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What happened on Darius West, Bunchy Stallings ejections

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)


Kentucky had two seniors — Darius West and Bunchy Stallings — ejected from Saturday’s 34-17 loss to Georgia, a game the Cats never led.

West, a safety and one of UK’s top playmakers, was ejected early in the second for targeting. It was a call he didn’t agree with and coach Mark Stoops could tell because he took time to talk to West before he had to leave the field.

I don’t even recall all of it to be honest with you,” Stoops said about the conversation. “Darius is a great kid and he’s poured his heart into it, and he’s an emotional guy.

“Just wanted to put my arm around him and make sure he regrouped himself, and you know, go the to the locker room and got everything under control. Don’t remember exactly what I said.”

What Stoops and West will remember whether they agree with the call or not is that West will now have to sit out the first half of the next game at Tennessee.

If West was upset about his ejection, Stallings should really be upset. The replay shows little that Stallings did during a discussion with the official when they appeared to bump. The official didn’t fall backward or lose his balance. But he quickly reached for the flag to eject Stallings — bringing back way too many memories of Benny Snell’s ejection in the Music City Bowl.

Stoops said he didn’t think it would be “wise” for him to comment on Stallings’ ejection.

Again, I don’t know. I didn’t see anything. I have no idea. But you know, I’ll put it this way, I know Bunchy’s heart and I know he’s an emotional guy and I don’t think he was trying to be disrespectful. But if he put his hand and tried to grab for whatever reason, you can’t do that,” Stoops said.

“Again, if he did that, if he touched him in any way, even if he’s emotional, I don’t think he meant it in a disrespectful way, let’s put it that way. I know Bunchy and I know where his heart’s at, and the rule is the rule.”

The only plus here is that Stallings won’t have to miss any time against Tennessee.

1 comment

  1. Those same officials could have paid a little more attention to Georgia IMO. I don’t like the targeting rule at all the way it is administered. I can see ejection, but not having to sit for a half in the next game. That was a bang, bang play at the goal line, and not malicious IMO. The Georgia player was in a crouched position leading with his head. You could call targeting just about every play against a RB going through the line.

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