Fans eagerly tuned into the Week 1 finale between the two Power Five programs, but quickly grew disheartened at the imprint that the officials left on the game. Two Louisville players and two Ole Miss defenders were ejected in a span of just a few drives in the first half.
Things got off to a rocky start when Rebels linebacker Mark Robinson was ejected on a bang-bang tackle on Cardinals running back Hassan Hall. He clearly meant no ill-intent, but he lowered his head so officials gave him the boot.
The game began to spiral from there. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was the clear victim of a second targeting penalty committed by Louisville’s Monty Montgomery. Cardinals defender Nick Broeker was the next player ejected on the ensuing Rebels’ offensive drive.
Just when fans thought the madness was over, officials threw out Ole Miss linebacker Lakia Henry for the fourth ejection of the evening. That took place with nearly six minutes left in the second quarter.
Media members around the college football world rightfully took exception with the absurd number of targeting penalties handed out in the first half of Monday’s game. Not only were they frustrated with the constant review stoppages, but they also reignited the conversation about how an automatic ejection seems like too harsh of a punishment.
One more targeting and every fan in attendance gets a free chicken sandwich.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 7, 2021
The targeting rules NEED TO BE CHAMGE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!
It should be assed just like flagrant fouls in basketball. If it’s clearly intentional/dirty, throw him out! If it isn’t, it’s a 15 yard penalty but no ejection!
— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) September 7, 2021
Another Targeting… JEEEEZ LOUISE DUDE
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 7, 2021
These targeting calls are fasho watering the game down
— Anthony Miller (@AnthonyMiller_3) September 7, 2021
This can't be targeting. If it is then shred the paper the rule is written on and try again. pic.twitter.com/5Rs4bYCD4G
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) September 7, 2021
They’re targeting midnight for the end of this game.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 7, 2021
Ole Miss player got tossed for targeting,by rule it was, for safety reasons you need to see what you hit, he did lead with top of helmet..but stop stop stop ejecting them, 15yd penalty and play on, or at make it 2 targeting and you’re ejected, like 2 techs in BB. Just my opinion
— Mike Golic (@golic) September 7, 2021
The problem with Targeting? It is officiated wildly inconsistent & yet carries the most punitive consequences!
must be addressed!!
We need to only eject in egregious and malicious occurrences.
Targeting 1 (15 yards)
Targeting 2 (15 yards & ejection)
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) September 7, 2021
Debate over the targeting rule has raged around the college football world for the last few years. The penalty is meant to be handed out to try and prevent dangerous hits, so it’s well-intentioned in that regard.
However, targeting isn’t enforced consistently and an immediate ejection is far too harsh of a punishment for the crime. Monday’s game between Ole Miss and Louisville showed just that as some of the most important players on both defenses were forced to spend the rest of the night on the bench.
In the midst of the targeting bonanza, Ole Miss grabbed an early lead and didn’t look back. The high-powered Rebels offense scored 26 points in the first half and doesn’t show any signs of letting up.
Tune-in to ESPN to watch the final two quarters of Ole Miss-Louisville.
[Saturday Down South]