2017 Orange Bowl: Should Mark Richt have been ejected for contacting official?

Mark Richt (Getty Images)

[Live updates from the Orange Bowl]

MIAMI GARDENS — During a pre-scheduled halftime interview with ESPN’s Molly McGrath, a heated Mark Richt was asked what got him hot. His reply:

“If you watch the tape, you’ll see.”

Then he jogged away.

Richt was evidently miffed over a missed holding call before UM allowed a touchdown to fall behind to Wisconson 24-14 with 3:59 left in the half of the Orange Bowl.

ESPN’s Joey Galloway, on the network’s halftime show, professed there was “no doubt he should be ejected from this game.” The broadcast crew pointed out that Richt “forcibly grabbed” and “bumped” an official. The video backed that up.

Why was Richt so mad? It may have been this:

In the locker room, Richt would try to figure out what was going wrong with his offense, which lost three net yards on nine plays over four drives after the Hurricanes went up 14-3 with 3:18 left in the first quarter. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, meanwhile, had to figure out what happened to a unit that was burned for 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, letting the Badgers take control.

Wisconsin led the Orange Bowl 24-14 at halftime. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who started 3-of-9 for 23 yards, closed the half 10-of-11 for 116 yards and three touchdowns. Seven of those throws went for 10 yards or longer. Freshman running back Jonathan Taylor had 16 carries for 85 yards.

For Miami, Malik Rosier was 3-of-7 for 41 yards and an interception, but the combination of DeeJay Dallas (four carries, 57 yard,s, touchdown), Travis Homer (seven carries, 37 yards, touchdown) and Rosier (five carries, 20 yards including a 16-yarder) averaged 7.1 yards per carry.

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