On Saturday, the Sun Devils will be facing an Illinois team that loves to run the ball, and they'll have to stem the Illini rushing tide without their biggest body.
After practice on Wednesday, Todd Graham announced that talented nose tackle Mike Pennel would miss Saturday's key game due to a violation of team rules. This information was first reported by DevilsDigest.com.
The 6-foot-5, 355 pound Pennel had been practicing with the scout team this week after seeing action in Thursday's opener. He did not register a tackle during his snaps.
True freshman Jaxon Hood is the team's starter at the nose tackle position, and Pennel's absence will give redshirt senior Toa Tuitea will see more time. They will have their hands full in battling 6-foot-7, 310-pound Illinois center Graham Pocic, one of the Big Ten's best interior lineman.
Pennel marks the third Sun Devil held out of action for disciplinary reasons over the season's first two weeks. Wide receiver Jamal Miles and running back James Morrison were suspended for last week's win over NAU, bot both are back this week.