For Gators' Cody Riggs, targeting rule ejection was tough to deal with
It was supposed to be a unique opportunity to play in front of family that may not otherwise get to see him in person, but the trip to Missouri turned out to be something much different for Gators S Cody Riggs.
Riggs was ejected on the first play of the game in Florida's Oct. 19 game at Missouri for violating the NCAA's new targeting rule, and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game.
While Riggs may not be a huge fan of the rule, he said the replay showed he was in violation.
"I was shocked at first, but I saw the replay - I did launch myself," Rigss said Monday. "I didn't think I did on the field, but if you watch it, I guess I did launch myself. I had no intention of hurting the guy. I thought Vernon was going to pick it and when he didn't, I tried to dive into him to see if I can get the ball off, but that's launching. They made the right call. I just have to play smart next time."
Riggs said his mom, who traveled with family from Fort Lauderdale to see the game, was extremely disappointed. He said the toughest part of the penalty is being forced to leave the game.
"It's very tough," he said. "They don't let you sit on the sidelines, so I can't talk to my guys, encourage them. You just have to sit in the locker room, no TV in there. Just sitting there, and it's rough. You're waiting for them to come back in. Come in at halftime and they were down and I couldn't help them at all."
Riggs said despite his disappointment in being penalized because of the new rule, he understands the intent.
"It's a good rule because of concussions," he said. "I know people that have played in the NFL with concussions. I understand the intention of the rule, but at the same time my family came all the way up to Missouri from South Florida to watch the game, and they saw me play for 10 seconds off of a penalty that I really wasn't trying to hurt anybody. It has its pros and cons. It's just one of those rules that you have to live with."