College Football kicked off its first season where targeting is an eject-able offense this weekend. By my count there were seven (updated seventh post added at the bottom) ejections under the new rule. NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding says that the number of targeting penalties called during week 1 were about on par with with how things were called in 2012.
Tulane corner Lorenzo Doss was the first offender as far as we know.
Our first targeting call of the year at the Superdome, #Tulane‘s Doss called for hammering the quarterback and is ejected. Absurd rule.
— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) August 30, 2013
Thursday night also featured ejections of Indiana State’s Carlos Aviles for a vicious hit on a punt return. Everything the gif above shows tells me that Aviles deserved to be tossed. It was a second half ejection which he means he as to sit out the first half of this week’s game.
On Saturday there were three more players ejected, including Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell for the vicious hit on the Nicholls State quarterback posted above. The hit certainly looks like it warranted a flag, but Mitchell disagrees.
“I really don’t think so but the referee was entitled to his own opinion, he had to do what he had to do,” Mitchell told The Oregonian. “It was kind of shocking, man … I haven’t been kicked out of the game since high school basketball, got T’d up.”
His ejection occurred during the first half so he will be eligible to play Saturday against Virginia.
Cal defensive end Chris McCain was ejected for a late hit on Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian in which he targeted the QBs head. The Pac-12 has since reviewed the play, after claiming a technical failure didn’t allow for it during the game, and announced that McCain will be eligible for the entire game against Portland State on Saturday. His ejection occurred during the second half so he wouldn’t have been eligible otherwise. Obviously the hit didn’t warrant an ejection in the first place, but it was roughing the passer.
Texas A&M defensive back Deshazor Everett also seemed to be unnecessarily called for targeting for his hit on a Rice receiver. Yes Everett’s hit was late and very stupid, but it wasn’t targeting. He led with his shoulder and didn’t hit the receiver in the head. The ejection occurred in the second half so he will have to sit the first half of Saturday’s game against Sam Houston State (and he didn’t even sign any autographs).
Colorado State linebacker C.J. James was the lone player to be called for targeting and have the ruling overturned during a game. The only video of the hit I could find was on this strange sports show on YouTube (is it a guy just talking to the TV?). James hit Colorado’s QB late (barely) and was called for roughing the passer and targeting. After review it was determined he didn’t target the head and the hit was just late. James remained in the game.
Updated: A seventh ejection was pointed out to me by Jeremy North on twitter. UAB tight end Kennard Backman was ejected for targeting on a block against Troy. He is the first offensive player to be ejected. I’ve got some low quality video of the hit up here.
It will be interesting to see how this rule continues to come into play once conference play heats up.