The targeting rule made an appearance in Monday’s National Championship game between LSU and Clemson. In the third quarter of the title game, Clemson linebacker James Skalski was ejected for his hit on LSU receiver Justin Jefferson.
As LSU’s offense drove inside the red zone, Jefferson hauled in the pass from Joe Burrow and lowered his head to brace for Skalski’s incoming hit. Clemson’s junior linebacker kept his head down and drove it right into Jefferson’s neck.
Yes, that’s targeting. Football is dangerous, but it doesn’t need to be this dangerous. Right call. pic.twitter.com/0CzfZuBcfd
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) January 14, 2020
While it might not be Skalski’s fault that Jefferson lowered his head, college football has been trying to eliminate hits where players drop their head and aim above the shoulders.
Unfortunately for Skalsi and Clemson, he is now done for the night and that’s a sizable blow for a defense that was already struggling to stop LSU.