It’s never good when you’re asked to perform a task beyond the scope of your job’s main responsibilities. It’s exactly what happens when a punting team fails to cover a returner before the punter is forced to get involved and attempt a tackle. Liberty punter Aidan Alves was in a position to stop Army returner Mike Reynolds and it went a lot worse than you’d expect.
Unsurprisingly, Alves was ejected for targeting as launching head-first into another player for a hit is the textbook definition of the penalty. The NCAA rulebook lists four ways a player can get flagged for targeting and he checked off three with the move: leaving his feet aiming for the head, leading with the helmet and lowering his head before initiating contact.
The good news is that since college teams seem to have an endless supply of players, a backup was in the waiting to take Alves’ place.