Defensive back Cody Riggs was calm, cool, and collective after getting ejected from the Missouri game early in the first quarter. The call came on Missouri’s opening drive against the Gators. Soon after, quarter back Maty Mauk connected with Bud Sasser for a touchdown catch giving the Missouri Tigers the 7-0 lead with only about 20 seconds of gameplay.
Riggs is not the first Gator to be ejected from a game this season for targeting. Cornerback, Brian Poole was also ejected for a targeting call in the game against Tennessee. Poole was issued to sit out of the first half of the Kentucky game because of the call. Riggs however will be able to play the entire game against Georgia this week because the call happened so early in the game.
“It was the correct call,” UF head coach Will Muschamp said. “I don’t disagree with the call. I disagree with kicking a kid out of the game in that situation. He wasn’t maliciously trying to hurt anybody. Ridiculous.”
Earlier this year theCollege Football Officiating, LLC released a handout of things that are considered targeted hits or tackles. The handout mentions the following as targeting:
- Launching toward an opponent to make contact in the head or neck area.
- A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust with contact at the head or neck area.
- Leading with the helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow into the head or neck area.
- Lowering the head before attacking and initiating with the crown of the helmet.
They also mentioned which tackles were considered safe. The examples are as follows:
- A heads-up tackle where the crown of the helmet does not strike above the shoulders.
- A wrap-up tackle.
- The head is to the side rather than used to initiate contact.
- Incidental helmet contact due to players changing position during the play.
In the case of Riggs, he had no plan to argue with the call made against him especially after watching the replay.
Although Riggs supports the rule especially in regards to preventing concussions, he was upset with being ejected from a game where family members were in attendance. Even with the rule, Riggs says that he will continue to play to the best of his ability with high intensity.
With Missouri losing 27-24 to South Carolina after a missed field goal attempt in double overtime, the Gators still have the opportunity to control their destiny and make a run for the SEC East title. Missouri’s misfortune had Riggs immediately turn his attention to Georgia. Even with Georgia suffering from injuries, Riggs still believes that the game will be highly competitive.
The Florida Gators take on the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday in Jacksonville with kick-off set for 3:30 p.m. Listen live for game coverage starting at 12:30 p.m.