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When is targeting, targeting - and when is it not?

Sooners freshman WR Ceedee Lamb was ejected from the game against Tulane for this block in the second quarter. It was called targeting. (KTUL)

Not even the announcers could figure out how a blind-side block - but one that avoided contact with a players helmet - was deemed targeting. That was the case for OU standout freshman Ceedee Lamb, who was ejected from the Sooners game against Tulane for that hit.

"When I watched it, I honestly had a hard time seeing that," OU Head Coach Lincoln Riley said Monday.

Riley isn't alone - but the call brings to light a new quandary for coaching staffs across the country: how do you coach your players to tackle if this is what is now considered targeting?

"It's already things that we've had to adjust, offensively as far as blocking, defensively as far as the way we tackle," Riley said. "You've got to understand when a player's defenseless, that he gets a lot more protection and you have to understand those situations. We already have, but I think this one may make us adjust our coaching a little bit more."

No one seems to have a problem with the intent of the targeting rule - player safety is paramount - but it's the application of the penalty that needs tweaking.

"If the penalty was just a 15-yarder and not an ejection - I get it," Riley went on to say. "In my opinion, the fact that it also brings along an ejection, let's make 100% sure he hit him in the head. I don't think either one of us can sit here and say 100% either way - that's the problem I have with it - we're going to kick a guy out, that replay better absolutely beyond any doubt confirm it. I think that's maybe where there's an area we need to look at."

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