The targeting penalty leveled against Bulls WLB Vincent Jackson during Saturday's win at Connecticut cannot be overturned, meaning the fourth-year junior must sit out the first half of the Nov. 16 game against Tulsa.
Jackson, rushing off the left edge, was ejected after leveling Huskies QB Bryant Shirreffs — with what appeared to be a forearm or elbow to the helmet — on the first play of the fourth quarter. Shirreffs had tossed a backward lateral to WR Quayvon Skanes, and was turning back toward Jackson when he was hit.
American Athletic Conference spokesperson Chuck Sullivan explained that because the penalty and suspension are part of the specific NCAA playing rule, the league can't take any action to reduce a suspension on targeting fouls.
The "appeal" would be the review by the replay official, whose decision is final.
Shirreffs is in concussion protocol and is questionable for the Huskies' game Saturday at UCF. Immediately after the game, Bulls coach Charlie Strong said he protested the call mildly with referee Mike Roche.
"I called (Roche) over and said, 'Mike, I didn't think it was targeting because the guy was trying to block us…and he's gonna cut him if Vincent doesn't run him over,'" Strong said.
"But it's something they can review and everything."
BULLS LOSE INT LEAD: Though USF had another interception Saturday (by Deatrick Nichols) to bring its season total to 17, it has slipped to second nationally in total picks.
FAU has 18 after intercepting Marshall QB (and former Wharton High star) Chase Litton four times in Saturday's 30-25 victory. The Bulls' pick of Shirreffs in the end zone on a two-point conversion try doesn't count in official stats, Sullivan confirmed.
On the positive side, the Bulls are second nationally in tackles for loss (8.7 per game) and 11th in sacks (3.11 per game).