Lapuaho was first to fall on the football, but James charged in and tried to rip it away. That’s when the 6-7, 330-pound offensive lineman decided it would be a good idea to ball up his fist and aim it squarely at his adversary’s man-zone. Take a look:
Not cool, man. Not cool at all. Let’s take another look:
Now that was worthy of a targeting penalty. Lapuaho did get flagged for the act, but he did not get ejected from the game, which certainly would have been warranted. However, he might still face a suspension.
In general, the Cougars are developing a bit of a reputation for over-the-line behavior. Their final game of the previous season, a Miami Beach Bowl matchup with Memphis, degenerated into an ugly brawl.
Last week, BYU defensive back Jordan Preator took out a Nebraska player with what looked like a vicious cheap shot at the knees, from behind. Back to Saturday’s game, linebacker Sione Takitaki got called for a roughing-the-passer penalty that was anything but ticky-tacky after his forearm blow to Boise State quarterback Ryan Finley’s neck.
Everyone at BYU is supposed to follow the school’s Honor Code, which includes a directive to “respect others.” It’s hard to find much honor in Lapuaho’s act.
Earlier versions of this post indicated that BYU was a member of the Mountain West Conference. It competes in football as an independent.