BOULDER, Colo. – Nose tackle Robert Barber did not start during No. 20 Washington State’s 38-24 loss at No. 12 Colorado on Saturday, but he played extensively in his first action back since missing three games while supsended from school.
“He brought energy to the team,” Hercules Mata’afa said. “But we need to be self-motivated.”
Barber finished with a pair of tackles, and played well when he was in. Coaches have said that he worked out extensively on his own while he was suspended, and that his fitness level was not a big concern.
A school student conduct board suspended Barber for his role during a fight at a party in the offseason, although the Whitman County Prosecutor has yet to file charges that have been recommended by the Pullman Police Department. A Whitman County Superior Court issued a stay of his suspension on Wednesday on the grounds that the conduct board made procedural errors.
The Cougars were missing some other players from their front-seven on Saturday. Dylan Hanser and Isaac Dotson, starters at rush linebacker and weakside linebacker, respectively, both missed the game with undisclosed injuries.
While Barber was away, the Cougars made adjustments to their defense that continued on Saturday at CU. For example, linebacker Frankie Luvu still started at rush linebacker, moving him closer to the line of scrimmage thna he previously was at the weakside linebacker position.
Parker Henry, a former nickel, started at weakside linebacker and Daniel Ekuale started at nose tackle, while Garrett McBroom started at tackle.
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