College football's new targeting rule, which results in the ejection of the offending player, was not surprisingly one of the stories of the season's first week. At least a half-dozen players in FBS games were called for targeting and ejected over the weekend, though not all of those calls were upheld after officials looked at replays. Players from Texas A&M, Oregon, California, Tulane, Colorado State and Indiana State all got the boot for what officials judged to be illegal hits.
Here are three of the hits in question, all of which led to ejections that were upheld.
Oregon's Terrance Mitchell:
Texas A&M's Deshazor Everett:
Indiana State's Carlos Aviles:
Four of them were defensive backs: Everett, Mitchell, Tulane's Lorenzo Doss, and Aviles. The calls against those players were upheld following review, but the suspensions levied against CSU linebacker C.J. James and Cal defensive end Chris McCain were overturned.
James and McCain both were hit with roughing the passer calls; in McCain's case, his suspension was overturned because the play was never reviewed by Pac-12 officials. A "technical failure and resulting breakdown in communication" was responsible for that, and McCain is free to play in Cal's next game as a result.
Last season there was about one targeting penalty for every eight college football games, according to NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding. If six is in fact the final tally from Week 1, it's one targeting call and ejection for every 12.5 games played, and one upheld ejection for every 19 games or so. Four upheld ejections per week would result in about 50 over the course of the season. Redding does not think that targeting calls were more frequent in Week 1 than they were in past seasons.
Before the season began, officials from the power conferences weren't totally in agreement about what exactly would constitute targeting, and nothing made that more apparent than a review of Jadeveon Clowney's famous hit. Fox Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira spoke with SB Nation's Steven Godfrey about that play at Big 12 Media Days, clearly struggling to come to a concrete conclusion one way or the other.
The weekend's 39 best college football photos: