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Gamecocks appeal to NCAA to overturn DQ Smith targeting call against Texas A&M

Shane Beamer said the team appealed linebacker DQ Smith’s targeting call against Texas A&M in the hopes of having it overturned.

Smith was ejected from Saturday’s game during the third quarter against the Aggies and must now sit out of the first half against Jacksonville State, per NCAA rules.

If Smith’s targeting is overturned by the NCAA, he will be eligible for the entire game against Jacksonville State. Beamer said they’re waiting to hear back, but didn’t say when that news could arrive.

“That’s how the rule is read is what they told me,” Beamer said on how the game’s referees explained it to him. “And that’s a tough call because the kid’s not trying to hit the guy helmet-to-helmet, the kids are trying to avoid a targeting and he gets one called on him.”

The NCAA process for targeting appeals was established in spring 2022.

“The process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video of the play,” according to the NCAA press release on the appeals process. “If it is obvious that a player was incorrectly penalized for targeting, the call would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.”

Since his breakout freshman season, Smith has been a consistent player for the USC defense this season, with 56 tackles through eight games.