June 22, 2024

4 Players from Tennessee and Florida Are Suspended After an On-Field Fight on Saturday

Following an on-field altercation during Florida’s 29-16 upset victory on Saturday, the SEC announced on Monday that three Florida Gators players and one Tennessee Volunteers player will be suspended for one half of their next game. Defensive lineman Omarr Norman-Lott was suspended for Tennessee, and Dante Zanders was punished for Florida.

On Saturday, Florida will play Charlotte, and Tennessee will play UTSA.

As Florida tried to run out the clock, there was a fight. With nine seconds left, Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel unexpectedly called a timeout. The next play, Florida quarterback Graham Mertz, raced around in the backfield before taking a knee.

Omari Thomas of Tennessee struck him as he hit the ground. Punches were thrown between the teams as a fight broke out because the players from Florida didn’t enjoy the contact.But Thomas received no punishment for making the collision.

Heupel explained the odd timeout by stating that Florida was going to go for a fourth-down play and he was hoping to recover the ball for a touchdown and then recover it again on an onside kick.

“I don’t know if you’re going to have enough time at an onside and maybe get a shot back,” he stated to reporters. “You’re making an effort to compete and finish properly. We were obviously not going to have a complete series of plays to attempt to go back into the end zone by the time it happened.”

Therefore, after recovering the ball, rather than going for the score,”Do we want to maintain our composure in that circumstance, as well as all others? Indeed,” he said to reporters. “Their guy is dancing and you have to go tackle him.”

Thomas stated that the Volunteers believed Mertz was making fun of them by circling the backfield.

He remarked on Monday at the Knoxville Quarterback Club, “We’re expecting you to catch the ball, one step back, and take a knee,” according to Adam Sparks of the Knoxville News Sentinel. “But once we see you back there dancing around with the ball, like we kind of take it as disrespect because you easily could just take a knee right there.”

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