Linebacker Joseph Peterson and wide receiver Avery Sweeting won’t play in Georgia State’s game against West Virginia on Saturday because coach Trent Miles said they violated team rules.
Peterson, a sophomore, was the team’s second-leading tackler (14) after leading the team last season (65). Sweeting, a sophomore, doesn’t have a catch this season.
Miles said freshman Jameel Spencer will start at linebacker. He has five tackles in one game played.
While Peterson and Sweeting won’t play, defensive tackle Nermin Delic and kickers Wil Lutz and David Miller, who were suspended for last week’s game for violations of team rules, should return, Miles said.
Line shuffle: The loss of starting offensive linemen Michael Davis and Harrison Clottey, both seniors who quit football Monday, will mean that some freshmen and redshirt freshmen may get more playing time. Davis played center, and Clottey was a guard.
Miles said freshmen Brandon Pertile and Davis Moore will be looked at this week, with Pertile at guard or tackle and Moore at guard. Offensive line coach Harold Etheridge said Monday that redshirt freshman Garrett Gorringe (guard) and junior Ronald Martin (center) also will be evaluated as the line gets rebuilt. Cade Yates also could get a look at center or guard.
If Pertile can play tackle, it would allow Etheridge to shift A.J. Kaplan to guard, which is his natural position. He has played tackle because of Grant King’s absence related to an academic issue. King is scheduled to return after the fourth game.
In addition, redshirt freshman Mark Ruskell, who hasn’t practiced since suffering an injured ankle in the spring, was scheduled to resume practicing Tuesday. Miles said if he practices well, he will be looked at guard or center.
Neal in the RB rotation: Miles tried Gerald Howse at running back in the opener before giving Travis Evans a shot the next week. This week, Miles said freshman Kyler Neal could see more reps as part of a rotation.
The running game has struggled, posting 72 yards in the first game against Samford before hitting a program low of 30 yards in last week’s 42-14 loss to Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Neal was impressive in preseason practice, consistently finding holes to run through. Miles said last week that Neal didn’t play much in the first game because of concerns about his ability to block pass-rushers. Miles said because Neal has now used up his redshirt option playing on special teams, he wants to give him a look at running back.
Other freshmen that may receive more snaps in this week’s game are defensive tackle Jalen Lawrence and linebacker Kight Dallas. Lawrence has one tackle in two games, and Dallas hasn’t been credited with a tackle.
Cheridor change: The two-way experiment with freshman Mackendy Cheridor is over, at least for now.
Cheridor, who was playing tight end on offense and outside linebacker/rush end on defense, will work solely with the defense for now.
“Mackendy will get a lot of reps on defense at rush end,” defensive coordinator Jesse Minter said.
Minter said he is happy with the effort that Allen McKay has given. McKay has eight tackles with one quarterback hurry in the first two games from a position that’s supposed to be one of the playmakers on defense.
Minter said McKay and Cheridor will rotate this week. Cheridor didn’t have a reception as a tight end. Freshmen Keith Rucker and Bill Teknipp have played most of the snaps at the position.
Miles said they need to get Cheridor on the field and have three freshmen at the same position didn’t make sense.