Richt speaks more on controversial targeting calls

semerson@macon.comOctober 20, 2013 

ATHENS - A day later, Mark Richt was a bit more willing to talk about the officiating.

There were several calls that Georgia was unhappy with, particularly two targeting calls, in Saturday's 31-27 loss at Vanderbilt. Richt said after the game he didn't want to say anything "horrendous" about the officiating, and largely left it at that.

On his Sunday teleconference, Richt opened up a bit, though he still steered away from anything that should draw the ire of the SEC office.

First, Richt said the hit that caused Ray Drew's ejection in the second quarter did not fit the spirit of the targeting rule. Drew, Georgia's leader in sacks this season, was ejected for what appeared to just be a two-handed shove of Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels.

"I don't think that the rule was designed for that type of play, quite frankly," Richt said. "It didn't look like Ray was trying to blast the guy in any way, shape or form. 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."

After watching film of the play, Richt also felt that Drew may have been pushed into the quarterback by the Vanderbilt linemen who was trying to block him. Drew should have been allowed to return to the game after the replay review, according to Richt.

"I don't really know for sure why they didn't allow him to play," Richt said. "I'm glad it happened in the first half where now he won't miss any of the game against Florida. That's the best part about it."

Replay did overturn the ejection of Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson after his targeting call in the fourth quarter. The problem is that by rule the 15-yard penalty cannot be overturned, and it gave Vanderbilt new life, after Wilson's hit had ended a drive.

"Obviously the one on Ramik was a good, clean play, and the officials after reviewing it felt the same way," Richt said. "But because of the rule as it states you still have that 15-yard penalty. Even though the replay felt it was a good clean play.

"My guess is that'll be one of the biggest topics, the hottest topics, on this rule. Whether or not you're going to review it to let a guy stay in the game because you don't think it was targeting, (then) you might possibly take the penalty away (as well)."

There was another officiating decision that Richt continued to disagree with in the game, and it didn't involve targeting.

Richt felt an offensive pass interference should have been called when Krause caught a 41-yard pass in the fourth quarter. It happened on the first play of a drive that led to a Vanderbilt field goal to whittle Georgia's lead to 27-24. Krause fought off Georgia cornerback Damian Swann for the ball.

"I've got an opinion on that too, and what I saw happened, where I felt the receiver got away with one on that one," Richt said. "But the official didn't see it the way I saw it."

Incidentally, Richt said he felt Swann had a good game overall, despite dropping a punt, which led to a Vanderbilt score.

"He won some and lost some, but I think he won more than he lost," Richt said. "But that's kind of the nature of that position. You're gonna make plays, and people are gonna make plays on you."

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