Redshirt sophomore Damion Barber appeared poised to step into a more prominent role this season at defensive tackle. So it was a quite surprising when he did not take a single snap during Saturday's 79-7 victory over the Idaho Vandals. According to James Franklin at Tuesday's press conference, the Harrisburg native missed the game due to a violation of team rules. The head coach added that he should return to action on Saturday evening vs. Buffalo.
Barber appeared on last week's depth chart as the second option behind starter Robert Windsor, and was in uniform during Saturday's game, and again for this week vs. Buffalo. Classmate Donovan Johnson also missed Saturday's game for a team rule's violation, but Franklin had addressed his status on Wednesday evening, and the defensive back was in street clothes during the game. He was also not listed on the Idaho depth chart.
Now in his third season on campus, the former four-star defensive end turned tackle has been generating quite a bit of buzz during camp, ultimately taking over the second string duties at the three-technique. With the Bulls offense relying heavily upon the ground game, Barber figures to be put to the test quickly in his first action of the 2019 campaign this weekend.