Getting up on Sunday morning after another Florida gut punch is never easy.
No way around it, the result of last night’s game is hard to digest.
Whether you point to a conservative offensive game plan down the stretch, turnovers, young players making mistakes due to lack of experience, or a supernatural curse involving backup quarterbacks (or maybe a combination of a dozen things), Kentucky was still the better team last night against a team ranked 9th in the country, but still ended up on the wrong side of the win-loss column.
While we can sit and talk about why that game ended the way it did, I need to use some space talking about these targeting penalties.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for player safety and I think measures have to be in place to ensure players aren’t going headhunting out on the field. We have too much evidence of what repeated hits to the head can do and the long-term effects that football can have on players’ brains.
But something needs to change in how these targeting penalties are called. Last night, Kentucky had two players knocked out of the game in TJ Carter and Yusuf Corker, while Florida’s Donovan Stiner was taken out of the game in the third quarter for a targeting penalty.
Of the three, the one on Carter was the most egregious call, in my opinion.
Quarterback getting swung around leads to targeting. I mean... pic.twitter.com/QpMQfeNe9N— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 15, 2019
You can’t tell me if this same hit happens on a running back up the middle that the same call is made.
But all in all, Carter’s hit probably does fit what the NCAA defines as targeting, but there needs to be some discretion on how these things are called. When it’s a clear intentional hit to the head or something like that, by all means eject the player. There’s no room for someone intentionally trying to take out another player.
But it’s a different story when a football player goes in for a tackle and an accidental targeting-style hit happens. Players being ejected can greatly impact games, and I would HOPE the NCAA will revisit targeting penalties going forward.
Tweets of the Day
Mark Stoops has changed the culture at Kentucky but after losing many of your program's cornerstones, it's still a process for younger guys in learning how to win themselves. Mistakes and growing pains were evident tonight. Were the better team and let one get away.— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) September 15, 2019
A lot of truth to this.
This loss makes me sick.— Rich Brooks (@UKcoachbrooks) September 15, 2019
The backup QB curse continues.
Kentucky’s offense down the stretch was subpar.
Carter will also miss the first half of next week’s game.
The Cats will have some extremely talented wings in the 2020 class.
UK had missed on several top players in recent years.
A great gesture by Georgia.
Tough loss for Sparty.
Not an ideal situation for the NCAA.
Looks like Gordon’s holdout may be coming to an end.
Jordan will still remain the majority owner.