Davis was ejected for targeting during the second quarter of the Aggies' 59-10 loss to Wisconsin on Friday night. At the time of the hit — 14 minutes remaining in the quarter — Utah State led 10-0 and their defense was dominating an inept Badgers' offense.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior obliterated Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus after Cephus failed to haul in an Alex Hornibrook pass. He wasn't initially flagged for targeting but the booth official buzzed in with the call. After a review, it stood and Davis was ejected.
According to the NCAA rule book, it was the right call. He should have been flagged and should have been ejected. Davis, however, was the victim of a horrendous rule.
Let's take another look. Watch as Cephus lowers his head at least 12 inches as he crouches for the ball while bracing for the hit. This puts Davis' head — which was aiming for the upper torso — directly on Cephus' head. Cephus began crouching when Davis was only a couple yards away, leaving Davis no time to adjust his launch angle or target.
The hit was violent but it was not reckless. Flag Davis and allow him to finish the game.
"Targeting is the worst rule in college football," former Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert tweeted after the hit, "unnecessary roughness sure but ejecting a kid for 1 of 12 opportunities a year? #Garbage."
That's putting it kindly.
The automatic ejection stipulation is a pathetic disgrace to the game and is stealing opportunities from student-athletes. Why can't there be an exception to the rule that allows for non-ejection targeting if the player clearly intended no harm and was put in a difficult spot as a result of adjustments by the defenseless player? Why is there not a central replay command to ensure consistency with ejection calls? Why can't players be given warnings for targeting by flagging the first call and ejecting after a second or third?
All of that would make too much sense. And for the NCAA, common sense doesn't make cents to them.