Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher does not believe Emmett Rice’s targeting hit on Clemson cornerback Ryan Carter was intentional.
Fisher said during his Monday press conference he has spoken with Rice about his actions in the third quarter of Clemson’s win over the Seminoles this past Saturday, and said that is not the way they do things at Florida State.
Rice, a linebacker, was ejected from the game when he hit Carter squarely in the helmet during a punt return on what appeared to be a crack-back block.
Rice then stood over Carter and taunted him before making a “go to sleep” gesture on his way back to the sideline. After he learned he was ejected from the game for targeting, ESPN’s television cameras showed Rice laughing and smiling while receiving congratulations and high-fives from his teammates as he walked back towards the locker room.
“Emmett had a hit, which was unfortunately a targeting call. He hit the guy square,” Fisher said. “He hit him high. I don’t think there was any intent or anything bad. He made a bad hit in a situation where we have to aim a little lower.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his teleconference call on Sunday that he was going to let Fisher handle Rice.
Due to the targeting call and ejection, Rice will have to sit out the first half of next week’s game against Delaware State.
Swinney was asked about Rice’s inappropriate gesture and was asked if he reached out to Fisher about how the FSU coach might handle the situation.
“I think Jimbo will handle that,” Swinney said. “He knows how to run his shop. He was in the middle of coaching a ball game. I didn’t see it. People told me about it today. But I know that’s something he will handle within his team, just like I would if it was my team.”
Speaking of Carter, Swinney said the cornerback was doing well in the locker room after the game, but he will be in the concussion protocol this week.
If Carter can’t play this week, the Tigers could be down three cornerbacks for The Citadel Game. Marcus Edmond has missed the last eight games with a foot injury and is questionable for Saturday’s game, while Mark Fields is also questionable with a foot injury.
Fields has missed the last three games.