Nebraska will be without one of its best defensive players against Northwestern this weekend.
Senior defensive lineman Khalil Davis has been suspended for one game by the Big Ten for striking an Ohio State player, the league announced Wednesday.
"The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship," the league said in a statement. "Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.”
The league said the incident occurred at about the 9-minute, 18-second mark of the first quarter, which was at the outset of the Buckeyes' second drive.
On the first play of that drive, J.K. Dobbins ran for 15 yards around the right side. Davis was blocked by tight end Rashod Berry at the beginning of the play and then later was in the same vicinity as offensive linemen Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers.
The television broadcast and ESPN's SkyCam do not show any contact on the play, but an official does run toward Davis, who points toward the OSU players, and talks with him after the play once he is back in the camera shot. No penalty was assessed at the time.
It appears that Davis may have gone down at the end of the play and landed on top of Myers, who had blocked linebacker Mohamed Barry and knocked him down in Davis' vicinity. Myers and Davis appear to exchange words after the play.
ESPN's "Command Center" broadcast probably provides the best look at the play. Can't see exactly what happened, but clear there's an interaction between Khalil Davis and Ohio State center Josh Myers at the end of the play. #Huskers pic.twitter.com/Hxl59jMoI0— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) October 2, 2019
Davis was later flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on an OSU extra point attempt late in the third quarter.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, in a prepared statement, said he supports the Big Ten's action against Davis.
"We have been in communication with the Big Ten Conference Office over the past day regarding Khalil Davis, and support the Big Ten’s disciplinary action," the coach said. "We do not condone unsportsmanlike play or behavior in our program, and will use this as an educational opportunity with our team on how to play the game the right way. We are moving forward with our preparation for Saturday’s game with Northwestern.”