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Dr. Saturday

Middle Tennessee’s Xavier Walker penalized for taunting after his team gave up a first down (VIDEO)

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

If there was ever a time to double penalty yardage based on the stupidity of a taunting penalty, this was it.

Just after Navy picked up a fourth-and-one in the third quarter of the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State, MTSU's Xavier Walker started gesturing to the Navy bench like his team had stopped Navy.

But here's the thing. It wasn't even close. Navy's Geoffrey Whiteside was a clear two yards in front of the first down marker, which was just to the left of Walker on Navy's side of the field. This was not a case of a measurement that's too-close-to-call on the field and needs the chains brought in.

So instead of a first down at the MTSU 28, Navy had a first down at the 14-yardline. However, Walker got bailed out on the next play as Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds fumbled. Reynolds had just returned to the game after being poked in the eye after a tackle. Because of that play, and potentially others before it, Navy put a clear visor on Reynolds' helmet.

The man who had tackled Reynolds on the play he was injured, Roderic Blunt, received his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty earlier in the fourth quarter and was therefore ejected. That's after Navy safety Wave Ryder was ejected for a bogus targeting penalty in the first half.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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