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LSU’s Mathieu Should Expect A Half-Game Suspension

The Honey Badger may have to spend some more time off the field this week.  We expect the SEC offices will come down with a half-game suspension on LSU’s talented cornerback Tyrann Mathieu for the unnecessary clothesline that he delivered to Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick during a punt return on Saturday night.

Mathieu was flagged 15 yards for the penalty.  Kirkpatrick was knocked out of the game.

In recent weeks the SEC has handed out half-game suspensions — as well as one full-game suspension — for dirty shots at knees and helmet-first blows to defenseless receivers.  We fully anticipate Mathieu will be given similar discipline for:

1)  Blindsiding an opponent with a clothesline shot from his right arm

2)  Doing so in the SEC’s showcase came which was witnessed by millions upon millions of people

You can be sure Mike Slive wasn’t thrilled that the league’s classic matchup was marred by such a dumb, dirty play.

Mathieu — who was suspended two weeks ago for reportedly failing a drug test after smoking synthetic marijuana – did apologize to Kirkpatrick via Twitter yesterday:

“S/O to Dre didn’t mean to do what I did but it’s a technique that we practice, you were just tall as hell and fast you kno what!  Goodluck”

He also tweeted the following just before the apology:

“You can call me what you wanna call me!! I play in between the whistle and I’m sorry if I’m a little more intense than other players!  #1

I get trash talked.  Spitted on, cursed at.. So not I hope you understand why I play BIG BOY FOOTBALL”

Last week we wrote that Arkansas’ Marquel Wade deserved a full-game suspension for his helmet-to-helmet cheap shot on Vanderbilt punt returner Jonathan Krause.  The response from a few Hog fans was not surprising — “you’re picking on Arkansas,” “his hit wasn’t dirty,” “you’re wrong to think he’ll be suspended.”

We expect to get a few of those emails from LSU fans, too.  But Mathieu’s hit was dirty.  And when everyone but a player’s own fanbase thinks a hit is dirty, that should cause all of those people in that fanbase to wonder if they’re just being biased in favor of their guy.

That said, we believe that by Wednesday Mathieu will receive his sentence and he’ll be left on the bench for the first half of the Tigers’ next game with Western Kentucky.  (And he may get a full-game suspension depending on how angry Slive was over the negative PR factor.)

Slive and the SEC office have set a precedent with blindside, dangerous shots to defenseless players.  If they don’t penalize Mathieu, there will be a lot of questions coming from other corners of the conference.

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