The heat-seeking missile that is B.J. Foster wasted no time Saturday announcing his presence with authority in West Virginia. Having missed two games with a hamstring injury, the Texas nickel back made up for lost time.
On the game’s third play, WVU’s T.J. Simmons had his helmet accidentally pop up. Officials didn’t blow the whistle, and Foster put a lick on Simmons something fierce. It was plain bad luck as players are taught to play through the whistle. Officials had no choice but to throw a 15-yard personal foul flag.
“By the time I realized his helmet was off, it was already too late,” Foster said Tuesday.
Later in the first quarter, Foster hammered running back Kennedy McKoy. Officials reviewed the play and saw that Foster hit McKoy in the shoulder pad, not his helmet. “I knew I was good, but they have to look at it,” Foster said.
Foster had a key interception in the fourth quarter and finished with three tackles. Safe to say the Longhorns were glad to have him back.
“It’s pretty awesome because we need a vet in there,” linebacker Joseph Ossai said. Foster can help the younger members of the secondary with communication. “Him coming back in there just gives us a little bit more confidence and he’s able to do his thing.”
Foster has learned how to tackle hard but stay within the rules, a delicate balance in this age of player safety. He was ejected for targeting from the USC game last season on a bang-bang play that could’ve gone either way.
“Don’t just go in there head down like a maniac, because they’re going to call for targeting or something, unsportsmanlike conduct,” Foster said. “We’ve got to learn to play violent but keep our head cool.”
Speaking of rough play, UT kicker Cameron Dicker of all people was nearly called for targeting against WVU. Dicker stuck his nose in there and hammered Sam James after a 30-yard kickoff return.
“Yeah, just trying to go in and just stop the guy,” Dicker said. “What happened happened and so it was up to the officials after that.”
Ossai said rather matter-of-fact that Texas might be too physical for anyone.
“If you watch us, we’re very physical. Very physical,” Ossai said. “I think we’re maybe too physical for the Big 12, but we’re a very, very physical team. Very physical defense. If someone can come in here and hit somebody, we love it. We love it. The coaches love it. It’s awesome.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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