Nick Schwartz, USA Today --- South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney capped a phenomenal sophomore season with a vicious hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl, which was celebrated as one of the best defensive plays of the year.
A somewhat controversial new rule in college football approved this spring means that hits like Clowney's could result in an automatic ejection, if referees believe a player has targeted an opponent's helmet.
At ACC media days in Greensboro, ACC officiating coordinator Doug Rhoads mentioned to reporters that he believed Clowney's hit crossed the line.
Former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira also condemned the hit, speaking to SB Nation's Steven Godfrey at Big 12 media days.
"When you look at the play by the NFL rules of the runner vs. the tackler, I think it would be [an ejection]. That's where the danger lies. You take what's perceived to be a great play and it turns into a penalty and an ejection.... Remember what you're dealing with in targeting. It's the crown of the head. Not simply the helmet, but the crown of your head [points to top of his head]. Not the forehead. You're looking for a guy hitting who is looking at the ground."