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Mark Stoops not “complaining” about Chris Oats’ targeting ejection

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)


One downside to Saturday’s 38-24 win over Toledo for Kentucky was that sophomore Chris Oats was ejected for targeting in the second half on a hit on Toledo quarterback Mitch Guadagni and will now miss the first half of the Central Michigan game.

The Toledo quarterback was scrambling and appeared to start his slide to the ground just a fraction of a second before the contact with Oates.

“It’s tough. You know, I think you all know that. You see the issues nationwide, so it’s just a tough call. It’s tough.

You know, they (officials) review it. And that goes back to the SEC office, so that was looked at by a lot of people. If they upheld the call, that’s what it is,” Stoops said.


So I thought initially when I watched it during the game that Chris was throwing an arm just to protect him, but he didn’t. I think as long as we’re trying to wrap up, that’s a tough call.”

Stoops accepted what happened the best he could.

“I’m not complaining about it being thrown and I’m not complaining about Chris, because I think he was hustling,” Stoops said. “

It’s very difficult to know when the quarterback is going down the slide and if he’s going to slide.

“As long as they’re going to wrap up and our head is up and trying to play clean, then it’s just going to happen sometimes. It’s in our game. It’s, you know, for the well-being and the safety of our student-athletes, so it is what it is. I support it.”


  1. I thought it was a bad call, just bad timing on both players parts more than anything. Just a hard football play.

  2. New rules or not that call was just wrong. Oats was already in his tackling motion when the slide started. He was not trying to hit Guadagni’s head and would not have hit it if not for the slide. All I can say is the refs missed this badly. It’s one thing to try to protect players. It’s another to punish them for what was clearly not preventable.

    There really needs to be some way to evaluate the difference between actually “targeting” a players head and trying to hit some other part of the body only to have the player put his head in the way just before being tackled.

    Some bright young player is going to figure out they can duck their head and get half the other team tossed from the game whenever they want. The Pittsburgh Steelers have already figured this out and they have used it in a disgusting manner. It’s one of the reasons I no longer watch the NFL.

    1. Great points King

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