In college football, there's a penalty for targeting, which is a contact against an opponent that "goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball," according to the NCAA rulebook. The most egregious version of that we've ever seen occurred on Thursday night.
People always ask what targeting is. This. This is targeting. pic.twitter.com/6Xkc8ifnxh
— Alex Kuhn (@Alexkuhn523) November 17, 2023
"People always ask what targeting is. This. This is targeting," the user that provided the clip said.
The play occurred in the Pittsburgh and Boston College Week 12 matchup.
As you can see in the clip above, Pittsburgh tight end and redshirt senior transfer Malcolm Epps went up for a catch over Boston College safety KP Price. As the play develops, though, another player, fellow Boston College safety Khari Johnson, enters the frame. Upon entering the frame, he lunges his entire body and head toward Epps as if trying to head a soccer ball. Not only did it hit Epps, but his teammate, KP Price, also took the brunt of the hit.
Of course, Johnson was ejected from the game and Pittsburgh won 24-16 in Nate Yarnell's second start for the Panthers.
"I'm just so grateful for the opportunity," Yarnell said. "I came to Pitt. I love Pitt. I really enjoyed getting on the field."
The Panthers are now 3-8 while Boston College dropped to 6-5. Yarnell finished the game, completing 11 of 19 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown.
Regarding the targeting call, fans on X were flabbergasted by Johnson.
This might be the most targety Targeting penalty in the history of targeting penalties. pic.twitter.com/pPETZFCgNa
— Chris Marler (@VernFunquist) November 17, 2023
"This might be the most targety Targeting penalty in the history of targeting penalties," one user wrote.
If you do this, you shouldn't get to play football again for a very long time. https://t.co/VacyutZKba
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 17, 2023
"If you do this, you shouldn't get to play football again for a very long time," another user mentioned.
At this time, there's been no statement or anything from Johnson or the school. Targeting happens routinely, but as many point out, this appeared more egregious than others.
Boston College will have a chance at a targeting-free game next week in Week 13 as they take on Miami back at Chestnut Hill.
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