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Wildcats react to Kash Daniel ejection

“It was a B.S. call.”

Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

Saturday was another special night at Kroger Field, as the Kentucky Wildcats beat South Carolina to improve to 5-0.

However, the win came at a cost, as Kash Daniel was ejected in the second half for targeting. The play in question came on an interception by Darius West, as Daniel made what was deemed an illegal targeting block during the return.

Daniel actually pumped up the crowd as he hit the locker room with Kentucky clinging to a 24-10 lead.

South Carolina would drive into Kentucky territory on several occasions in the second half, but even without Daniel, the defense stood tall and held on for the win and a 5-0 start.

Once the game ended, Daniel came out to celebrate with his teammates.

After the game, head coach Mark Stoops talked about the controversial play.

“Yeah, Kash, he’s bummed out with himself. And, again, that’s what I told the team. I felt like we always, early in the week, we talk about whatever the situation’s going to be. Another big game at home and all that. And at times we could handle this situation better than we did tonight.

“We didn’t handle it quite as good as we did a week ago, in my opinion. So the guy’s got to reign it back in a little bit. There was nothing malicious about that. He didn’t mean to target somebody, it was very, very close, from what I could tell, and so it’s disappointing. But again, teaching moment for us about peel back blocks and all that stuff.”

Fellow linebacker Jordan Jones was more focal with his assessment.

It was a B.S. call. Football is football. He just wanted to make sure we weren’t down because he wasn’t in. He just wanted us to fighting and keeping doing it. We did that today.”

Linebacker Josh Allen, who finished the game with three critical sacks, spoke on how much Daniel means to this team.

“We love Kash. We play for him. We knew what we were going to do. And when I got in the locker room, he gave me the biggest hug ever.”

The good news for Kentucky was a pair of true freshman linebackers stepped up when Daniel went out. Chris Oats and DeAndre Square had solid games and will be counted on a lot in Week 6 when Kentucky faces the Texas A&M Aggies, as Daniel will be sidelined for the first half.

Square actually got dinged and left briefly in the game before returning to help finish off the win. He’s been pleasent surprise since enrolling early and making a lot of noise in spring practice.

But there’s no question Kentucky needs Daniel back ASAP to keep this defense playing at a high level, especially against a team like Texas A&M that ranks 24th nationally in rushing offense and 13th in total offense.

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