Ty'Ron Hopper gets ejected for apparent punch after a breakout game for Florida Gators

Jonathan Tully
Gator Sports
Florida Gators linebacker Ty'Ron Hopper (28) celebrates after a defensive stop during the second quarter against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, October 9, 2021.

Ty'Ron Hopper was having an incredible game against UCF, with several huge plays on defense as he stepped in for leading tackler Mohamoud Diabate for the Florida Gators in Thursday's Gasparilla Bowl.

But after UCF scored a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, Hopper was tossed out of the game by the referees for what they saw as throwing a punch.

Hopper appeared to come behind UCF lineman Brett Bell and extend his arms, sending Bell to the ground. 

To that point, Hopper had been a breakout star for the Gators, with ESPN announcers saying he was "everywhere on the field".

Here's more info about the redshirt sophomore linebacker.

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Ty'Ron Hopper started out as a safety in high school in Georgia

Ty'Ron began his high school career at Roswell High School as a safety. But he moved as a sophomore. Considering he had 74 tackles as a senior, his coaches made the right decision. 

Ty'Ron Hopper had a huge game this season against Missouri 

Until the Gators played Missouri this season, Hopper's career-high in tackles was seven in a single game.

Against the Tigers, the redshirt sop had 12.

He attributed the big game to the work he did with his position coach, Christian Robinson, who's also the Gators' defensive coordinator.

“This is something that I tell him all the time: I knew that when he was in high school, I saw it in high school,” Robinson said after the Missouri game, which the Gators lost 24-23 in overtime. “When he first got here, I said one day you're going to see what you become in following the plan.” 

Giving credit:Ty’Ron Hopper attributes career-best performance to Robinson, teammates

Ty'Ron Hopper's helmet got stuck on a UCF lineman's helmet 

The first time many viewers to the Gasparilla Bowl saw Hopper tonight, it was after the official said the linebacker had to leave the game after his helmet came off.

Only, it didn't come off. It got stuck. Or, rather, tangled.

Hopper's facemask became enmeshed with that of UCF lineman Cole Schneider. The two helmets were so entangled, a UCF assistant had to pry them loose.