This is going to get annoying.
Its clear that Lawrence Guy and Vontaze Burfict were Arizona State's most valuable players Saturday night. Seemingly every few plays, one of these fine football players needed the trainers to come out and help them off the field, giving a good limp in the process, only to return exactly one play later. This happened like clockwork, any time that Oregon's offense started to build the slightest bit of momentum.
Cramps due to the heat? I find it hard to believe that ASU was repeatedly cramping up, given that they live there year round and Oregon wasn't cramping at all. Leg injuries? For all the limping, they always came back in--exactly one play later. Its clear what was going on, this was a tactic to slow down the pace of Oregon's offense. Chip Kelly said as much at halftime when he said "this is like a World Cup game [...] with all the injuries>"
This is actually a pretty clever strategy, one that gives you a chance to give your tired players a blow, get that substitution in, etc. There is nothing against it in the rulebook. The only consequence is spelled out pretty clearly in the rulebook, that the "injured" player must sit out one play. Maybe it goes against the spirit of the rules, but, in reality, there's nothing that can be done, at least this season. Nobody has tried to do what Kelly does, and this hasn't been an issue that the rules committee has had to address.
If we're stuck with it this season, then what about the future? The problem with that is then you have referees deciding who is injured or not, and that opens up a whole other can of worms.
I don't know how many teams are going to use this strategy. Dennis Erickson has already made it clear that he'll live within the shadows of the rules, so ASU's implementation of this strategy is hardly surprising. How widespread will this strategy be employed? How will it effect our team? Is there anything to be done? My quick answers to those questions are 1. by a few teams, 2. If we're rolling, not much. If we're struggling somewhat, a bit more, and 3. no.
Just some questions I have swirling around in my head. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts in the comments.