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WATCH: Kentucky players, coaches react to targeting calls

The targeting call on TJ Carter in the fourth quarter is all anyone can talk about after last night’s loss, and rightfully so. What would have been a sack to make it third and long for the Gators turned into 15 free yards, a first down, and three plays later, the touchdown that would put Florida ahead for good.

The clip of the play in question is everywhere this morning, and shows that Carter didn’t aim for Kyle Trask’s head; rather, Trask dipped his head and shoulders before contact.

There were three targeting calls — and therefore, ejections — last night: the aforementioned one on Carter, one on Yusuf Corker in the first quarter, and one on Florida cornerback Donovan Stiner for his hit on Ahmad Wagner in the third quarter. Mark Stoops tried to toe the line of not criticizing the referees too much in his postgame press conference, but was clearly frustrated.

“It’s very difficult. I’m not saying that all the officials made a wrong call. It’s just a tough call. It’s a tough call. You’ve got a chance to win a game, you know, with third and 20 — what would it have been? I don’t know, third and super long. Targeting.”

“You know, to have a game decided in that moment, when a guy — what am I supposed to tell my — my guys are fighting, clawing, scrambling, trying to get them down and giving everything they got, and you get that called,” he added later before leaving the room.

AJ Rose, Kordell Looney, Drake Jackson, and defensive coordinator Brad White shared their frustrations about the rule with our Bradley McKee.

As Jackson points out, Florida also had a targeting call, and Kentucky had a chance to win the game regardless, but the number of controversial calls this season proves the rule, particularly the blanket punishment, could use some work.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

13 Comments for WATCH: Kentucky players, coaches react to targeting calls

  1. Han
    10:47 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t forget the uncalled grounding, too.

    We still had chances to win–missed field goal, Smith’s bad interceptions, poor playcalling trying not to lose–but 15-yards and a 1st down, wiped-out sacks, extended drives, uncalled holdings when our line had been getting to the QB all game, these things do change the whole course of the game. Not to mention upheld targeting calls remove a player from the game (and part of the next one).

    You want to protect players, but you have to acknowledge when the offensive player isn’t going down during a tackle and when they lower their head into a hit.

  2. Cmart0907
    10:49 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    It’s very difficult for the coaches to keep putting our DBS 5-7 yards off the receivers playing zone coverage every play and pick us apart for 10-12 yards every play. 5 yards and a slant. Wide open in the middle of the field. Every single play.

  3. Cmart0907
    10:50 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    4th and one and line up in wildcats or shotgun. Line up in goal line and punch that ball one damn yard.

    • classof68
      11:26 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      If they had not gone for it inside the Florida 40, I would have been irate. That is exactly what Joker did against Tennessee, and of course we lost that year. You gain very little by punting. But, why in the world do you go for it in the wildcat? Everyone knows what’s coming. And you use your least powerful back? And I don’t understand why they didn’t use Wagner more. I would keep passing it to him until it didn’t work anymore. This team is still immature. The only thing Bowden has done all year is pop off. To see the team dancing around on the sideline at the beginning of the 4th quarter like they just won the game showed me they haven’t arrived yet. I can only hope the coaches can learn from their screw ups. Looks like Sawyer will be fine, as long as they give him some decent plays to run.

    • gasman01
      12:32 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

      Guys, we were weak at defensive back to start the season. Losing one on a targeting call and one to injury in the third quarter left us with absolutely no experience in the secondary. I’m as upset as everyone but we have to move on. No letdown against Miss. St!!!

  4. mcp157
    10:51 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    It was a bac call. However, and not to beat a dead horse, but I am, 4th and 1, up 21-10, if we get the first down, it is game over. The Wildcat has not bee real effective since Benny Snell was playing his sophmore year. Let’s use it much less, please??????

  5. Trueblue44
    10:54 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    I remember when football was football. I understand protecting people but last I checked, they are making the decision to play the game. Same as my son does and many others. I don’t want to see anyone hurt, but this is getting out of hand. If this is how the game is going, it won’t be long before they strap belts and flags to players and completely take contact away from the game.

  6. BluKudzu
    11:09 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Too bad. Back to the old Kentucky.

    Bad coaching in every phase except punting. We got that down.

  7. RAGE
    11:11 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    I agree Trueblue…. They are def taking football out of football… one simple rule to the defensive players they are trying to implement now look at the last picture it is simple you have to see what you hit… The Kentucky player does not see the quarterback on the hit his head is down and leading.. If we all agree or not it was a flag by today’s standards.. No matter what the offensive players does Carter head is down and leading… Constitutes targeting.. ain’t saying I agree but it ain’t a bad call if you look at the pictures

  8. BluKudzu
    11:34 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

    Stop with the crybaby targeting calls.

    This was about turnovers and lack of execution combined with poor play calling.

    Turnovers have been a problem with this offense all season. Teach the players to protect the ball.

    This is on coaching. Your defensive backfield problem is your problem with your players and your coaches.

    • RAGE
      11:47 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      I agree

    • RAGE
      11:48 am September 15, 2019 Permalink

      That was what I was trying to say…

    • 4everUKblue
      12:17 pm September 15, 2019 Permalink

      We were in position to win in spite of the poor officiating, the turnovers, the poor play calling and still blew it. The poor play calling is on the coaching staff, the poor execution is on the players and we all know who the poor officiating is on. While the poor officiating did hurt us, it’s not the reason we lost. For those of you who put the onus all on the coaching staff, grow the f up!