Jalen Davis ejected for targeting. Right or wrong?

Matt Wells

The targeting rule has cast a long shadow on NCAA football since the rules instatement, and the rule again made its presence felt on Friday night during the Aggies’ 59-10 loss to Wisconsin.

The Aggie defense had largely clamped down on Wisconsin’s offense through the first quarter and a half of play, holding the Badgers scoreless during that time, thanks in part to the stellar play of senior CB Jalen Davis.

Then the following play occurred. Davis seemingly broke up what would have been a third down conversion for the Badgers.

At first, no flags were thrown. After a brief discussion between refs, Davis was flagged for targeting and ejected from the game. Wisconsin’s offense sparked to life following Davis’s ejection, tying the game by halftime en route to their 59 point outing.

While helmet-to-helmet contact is clearly visible, is it unfair to expect a defender in this situation to avoid such a collision at a full sprint?

Should Jalen Davis have been ejected for targeting? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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  1. Scott

    the targeting rule is there for “player protection”. The wording of the rule places ALL responsibility on the defensive player. The rule, as written, is not and cannot be officiated equally. The offensive player can make movement to defend himself or tighten up for impact and in doing initiate contact that has been defined as illegal contact but has no responsibility for it. The rules committee has stated that when it doubt, it is a foul.

  2. Anon

    Jalen Davis clearly should’ve been ejected for targeting. He doesn’t have to avoid the collision completely, but this is not the form of hitting you would teach to any kid. He lowered his eyes and hit the Wisconsin player with the crown of his helmet. If this isn’t ejection-worthy, then I don’t know what is. Davis did everything wrong on this hit.


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