Blayne Beal, a Red Raiders spokesman confirmed that starting defensive back Cornelius Douglas, backup defensive tackle Leon Mackey and linebacker Chris Payne will not be playing in Friday’s bowl game. It wasn’t clear as to what rules were broken by the players, just that the three weren’t making the trip to Houston, Texas.
Out of the three, Douglas is the biggest impact player to be suspended. The receiver-turned-defensive back was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week the last week of September and a key piece to Tech’s resurgence on defense for 2012. Before moving to the defense this season, the senior played on special teams and receiver. Douglas had two interceptions and four tackles for loss on the season, but missed quite a few games due to a knee injury he suffered in early October. He returned for the last game of the season to put up three tackles.
The Golden Gophers also suspended a player for the bowl game, wide receiver Andre McDonald, which won’t be much of an impact; he had only 10 recorded catches on the season and sits at seventh on listed receivers.
Despite the suspensions, the Red Raiders should handle the Golden Gophers with ease. They are the better team and it will be hard for the Gopher defense to keep up with the Red Raiders high-tempo offense. The last time these two played was in the 2006 Insight Bowl. It was the biggest comeback-win in Texas Tech history. The Red Raiders were down by 30+ points and ended up taking the game into to overtime, only to win 44-41. The last two Tech bowl appearances have been against Big 10 teams, and the Red Raiders won both games.