USC’s KICKER was ejected for targeting on the first play of the game

By Mary Clarke

College football has seen a lot of targeting calls over the years, but nothing comes close to this.

The start of USC versus Stanford seemed about what you’d expect from a PAC-12 game. Kicker Parker Lewis lined up for the opening kickoff and away we went on Saturday evening.

Except, bizarrely, Lewis was ejected for targeting on the play after helping make the tackle on the Stanford runner. Yes, that’s right, USC’s starting kicker was ejected six seconds into the game for targeting on an opposing player, meaning the Trojans were without their kicker for the rest of the game.

It’s absolutely a surreal scene, made even better by Lewis’ dumbfounded expression on the sideline upon learning he was ejected.

Given the… controversial nature of the targeting rule, I will make no judgements here as to whether this was within the spirit of the rule. Lewis does make contact with the runner with the crown of his helmet, however, which is the main reason why he was ejected here.

Still, of all people, the referees eject the KICKER from a game? Can’t say we’ve seen that before.


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