Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook ripped Jacksonville State defensive back Folo Johnson for what he called a dirty hit in the Spartans' 45-7 home thrashing of the Gamecocks on Friday.
Johnson took Cook out at the knees after he had released a deep pass early in the first quarter.
Cook was hobbled by the hit, but stayed in the game and completed 12 of 13 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. But his performance didn't take the edge off his opinion on Johnson's intent.
"I've never seen a dirtier hit than that," Cook said, according to mlive.com. "I think the ball was clearly out of my hands for one second. He closed in another five yards, purposefully, intentionally dove at my knee, so yeah it was a very dirty hit. I wasn't too happy about it, but I'm just fortunate it wasn't worse than what it was."
Johnson was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul on the play. No doubt, the flag was deserved. Even if it can be argued that Johnson was committed to hitting Cook by the time the ball was released (and even that, based on the video, is questionable), there isn't an excuse for diving head-first at a quarterback's knees. Just that quickly, the Spartans could have easily become the second Big Ten team, along with Ohio State, to lose a starting quarterback -- and national title hopes -- to injury.