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Georgia players rip targeting rule and officiating after Vandy loss

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins is not a fan of the new targeting rule in college football.

Two Georgia Bulldogs had some choice words about the officiating of Vanderbilt's upset win over UGA Saturday, calling into question the targeting rule that has been the biggest officiating controversy in college football seen in years. Onlineathens.com published video images of both controversial plays and quoted linebacker Jordan Jenkins thusly:

"I'm not trying to say much, but that whole call is a BS call to me," Jenkins said. "The rule in general is BS. I think it ruins the game. I think it's going to ruin the game of football."

And this from safety Corey Moore on the targeting flag which gave Vandy a critical, late-fourth-quarter first down after an incomplete fourth-down pass:

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"That was a messed up call. You could clearly see his helmet, he didn't target the dude. He made a correct tackle. That just really upset me. That was a big part of the game because it gave them field position to score. ... They did score, and that was pretty big. That was just one penalty that hurt us that shouldn't even have been a penalty."

Players flagged for striking a defenseless player above the shoulders cost their teams 15 yards, and are ejected. In cases where the ejection occurs in the second half, the player is also suspended for the first half of the following game. A significant number of targeting calls have been overturned on replay this season, but when overturned, the 15-yard penalty stands.

That has some coaches anxious for the next round of meetings of the NCAA's rules committee.

"My guess is that will be one of the hottest topics on this rule," UGA coach Mark Richt said, according to dogbytesonline.com.

Linebacker Ramik Wilson and defensive lineman Ray Drew were both called for the penalty, with Drew being ejected once the flag on him withstood video replay. The targeting call on Wilson was overturned, but still carried a 15-yard price tag that Moore criticized.

Richt bit his tongue Saturday night when asked about the targeting calls, but was more vocal Sunday in addressing the issue.

"I think he was trying to pull up. He certainly didn't drive through the guy or try to (hit) him violently in any way, shape or form," Richt said of the call on Drew. "... I don't really think that rule was trying to capture that type of play."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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