Auburn LB Zakoby McClain ejected on controversial targeting call in Penn State game
Auburn suffered a big loss to a controversial targeting call Saturday night at Penn State.
Tiger defender Zakoby McClain was tossed for the hit he made on a Nittany Lion player approaching the goal line.
Auburn LB Zakoby McClain was ejected for targeting on this play…… pic.twitter.com/agpHwc269w
— ✯✯✯✯✯ (@FTBVids_YT) September 19, 2021
McClain took the call hard. Cameras showed he was visibly upset on the sideline.
On Twitter, CFB media members overwhelmingly criticized the call.
Targeting rules need to change if this is going to be called targeting pic.twitter.com/XiTAcyWpEX
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) September 19, 2021
My 9 year old daughter:
“Dad, why did he get kicked out?”
“I have no idea sweetheart. No idea.”
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) September 19, 2021
Operation: End Targeting should in effect nationwide.
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) September 19, 2021
If that's targeting, well, it shouldn't be. Good tough tackle. Wow, McClain ejected. that's brutal.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) September 19, 2021
Zakoby McClain is ejected for targeting.
Come on, man. What’s he supposed to do? pic.twitter.com/sk2ozP1RKx
— Connor O'Gara (@cjogara) September 19, 2021
The Auburn-Penn State game is on ABC, but NBC’s officiating rules expert Terry McAulay weighed in on Twitter, sharing his take that McClain’s hit should not have been ruled as targeting.
I don’t believe that was targeting. Until he is clearly on the ground, he is still a ball carrier and not defenseless. Thus, he doesn’t get head/neck area protection. Not a forcible hit with the crown, so its not targeting.#AUBvsPSU
— Terry McAulay (@SNFRules) September 19, 2021
Penn State went on to score after McClain’s ejection, extending its leads to 28-20 in the fourth quarter. McClain will miss the first half of Auburn’s Week 4 game.