Penn State Suspends Two Players for 2017 Rose Bowl vs. USC

Penn State has suspended wide receiver Saeed Blacknall and linebacker Manny Bowen for the 2017 Rose Bowl against USC.

When Penn State and USC square off in the 2017 Rose Bowl, the Nittany Lions will be without two key players.

Penn State announced the suspensions of Saeed Blacknall and Manny Bowen on Wednesday for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

On Tuesday, USC revealed that two Trojans will also miss the Rose Bowl due to academic ineligibility, but neither Olajuwon Tucker nor Kevin Smith are critical players.

Blacknall and Bowen, however, represent potentially costly losses for the Nittany Lions.

Bowen started 12 games after taking over for the injured Nyeem Wartman-White early in the season. He ranks second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss.

In his absence, Penn State will turn to back up Koa Farmer, a California native, at Sam linebacker

Another starter, Blacknall emerged as a key figure in the passing game during the Big Ten Championship Game with six catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin. Even before that, he had begun to make a difference, taking over as the starter at flanker against Purdue.

Though he had just three catches across his first three starts, each of those went for long gains, including a touchdown against Iowa.

With Blacknall out, former starter DeAndre Thompkins will step back into the line up.

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