Alabama backup safety Jared Mayden will miss the first half of the SEC Championship Game against Georgia after being ejected for targeting against Auburn.
Officials flagged Mayden for targeting after a hit on Auburn wide receiver Ryan Davis in the third quarter of the Iron Bowl. Because the ejection came in the second half, he is required to sit out the first half of the Crimson Tide’s next game as well.
The hit came on a 4-yard completion to Davis on Auburn’s second possession of the half. Davis stayed down on the field for several minutes after the play before eventually walking off the field.
— Jive Dan Mullen (@JiveDanMullen) November 24, 2018
Here’s the first part of what the NCAA rulebook says about targeting.
No player shall target and make forcible contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul.
One of the indicators of targeting referenced in Note 1 of the rule is “leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area.” Mayden definitely led with the crown of his helmet, and he definitely made contact with the head area.
That’s why many people watching the game seemed to agree with the call.
Targeting called on Jared Mayden.
Lowered his head. He's disqualified and will miss the first half against UGA
— Marq Burnett (@Marq_Burnett) November 24, 2018
Jared Mayden will miss the first half of the SECCG if the call is upheld. And it should be. That's targeting.
— Aaron Suttles (@AaronSuttles) November 24, 2018
That hit is what should be called as targeting. Mayden was rightly disqualified. Praying Davis is OK.
— davideprince (@davideprince) November 24, 2018
Mayden, a junior, has played in seven games so far this season including the Iron Bowl. He came into this week with 11 tackles and a sack on the season.