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Badgers’ Luke Fickell has strong thoughts on Jordan Turner’s targeting penalty

The Badgers will be without a top linebacker for the first next week.

The Wisconsin Badgers will miss linebacker Jordan Turner for the first half of next week’s bout against the Washington State Cougars after being ejected for targeting in the second half this weekend.

Following the game, head coach Luke Fickell didn't mince his words when talking about Turner and targeting as a whole, sharing his beliefs that players shouldn’t get ejected for the penalty.

“I’ll be honest, I said it two years ago when I a kid got kicked out of the game when we were playing Indiana, I don’t believe we should throw kids out of games,” Fickell said. “If it’s a blatant, complete shot where we have to make a point, then obviously we’ve got to be able to do things. But this is not the right thing to do.”

Fickell pointed to the inadvertent nature of most targeting calls as a part of the reasoning for his disdain for the rule.

“They’re not blatant. They’re kind of bang, bang things. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and teaching, and we will. So there’s other adversity we have to overcome, but it’s a part of the game that we’ve got the rules we’ve got. I don’t have to like them.”

Still, given the framework of the rules, Fickell will continue to emphasize correct shoulder-led tackling in an effort to minimize penalties like Turner’s that could prove to be costly down the line.

“But we’ll look at it in a way that we gotta get better and make sure we make an emphasis to our players about what that shoulder-led tackling is supposed to look like.”

With Turner out for the first half, linebacker Jake Chaney will likely earn the start gainst the Washington State Cougars next weekend, although there may not be too much of a difference, given the duo each played 43 snaps on defense this weekend.