During the first half of play, Monday was ejected for targeting. It wasn’t really a debatable call since he lowered the crown of his helmet and launched himself at Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett.
Ironically enough, Monday was also ejected for targeting last year when Auburn played Georgia.
Monday’s absence will certainly affect Auburn’s ability to slow down Georgia’s offense this afternoon. Coming into this weekend’s game, he had 18 total tackles, two passes defended and an interception.
Here’s the targeting call from today’s Auburn-Georgia game:
Smoke Monday was ejected for this hit #CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 9, 2021
Even though no one will argue that targeting should be called on this particular hit, there are plenty of people who are frustrated that it results in an automatic ejection.
“Feel like I say this publicly or in my head every single week. Targeting calls and their subsequent ejections are ruining what’s left of the integrity of college football,” former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson tweeted. “Protect players, yes. Place unreal expectations on them, no. We have to do better for our student athletes.”
Of course, there are some people who believe Monday was rightfully ejected.
“Not every targeting call is an example of how the rules are completely unfair to defenders and must be changed,” college football analyst Alex Kirshner said. “Monday launched with his head no matter where he made contact. That isn’t gonna be allowed in CFB.”
Targeting will remain a strong debate topic for years to come, but there’s no doubt Monday put himself in a tough spot by launching at Bennett.