It wouldn't be the 2013 bowl season without a bad targeting call, would it?
Navy safety Wave Ryder was ejected on Tuesday from the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee after he was called for targeting on this hit.
While we can forgive the officials on the field from throwing the flag immediately on the play, we're not sure how this ejection held up on replay. Targeting is defined as contact initiated to the head and neck area or contact initiated with the crown of the defender's helmet. This hit is neither.
Ryder did leave his feet to make the hit, but the contact is initiated and led by his shoulder pad to the shoulders of Middle Tennessee's Tavarres Jefferson. There's no contact to the head and neck area, and it only looks like it could be close because Jefferson lowers his head at the last moment. How this wasn't overturned on replay is pretty mind-boggling.
But hey, that's the 2013 NCAA football targeting rule, which we've lambasted before. Thankfully, the consensus is that the rule will be tweaked in the offseason. But that's not soon enough for Ryder, a senior, who gets to miss the rest of his final game of his college career.
And scarily, not long after Ryder's ejection, Lonnie Richardson, who came in after Ryder was tossed, made a helmet-to-helmet hit on Middle Tennessee's Marcus Henry. Both players were down on the field for an extended period of time before each walked off the field. There was no penalty on that play.
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