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Florida State's Jacob Pugh ejected for targeting after arm hits player's head

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 08: Jacob Pugh #16 and DeMarcus Walker #44 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrate a sack on Brad Kaaya #15 of the Miami Hurricanes during a game at Hard Rock Stadium on October 8, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This may be one of the most bizarre targeting calls you’ll see in 2017.

Florida State defensive end Jacob Pugh was ejected for a targeting call after he tried to defend a throwback play by North Carolina State. The play called for a backwards pass by quarterback Ryan Finley to wide receiver Gavin Locklear, who then was supposed to throw downfield.

As Locklear wound up to throw, Pugh put his hands up as he approached and his right arm hit Locklear’s head as he released the ball.

It’s important to note no penalty was called on the field. Replay officials buzzed down and alerted the crew on the field to a possible targeting penalty. After review, Pugh was ejected and a 15-yard penalty was assessed.

(Via ESPN)

This is yet another instance where a strict interpretation of the targeting rule deems the play to be targeting. But Pugh is chasing a player out wide in the middle of a gadget play and doing all he can to stop the pass. It’s pretty clear that he didn’t try to hit Locklear’s head on purpose and was instead simply trying to do his job.

We’re not sure how it can be done, but officials have to start looking for intent in situations like this. Not only is Pugh out for the final 18 minutes of the game vs. the Wolfpack, he’s going to miss the first half of Florida State’s next game.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!