Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
December 20, 2011Linebacker Dwayne Beckford will not attend Purdue's bowl game in Detroit next week.
Coach Danny Hope announced the suspension after Tuesday's practice, following a few days of speculation after Beckford was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of OWI.
It was the latest transgression of the junior linebacker.
Previously, Beckford was booked on a hit-and-run warrant in July and given a citation for possession of paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to both charges, according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier, and received probation. The latest incident, in which Beckford, 20, is said to have blew a 0.14 BAC during his arrest, would be a violation of his probation, which stipulated he not consume alcohol.
"Obviously, he's gotten himself into a pickle," Hope said after practice Tuesday. "We're behind him, and look forward to getting it straightened out. He's worked very hard at football and very hard in school, but he's made some poor decisions and won't be participating with the team at the bowl game."
Beckford, Purdue's leading tackler, is still with the program, Hope said, as his suspension lasts through the game. The Boilers play Western Michigan in the Dec. 27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Purdue will now be without Beckford, along with O.J. Ross, who was indefinitely suspended near the start of bowl preparation to focus on academics. Hope has since said that Ross, a starting wide receiver, has missed too much practice time to play in a game.
Also, starting running back Ralph Bolden is unavailable after tearing his ACL in Purdue's season-finale.
As for the open linebacker spot, Hope said it could be filled by veteran Chris Carlino or redshirt freshman Mike Lee. But it's also possible Purdue will find itself in situation where it needs only two linebackers on the field at the same time vs. WMU's wide-open passing attack.
"Depending on what type of grouping we're seeing will determine who we play in the ball game," Hope said. "If we're playing nickel and dime, which we probably will play some based on the personnel they've showed in the past, (Dwayne) didn't figure to be that key of a factor in those packages. It's a little bit forgiving in some ways.
"But the bottom line is Dwayne really wants to be at the bowl game and it's unfortunate that he can't be there with us."
Western Michigan doesn't get much publicity for its defense, but tackle Drew Nowak is one to watch.
The Boilermakers will definitely have an eye on senior Drew Nowak, the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year and a third-team All-American by Phil Steele.
"He's a really good player," Hope said. "He's got a really good motor and is a wide-open guy."
Hope says the Broncos do a lot on their defensive front to manufacture movement, such as stunting, slants, etc., and will also occasionally go to an alignment with only three down linemen and four linebackers. But their base is 4-3.
"We have to be prepared," right guard Nick Mondek said. "We have ideas (on what they will do), but we have to be prepared for everything.
"He reminds me of (Ryan) Kerrigan's work ethic, every play he goes hard and won't give up on a play. Even after a play passes him, he's still working trying to catch it from behind."
Nowak, a 6-foot-4, 295-pounder, was fifth in the conference in tackles for loss per game, with an average of 1.67, and fourth overall with 20 TFLs.
"He's a really good player, plays with great leverage and is reckless with is play," Hope said. "I think he's a heck of a player."
There was probably little doubt, but Peters Drey, who's missed several weeks with a back injury, will not be available for the bowl game.
"He hasn't practiced in several weeks," Hope said. "(Trainers) had told me he was doubtful and he's not out here now and it's almost game time.
Hope says he hopes surgery will not be necessary.
"We'll continue to evaluate it," he said. "Anytime you're dealing with a back, it can be tricky, but we hope not. At this point in time, there's no indication he'll have a surgery, but he's still recovering."
GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your iPhone | GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your Android
Check out GoldandBlack.com on | |