 27 minutes ago
  • Baseball-Highlights of Tuesday's MLB games

    (Adds later games) Aug 4 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights from Major League Baseball games on Tuesday: - - - - Reds 3, Cardinals 2 Jay Bruce and Marlon Byrd both doubled in runs during a three-run first inning while right-hander Anthony DeSclafani … More »

    Reuters - 34 minutes ago