Middle Tennessee State's Roderic Blunt (33) tackles… (Tim Heitman / USA Today Sports )
Middle Tennessee State linebacker Roderic Blunt issued a public apology Tuesday for his role in an incident during Navy's 24-6 win Monday in the Armed Forces Bowl in which Blunt was seen reaching into Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds’ face mask after he was down and poking his eye.
Blunt, who was not penalized after the third-quater play, was later ejected after his second of two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
Reynolds missed three plays while Navy staffers installed an emergency visor on his face mask.
"I would like to apologize to my team, coaching staff, Navy and most importantly, Keenan Reynolds for my actions Monday," Blunt said in a statement posted on the Blue Raiders athletic department's website. "I accept responsibility and the consequences of my actions. It was my last college game and emotions were at an all-time high. But there is still no excuse for my actions and know this is not a reflection of Blue Raider football."
Middle Tennessee State entered Monday's game as the ninth-least-penalized team in the nation, and coach Rick Stockstill said in the statement that he has "strived to run a first-class program and I not condone this type of play."
"I understand the game of football and what goes on out on the field, but there is no place for that type of behavior," said Stockstill, who added that he has called Reynolds, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo and the Armed Forces Bowl's executive director to apologize. "It was a very emotional game for both sides, played with a lot of passion and sometimes players get caught up in that emotion. However, the bottom line is we hold ourselves to high standards and we expect our players to be good representatives of our university."
Video of the eye-poking incident can be seen below.
(Video via Breitbart TV)