Kirby Choates was flying down the field with hopes of making a game-breaking tackle on a fourth-quarter punt during Georgia's game against Missouri.
The objective was to get to Missouri's Johnathon Johnson first and make a big play, considering the Bulldogs were trailing by six points at the time. Johnson didn't appear to call for a fair catch, which is probably another reason why Choates zeroed in on him.
But Choates made contact with his shoulder near the neck and head area of Johnson before he was able to field the ball. Johnson was injured and eventually helped off of the field.
Choates drew personal foul and targeting penalties, the latter of which ejected him from Georgia's eventual 28-27 win over Missouri. But the targeting penalty will also force Choates, a mainstay on special teams, to miss the first half against Mississippi.
Asked about the play, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said it was concerning for both Choates and Johnson's safety, but that it wasn't his intention to commit a dirty play.
"Kirby didn’t mean to do that," Smart said. "It was not an intent. He was just trying to join in and make a play. He feels terrible about it. It’s something that we’ve got to make sure we do a good job of making sure doesn’t happen in practice."
Another issue with Georgia in this area is that it's the third consecutive game Georgia has committed a penalty related to kick-catch interference. Against North Carolina, Malkom Parrish ran into a returner and against Nicholls State, Shattle Fenteng did the same.
That's something the Bulldogs will have to do a better job of in future games.
"We challenge them in practice to cover punts and go fast because if you don’t, they’ll break down and the guy will have a miss," Smart said. "We certainly don’t want to ever do what (Choates) did. "Just not smart and he could have injured himself just as easily as the next guy.’’