Florida, Vanderbilt coaches get into heated exchange as players scuffle after targeting call

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Following a second quarter targeting call, Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason made sure to let Florida coach Dan Mullen know how he felt.

The two coaches had a heated exchange — with referees holding them back — after Florida linebacker James Houston got a targeting flag for hitting defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo, who was considered a defenseless player, on a punt return. 

Mullen and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham were seen yelling, and Mullen had to be restrained by an official after he became irate. Mason eventually turned to walk away and grabbed Dayo Odeyingbo, who was coming out to check on his older brother.

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With Vanderbilt’s benches beginning to clear, Mason’s decision to return to his team and restrain his players likely prevented a major brawl. 

Officials announced that replay upheld a targeting penalty on Houston, leading to his ejection. They also flagged each team for unsportsmanlike conduct. That counted as a second for linebacker Vosean Joseph, Florida’s leading tackler, prompting his ejection. A pair of Florida staffers escorted an emotional Joseph to the locker room.

Dare Odeyingbo returned to the game before the first half ended.

Mullen told a reporter going into the locker room that he was sure Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and Steve Shaw, the league’s head of officiating, would handle the situation. Sankey was at Saturday’s game.

Contributing: Associated Press.

Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/sec/2018/10/13/dan-mullen-derek-mason-heated-exchange-florida-vanderbilt-game/1629988002/