Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz details what stands out most about Marshall.
Cory Diaz, [email protected]
Louisiana Tech will be without a trio of key players for Friday night’s game at Marshall, two for longer.
Senior starting quarterback J’Mar Smith, junior wide receiver Adrian Hardy and senior outside linebacker James Jackson have been suspended due to an athletic department policy violation, according to a statement the school released Thursday night.
Jackson will only sit out the Marshall game while Smith and Hardy will serve a two-game suspension through next Saturday’s pivotal C-West matchup at UAB where a spot in the league championship game could be up for grabs for the Bulldogs.
“This matter is being handled internally,” the statement from Tech head sports information director Malcolm Butler said. “Neither (head coach Skip) Holtz nor athletic department officials will address this further.”
Earlier Thursday, rumors began swirling regarding the availability of Smith, Hardy and potentially another player for this Friday night’s game at Marshall. The school release confirmed the talk of suspensions but didn’t specify what athletic department violations the players committed.
According to the team’s new depth chart, redshirt freshman Aaron Allen will get the start at quarterback for Tech in a key conference game. It’ll be Allen’s first career collegiate start. Graduate transfer Malik Stanley will start in place of Hardy at the X receiver position.
Allen has thrown just nine passes this year in four relief appearances, completing eight of them for 114 yards with a touchdown along with an interception. Getting his first start at Marshall, who owns one of college football’s best home winning percentages, will be a tall order.
Smith, a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, has played an integral role in his team’s hot, 8-1 start to the 2019 season. The Meridian, Mississippi, native has completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,483 yards with 14 touchdowns to just four picks.
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