Kentucky RB Benny Snell ejected for ridiculous reason in Music City Bowl

Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. (26) runs to the locker room after being ejected in the first half of the Music City Bowl NCAA college football game against Northwestern, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Benny Snell, Kentucky’s best offensive player, was ejected in the second quarter of the Music City Bowl.

The ejection was nowhere near warranted.

Snell was tossed for making contact with an official — an official who offered to help him up after getting tackled. Snell had just been brought to the ground by a horde of Northwestern players and declined the helping hand.

(via ESPN)

Snell, who understandably seemed peeved after being slammed to the ground a bit after the whistle blew, pushed the referee’s hands away. Here’s a closer look.

(via ESPN)

Was it something Snell shouldn’t have done? Probably. But did it warrant a disqualification from the game? Absolutely not. Football is an emotional game and the referee has to have some tact in a situation like that.

A 15-yard penalty would have sufficed if the referee was so displeased by Snell pushing his hands away. An ejection in a bowl game is flat out ridiculous.

The ref’s explanation didn’t make much sense, either.

It proved costly, too. Snell, who entered the game with the fifth-most carries in the country, scored his 19th touchdown of the season for the Wildcats in the first quarter. The Wildcats finished the game — a 24-23 loss — with just 65 rushing yards.

It’s a shame the referee had to impact the game like that.

UK’s issues with the officiating didn’t end there, either. After a play where quarterback Stephen Johnson was injured on what appeared to be a late hit, Kentucky was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. Perhaps it was for complaining about the lack of a late hit call, but the referee did not specify.

Northwestern also took umbrage with the officiating, specifically a targeting call late in the second quarter. 

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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