This is not the kind of hit you want to see in any football game.

Northwestern is taking on Stanford in a physical Week 1 matchup. Unfortunately, one Wildcat defender was involved in an ugly play late in the first half.

Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello left the pocket and was scrambling in an effort to pick up some yardage late in the second quarter. He started to slide to the ground when Northwestern DE Earnest Brown IV dove at Costello.

Whether it was intentional or not, Brown hit Costello across the head with his forearm after the quarterback had already given himself up. The force of the hit knocked Costello’s helmet off and left him flat on his back for a moment.

It was a really ugly scene to end the half:

Fortunately, Costello was able to leave the field under his own power. But what makes the play even more confusing is that no targeting was called on the play. Brown was flagged for a late hit, but it was of the common variety.

Based on the definition of targeting which looks at forceful contact to the head or neck area, it sure looks like Brown should have been flagged and ejected for the hit. If this isn’t targeting, what is?

Here’s another angle of the play: