Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman confirmed on Monday that Notre Dame appealed the terrible targeting call on JD Bertrand in the North Carolina game and that the appeal was denied. While no one should be surprised since nothing regarding targeting makes a lot of sense, it’s noteworthy since Bertrand will be out for the first half of Saturday night’s game against BYU.
“Denied. They said, in their opinion, that was a targeting penalty,” Freeman said on Monday after being asked about the appeal. “They denied our appeal, and he’ll be out for the first half of this game,” he added.
Freeman stopped short of criticizing the ACC officials and whoever heard the appeal, but his feelings on the matter were apparent. “I’ll save my opinion. We felt we had a strong appeal. It was denied.”
Freeman is right. Notre Dame had a strong appeal because the play should have never been called targeting in the first place, certainly shouldn’t have been upheld by the replay booth, and sure as heck shouldn’t have been denied when appealed.
Here is ESPN commentator Dan Orlovsky discussing the play during the telecast after Bertrand was ejected.
Notre Dame appealed the JD Bertrand targeting call against UNC. It was denied. Here’s the video of that call. I still don’t understand it pic.twitter.com/E1cfOrY4BJ— Nathan Erbach (@Nathan_Erbach) October 3, 2022
Bertrand hit the receiver in the shoulder with his face mask. He didn’t make contact with the receiver’s head and didn’t initiate contact with the crown of his helmet.
Notre Dame played the first half of the North Carolina game without Bertrand after a targeting call at the end of the Cal game that was very much warranted. In the Cal game, Bertrand earned the targeting call and his first-half suspension against UNC. This one, on the other hand, is another story.
At this point, all Notre Dame can do is adjust to not having their starting MIKE linebacker for the first half of another game against a pretty good offense. BYU doesn’t have quite the firepower of UNC, but they are still a good offense.
Prince Kollie played 10 snaps against North Carolina with Bertrand on the bench in the first half, but Bertrand only totaled 11 snaps in the second half. With UNC’s high-powered offense, Notre Dame played a lot of nickel. That same will likely play out this weekend with BYU having a weak run game.
BYU Targeting Appeal Was Granted
While Notre Dame’s appeal of Bertrand’s targeting call was denied, BYU was granted one for DB Gabe Jeudy-Lally. BYU will now have him available for the first half against the Irish.
Gabe Jeudy-Lally played in 2 games this season with 7 tackles and no pass breakups or interceptions.