Penn State Notebook: Five PSU players out for game
Share with others:
SAN ANTONIO -- Five defensive players, including one starter, will miss Penn State's Alamo Bowl game against Texas A&M Saturday.
Starting defensive tackle Chris Baker, backup linebacker Navorro Bowman, special-teams standout Knowledge Timmons, reserve defensive tackle Tom McEowen and reserve defensive back Willie Harriott did not make the trip for various reasons.
Baker, Bowman and Timmons missed the Nittany Lions' regular-season finale at Michigan State Nov. 17 due to their alleged roles in an Oct. 7 fight at the student union building on campus.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno said earlier this month that Baker, Bowman and Timmons would travel to Texas, but that decision was made before felony assault charges were refiled against Baker and Bowman Dec. 19. Timmons is charged with disorderly conduct in the same incident.
Baker and starting safety Anthony Scirrotto also are facing charges as a result of an April 1 fight at an off-campus apartment. Their trials have been postponed to February at the earliest.
Harriott, meanwhile, was cited for underage drinking in August and charged with DUI and speeding last month. No reason was given for McEowen's absence.
Baker started seven games this season, splitting time at left and right tackle. He had 37 tackles and 41/2 sacks. Ollie Ogbu started at left tackle in Baker's absence against the Spartans.
"It's tough to lose all those guys, but we'll be OK," starting tailback Rodney Kinlaw said yesterday. "Baker was playing great. He was having a good season."
A.J. Wallace finished third in the Big Ten Conference and 24th in the country with a 27.0-yard average on kickoff returns.
He managed a team-high 566 yards on 21 kicks while scoring one touchdown.
Wallace, who started the last three games at left cornerback, tries to improve his returns by watching film of Devin Hester, the Chicago Bears' extraordinary Pro Bowl performer.
"I just try to do that to get better, just to see what he does that makes him so good," Wallace said. "His plays can change the pace of a game for his team, or it can take the other team right out of a game. He definitely plays a big role."
A.Q. Shipley, a redshirt junior from Moon High School, was one of five Lions players named to the All-Big Ten first team last month.
It was quite an honor for Shipley, a former defensive tackle and offensive guard who is finishing up his second season as the starting center.
"It meant a lot," he said. "I've worked hard to get to this position.""It's tough to lose all those guys, but we'll be OK,. Baker was playing great. He was having a good season."
-- Rodney Kinlaw, Penn State running back
First Published December 27, 2007 12:00 am