Update: Trey Marshall has returned to the Florida State sidelines for the second half vs. Alabama.
Florida State will miss one of its best defensive players for the first half of the game against Alabama due to a penalty call that happened over eight months ago.
For those who don’t remember, FSU senior safety Trey Marshall was called for targeting in the Orange Bowl against Michigan. In the fourth quarter, Marshall raced down on punt coverage and landed a helmet-to-helmet hit against Wolverines’ return man Jourdan Lewis.
Marshall was immediately called for targeting and was ejected from the game. Florida State would go on to win 33-32.
Because Marshall was ejected for targeting in the second half, he would normally be suspended for the first half of the following game. But because the Orange Bowl was the last game of the season, his punishment was something not often seen in collegiate football.
For fouls in the second half: Disqualification for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next game. If the foul occurs in the second half of the last game of the season, players with remaining eligibility shall serve the suspension during the postseason or the first game of the following season.
Per the official NCAA rule book, Marshall is forced to sit out the first half of the Alabama game for a targeting call that occurred two hundred and forty six days ago. And while myriad factors influenced the respective situations, the Seminoles have struggled without Marshall in the past.
However, Jimbo Fisher and the coaching staff have had all offseason to plan for his absence. In Fisher’s recent press conference, he mentioned having junior A.J. Westbrook play the majority of the needed snaps at safety. Westbrook played a large role in last year’s defense and should be a viable option until Marshall returns.