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  With 1:34 left in the second quarter Saturday, Missouri lost its leader, its biggest star player and its most important defensive force in a game with miniscule room for error against a potent Arkansas offense. Nick Bolton, the rare junior celebrated on senior day because his NFL draft stock is so high, watched the rest of the game from the sideline after the Southeastern Conference's latest game-changing targeting penalty. Long before the Tigers finally outlasted Arkansas 50-48, Bolton was flagged for a hit on Arkansas receiver John David White in the open field. Bolton appeared to strike White in the chest and shoulder. The collision knocked the ball loose, but the play was ruled an incomplete pass. Minutes later, the penalty was confirmed by the replay review, meaning Mizzou's leading tackler was done for the day.

The Southeastern Conference video center later confirmed to the Post-Dispatch that officials ruled that Bolton's hit was in violation of NCAA Rule 9-1-4, which is the clause of the targeting rule that states "no player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder." Fans booed the officiating crew as it jogged off the field for halftime, but Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz did not dispute the penalty. "I think it's the right call based on what the definition of targeting is, upward motion to the head and neck area," he said. "There was no intent to harm by Nick. He just got caught in that scenario. So you take the penalty, they reviewed it, they upheld it so that means that's what it was." - Post-Dispatch

(DS#2 ILB) Jr/2021 ILB *Nick BoltonMissouri
News Source: Post-Dispatch



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