When TCU kicks off the season against LSU in Cowboys Stadium in the fall, it will do so without one of its best players.
Coach Gary Patterson announced Wednesday that sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields has been suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season.
This is a big blow considering Fields was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and the league’s Rookie of the Year after leading the Big 12 with 17.5 tackles for loss and ranking second in the conference with nine sacks.
But Patterson told ESPN.com that he wasn’t happy with the way Fields had been playing in the spring. Patterson noted that perhaps the amount of success Fields had as a freshman might have hindered his development.
"He’s not had as good a spring as we would have liked him to have had," Patterson said. "You just expect him to get better and faster, but if I tell you all the things, then everybody knows about him. The biggest thing is sometimes you don’t think you have to work as hard and come back and do some things, so getting him back on the level of why he was the player that he was."
Even if Fields wasn’t giving his all during spring ball, his presence will sure be missed against an LSU offensive line that got better as last season progressed.
The game against LSU was a chance for the Big 12 to back up coach Bob Stoops and his comments about his conference being on par with the SEC. LSU will probably start the year ranked in the top 15 and while a TCU win was probably a longshot, it would have been a huge boost for the Big 12 so early in the season.
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