Arizona State-SDSU Ending Shows Why Targeting Rule Needs Tweaking

The college football day was wrapping up with the final games coming to an end when around 1 AM, I decided to turn on the Arizona State vs San Diego State game. Earlier, I saw SDSU was up 27-14 with under 3 minutes to play so I didn’t think much of it. Then just a few moments later I saw that the Sun Devils cut the lead to just a touchdown and had the ball. The second I changed my channel, it was fourth down as ASU threw it deep with under 10 seconds remaining and WR Frank Darby went up and snagged the ball with double coverage until an SDSU player came and drilled Darby in the head which caused the ball to become “loose” and apparently he bobbled it as he hit the ground.

Watch for yourself.

They reviewed the play for targeting and it was obviously called. They also reviewed the catch and ruled it incomplete. This is where it gets confusing. Frank Darby initially caught the ball. He then “lost possession” of it because of the illegal hit to the head by the Aztec defender. Due to targeting only being a 15-yard penalty, ASU was granted a first down and another shot at a hail mary.

This needs to be changed.

There is no doubt in my mind that this play should’ve been a spot foul. Darby had possession of the ball. It was a catch at the 1-yard line. The targeting is what caused the incompletion. San Diego State got rewarded for cheating. The hit looked very intentional and I can’t help but wonder if the player or team had this as a strategy for this situation. I’m hoping I’m wrong but either way, this shouldn’t be possible in football.

Arizona State should have had one more play at the 1-yard line after the targeting call but due to the rule, the Sun Devils only moved up 15 yards and had no choice but to heave up a hail mary. SDSU batted it down and won 28-21. I’m sure there will be a lot of talk about this play and the rule after tonight as there should be. I hope the NCAA fixes this rule before more teams get robbed by this foolishness.

– Collin Borron

Photo Credit HERE

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