In the second half of the Auburn Tigers Week 2 matchup against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, linebacker Kris Frost was flagged and ejected for targeting. Because the penalty happened in the second half, he is also suspended for the first half of the Tigers Week 3 game against Mississippi State, the team's SEC opener.
The play, in which Frost hit Red Wolves quarterback Adam Kennedy after he released the ball, was extremely controversial. The crowd at Auburn cheered in support of Frost as he left the field.
Fans cheer Kris Frost as he heads to the locker room. He was ejected on a targeting call. https://t.co/LEMLyCZRub— Justin Lee (@byjustinlee) September 8, 2013
Many fans on Twitter voiced their displeasure for the call, with the general consensus being that while the hit may have been hard, it wasn't illegal and was simply a football play.
Kris Frost went high; not a helmet-to-helmet, but you can't go high on a QB. Certainly not that late. pic.twitter.com/suCzGcVIUD— Jay G. Tate (@JayGTate) September 8, 2013
There has been plenty of criticism of the targeting penalty since the rule was instituted this offseason. While targeting was initially just a 15-yard personal foul, new NCAA rules state that if a player is flagged for it, he is ejected for the remainder of the game. And if the foul happened in the second half, he's suspended for the first half of his team's next game.
In Week 1, there were 10 targeting penalties assessed. Three of the subsequent ejections were later overturned by replay review.
Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star wrote last week that getting consistency with the targeting is a work in progress for both the referees and the players.
These are the hits college football is attempting to eliminate for safety, and they were the right calls. Still, getting consistency with the targeting call will be a work in progress.
Same for the players, who have to adjust their instincts when it comes to approaching contact.
In his team's first two games, Frost totaled nine tackles, including seven solo ones.