Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he was “irate” with a targeting call that went against the Buckeyes this past weekend, and Big Ten officials agree that he has a point.
Referees in Saturday’s Ohio State-Maryland game flagged cornerback Denzel Ward for targeting after he upended Terrapins receiver Taivon Jacobs in the first quarter of a blowout victory. The hit caused a fumble, and Ward scooped up the loose ball before referees ruled the play an incomplete pass.
A replay official confirmed the targeting penalty on the play and ejected Ward even though it appeared he never made contact with Jacobs’ head. Meyer said his staff submitted a complaint to the league office after the game and received some vindication. The Big Ten said that the referee wasn’t wrong in throwing the flag as the play unfolded, but replay officials should have overturned the call and kept Ward in the game.
Meyer said the team would reward Ward for a fumble and recovery at practice on Tuesday. When asked whether he was concerned about the possibility of a similar mistake hurting the team in a more competitive game, Meyer said yes, and then some.
“Concerned, irate, all of the above,” he said. “It’s not the person on the field. Those are snap judgments. I still to this day don’t understand how that happens, but that’s for the higher-ups to figure out. Concerned is probably not strong enough.”
No. 9 Ohio State visits Nebraska this weekend. Ward’s ejection came during the first half, which means he wasn’t in danger of missing any time against the Cornhuskers.