On Friday night, Ohio State and Clemson met in the Sugar Bowl in a rematch of last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal game.
Ohio State dominated the first half en route to a 35-14 halftime lead. Unfortunately, it looked like star quarterback Justin Fields’ night would be over before the game really got going.
Fields took a nasty shot from Clemson linebacker James Skalski, who lowered his helmet and hit the Ohio State quarterback in the ribs. Skalski was ejected for the hit after being flagged for targeting.
College football fans – including ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith – were not happy with the call.
“This is straight B.S. for the second straight year in the playoffs this kid from Clemson named Skalski is ejected for ‘Targeting.’ What is the guy suppose to do? Stand straight up and tackle? I mean, come on! What B.S. I feel so bad for that kid. Why even play defense,” Smith said.
Regardless of the outcry, the hit was textbook targeting. The rule might need to be changed, but Skalski’s hit on Fields was clearly targeting as the rule is currently defined.
As it stands now, Clemson has a massive deficit to overcome in just 30 more minutes of action. Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence is one of the best in the country, but he’ll have his hands full trying to come back in this one.