NEW YORK (AP) — The new penalties for targeting in college football resulted in 10 ejections in 75 FBS games during the first weekend of the season, though three of the ejections were overturned by instant replay.
National Coordinator of Officials Rogers Redding said Thursday that the rate of targeting penalties was similar to last season, when there was one called for every eight games.
"Officials have handled it well and the players have begun to get the message," he said.
He said It's too soon to know if the ejection that goes along with the 15-yard penalty will affect how frequently the penalty is called.
"I think I would have been pleased and surprised if we only had three or four and I would have been disappointed if we had 20," he said.
The NCAA changed the penalty for targeting a defenseless player with a hit to the head to add an ejection this season. Targeting has been a penalty for five seasons.
Redding said he is encouraged by signs that players are changing their targets when they hit.
"From what I watched, several times player looked like they began to change their behavior," he said.
He said he spotted examples of receivers going over the middle, vulnerable to a big hit, and defensive backs not dealing out the most punishing blows.
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