Benched for a penalty and sideline misbehavior against Eastern Washington, junior CB Marcus Peters, a second-team all-Pac-12 selection the past season, apparently will be suspended for the Washington Huskies home game against Illinois at 1 p.m. Saturday, although coach Chris Petersen would not acknowledge the suspension Monday, saying, “Our discipline will stay in-house.”
The problem with the mystery was that Peters’ helmet-bump with an Eastern player as well as his subsequent tantrum on the sideline, which included throwing gloves and helmet, was televised on the Pac-12 Networks to a chunk of the nation. This was no behind-the-scenes secret — just as it’s no secret that the Huskies now have no veteran experience in the starting secondary.
The Seattle Times reported that Peters was not at practice Monday. Sources said Peters would be out for the game.
“I told you after the game we’ve got to conduct ourselves the right way,” Petersen said Monday.
Petersen refused to say whether the punishment was for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or his later petulance. But the game consequence was significant — instead of forcing Eastern to punt after a stop on third-and-nine, the 15-yard penalty provided a first down that led to a touchdown and a 45-44 lead.
“I’m not going to address any of that right now,” Petersen said. “We’ll talk about that down the road.”
Peters, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Oakland, is considered by some to be a first-round NFL talent. But Saturday, until his benching in the third quarter, he was part of a defense that would give up a school-opponent record seven passing touchdowns and 476 yards.
Petersen insisted that the defensive problems were less about missing assignments or tackles and more about closing on the receivers.
“Our guys were there,” he said, “we just have to be tighter.”
He also gave credit to Eastern’s quarterback, Vernon Adams Jr., hailing his “pinpoint accuracy.”
Peters was still on the depth chart Monday, and behind him were the two who filled in during his absence — freshman Sidney Jones, who had three tackles and a forced fumble, and senior reserve Travell Dixon, a one-time recruit of Alabama’s who was a JC transfer that played in four games a year ago.
“We have a vet out there with Travell Dixon,” junior receiver Jaydon Mickens said. “That guy knows how to play big-time college football, so he’s going to step up for those guys and he’s going to be that leader back there. We’re going to be fine. Marcus will come back and do great things for us, but for right now we should be fine.”