WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

UVa's Harris Addresses Targeting Penalty

Just because Virginia's Anthony Harris is benched for the first half of Saturday's game against Virginia Tech, doesn't mean the junior safety can actually watch the game from the UVa bench.

"Just found out I won't even be able to stand on the sideline for the first half of the game," Harris announced on Twitter Monday night.

Harris must sit out the first half on Saturday after being ejected from last weekend's 45-26 loss at Miami. Harris was called for "targeting" Miami quarterback Stephen Morris on a hit in the third quarter of last weekend's game.

On Monday afternoon, Harris called the play "one of your typical plays in the game of football."

"It was just one of those situations where it all happened so fast, you know?," he explained to reporters. "You never know what a guy's going to do, so I'm thinking he's going to try to lay out forward to get the first down. And as I go in for the tackle, I tried to square him up and hit him legally, and he attempted to slide and I was penalized."

The Cavaliers need a win on Saturday to avoid ending the season on a nine-game losing streak. But they won't be able to get Harris on the field -- or even the sideline -- until the second half. Harris leads the country with eight interceptions, and has picked off at least one pass in a school record five straight games.

On Monday, Harris said he understood why he wouldn't be able to play until after haltime.

"I don't view myself as a player who targets players, or anything like that," he said. "I wasn't offended by the call. I know that they have the rules in place for safety matters. And that being said, if you have to make a call, sometimes it may be close or not. But we have to make sure players are safe out there on the field."


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