ARLINGTON, Texas -- Florida State's defense will be short-handed for its non-conference showdown with Oklahoma State tonight at Cowboys Stadium.
Starting strongside linebacker Chris Casher, who played in 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman, will not dress for tonight's Cowboys Classic, a source confirmed to Warchant.com. The school later confirmed the news in a statement, saying Casher is being withheld pending the review of an academic matter. FSU declined further comment, citing student privacy laws.
Casher did not participate in the Seminoles' final practice in Tallahassee on Thursday. When asked about Casher's absence, head coach Jimbo Fisher said the sophomore was in class. His absence tonight is also academic-related, according to the source, but it could be resolved as early as this week or next.
With Casher out of the lineup, the Seminoles could turn to true freshman Jacob Pugh, who was listed as Casher's top backup on the depth chart released earlier this week. Pugh, a four-star recruit, was the No. 7 outside linebacker in the class of 2014. The Seminoles also could go with sophomore DeMarcus Walker, who was the No. 5 outside linebacker in the class of 2013. He started three games last year while playing in 12 as a true freshman at defensive end. He finished the season with 18 tackles, including two for loss.
The Seminoles could also look to a reserve linebacker or shuffle their defensive front. FSU has several options because it cross-trains players at several positions and also uses a number of different defensive alignments.
After redshirting in 2012, Casher played as a reserve defensive end last season. He recorded 25 tackles, including five tackles for loss and two sacks. He also forced one fumble and returned another for a touchdown.
For more on this situation and complete coverage of tonight's game, stay locked in to Warchant.com.