MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- A heated exchange between Mark Richt and officials earned the Miami coach an unsportsmanlike conduct flag and led to a Wisconsin touchdown late in the first half of Saturday night's Capital One Orange Bowl.
Richt was livid after he thought Wisconsin linemen continually got away with holding his defensive linemen, and the ire erupted into a physical confrontation as the Badgers drove for a late score.
Richt jawed with officials along the sideline, then grabbed the arm of the head linesman, which drew the flag. Several members of the Miami support staff attempted to corral Richt, but he pushed them away as well.
The flag set Wisconsin up with a first-and-goal at the Miami 5, and the Badgers scored one play later to go up 24-14 in a game they once trailed 14-3.
"I know I lost my cool," Richt said after the game, a 34-24 Miami loss. "I thought rightfully so as far as being mad, but not with some of the language I used."
Richt said he was frustrated by a lack of calls throughout the game, including a hold on receiver Braxton Berrios that led to an interception and a number of potential holding calls at the line of scrimmage. Richt offered "hypotheticals" that clearly mirrored actual events during the game and was critical of the officiating.
"It continued until the end of the game," Richt said. "I'm probably not supposed to say that."
The lack of holding calls have been a near constant complaint by Richt this year. Miami opponents have been flagged for just six offensive holding penalties this season, but as Wisconsin's Alex Hornibrook threw four touchdowns, the Miami defense felt it was a particular problem Saturday.
"That played a big part [in the Orange Bowl]," defensive tackle Kendrick Norton said. "Those downfield passes, they take a long time to develop, so if you're holding somebody off the edge, that has a big impact on the play."
Richt's blow-up certainly caught the attention of his team, if not the officials.
"He rarely does that, so it has to be something serious, something that should have been called," defensive lineman RJ McIntosh said. "That right there should tell you."