Posted: 10:56 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
By Jason Lieser
It’s hard to believe anyone will have their afternoon cut short by a targeting penalty faster than Gators S Cody Riggs did at in today’s 36-17 loss at Missouri.
On the first play of the game, Tigers WR L’Damian Washington beat Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves down the right sideline for a 41-yard catch. Riggs came in late and hit him near the UF sideline.
Riggs immediately was hit with a flag for targeting, and a replay review upheld the call and required him to be ejected.
Florida coach Will Muschamp was near the play, but did not get a good look at it. Regardless, he defended Riggs and continued his stance against the new rule.
“It’s a bang-bang play,” he said. “Again, I think the rule is good, but I don’t think the rule of an ejection is right. (Washington) went down to catch the ball. It was the correct call. I don’t disagree with the call. I disagree with kicking a kid out of a game in that situation. He wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody. It’s ridiculous.”
It also was a brutal loss for the Gators, who already were missing three defensive starters due to injury.
Because Riggs’ penalty occurred in the first half, he served his penalty by missing the rest of the game. The only other Florida player ejected for targeting this year was DB Brian Poole. He was flagged in the second half of the Tennessee game and was suspended for the first half the following week against Kentucky.