Does anyone understand what targeting is in college football?
You can spend hours reading the exact rule, but the problem is this penalty is enforced so differently throughout college football reading the rule doesn’t help.
It is similar to the NFL catch rule where you might as well just roll the dice to see if a pass is going to be called a catch or not. On top of that, one of the worst parts of the rule is the part where a player can not make “forcible contact against an opponent with the crown of his helmet.”
I understand this rule was made to prevent defensive players from spearing offensive players, creating a dangerous situation for the player being tackled and for the tackler. However, the reality is that a defender who is tackling an offensive player who is shorter or in any type of athletic position is forced to lead with their head. Go ahead bend your knees and take a step forward, what does your head do? It goes forward and if you were to hit a quarterback you would be called for targeting.
The Red Raiders were burned by this terrible rule on Saturday when Jordyn Brooks was flagged and ejected in the 1st half on a play where he simply bent down to tackle Brock Purdy. He did not put his head down and tackle him, he didn’t hit the quarterback in the head, and he certainly did not launch. He simply bent over and hit the quarterback.
I want to be clear, I think by the letter of the law that the penalty was enforced correctly. The problem is with the rule itself and the NCAA has to edit this rule in the offseason. Players are being ejected for routine plays and the outcomes of games are being affected.