In the second quarter in College Station, the Alabama Crimson Tide defense almost received a devastating blow after referees ruled starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had committed the “targeting” penalty which results in immediate ejection.
It was clear as soon as the play happened that Clinton-Dix made an incredible football play, but the refs were working on the side of caution.
The good news for Alabama is that the booth review corrected the call and allowed Clinton-Dix to remain in the game, but the 15 yard penalty was not overturned and the Texas A&M Aggies received an automatic first down.
If Clinton-Dix had actually committed an illegal hit, then the penalty would have been understandable, but he was simply making a play on the ball and even put his hands up for an interception. With Clinton-Dix focusing on the ball and making a big play, he collided with the intended receiver and they both went down.
Here is a GIF of the play, via SB Nation:
It would have been criminal to see Clinton-Dix ejected for making an impressive football play, so let’s all be thankful that the men upstairs got it right and the penalty did not lead to a game-changing score.