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Washington State’s Travion Brown ejected for first-half hit on Oregon’s Travis Dye

New Mexico State running back Naveon Mitchell  tries to get away from Washington State linebacker Travion Brown  during the second half Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Pullman. (Young Kwak / AP)

EUGENE – Officials whistled Travion Brown for targeting in the second quarter against No. 11 Oregon, disqualifying the Washington State linebacker for the remainder of Saturday’s game.

Brown, a true freshman inside linebacker, was flagged for his head-to-head hit on Ducks running back Travis Dye as the sophomore was pushing for more yardage on a catch from Justin Herbert.

Dye broke two Washington State tackles and stumbled forward, placing his helmet low, as Brown came in to make the stop. The linebacker’s helmet met the running back’s head-on as Dye fell to the turf.

The penalty disqualifies Brown for the second half of the game against Oregon, but he’ll be eligible to play in the fiurst half of WSU’s next game at Cal following the bye week.

It’s the second time this season a WSU defender has been ejected for targeting. Second-string “Rush” linebacker Ron Stone Jr. was penalized for a similar hit on Northern Colorado quarterback Jacob Knipp, forcing him to miss the first half of the team’s ensuing game against Houston.

Brown’s ejection hurts an already thin inside linebacking corps. The Cougars have been playing without redshirt junior Dillon Sherman, who hasn’t played since UNC because of a lower body injury, and redshirt junior Dominick Silvels, who’s missed time because of personal issues.