Cal Poly junior safety Alex Hubbard was one of four football players suspended by the Big Sky Conference after he was deemed to have made an unnecessarily rough hit away from the ball in the Mustangs’ 45-23 victory at Weber State on Saturday.
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Hubbard had already participated in Tuesday morning’s practice with the No. 15 Mustangs (5-0, 3-0 Big Sky) before the decision was announced by the conference in the afternoon. The transfer from College of San Mateo had started each of Cal Poly’s first five games, ranking fourth on the team with 29 tackles and second with five pass deflections.
Mustangs head coach Tim Walsh said junior Matt Reza — who plays regularly in the nickel package — would make his first career start in Hubbard’s place Saturday when the team hosts Northern Colorado.
“No sense looking behind us,” Walsh said. “We’re going to look forward, and we’re confident Matt Reza will step up and play well, and we’re going to put all our thoughts and energies toward beating Northern Colorado.”
Hubbard was suspended for one game for “a high hit on a defenseless player” with 13:57 left in the first quarter against Weber State, according to a news release from the conference. Big Sky assistant commissioner Jon Kasper said the play happened when Hubbard went head-first to block a receiver away from the action.
Idaho State defensive back Taison Manu and UC Davis linebacker Stephen Pitts were each suspended a game for tackling using the crown of the helmet, and Idaho State offensive lineman will miss the first half of the upcoming game for throwing a punch against Portland State.
This week’s announcement makes a total of six player suspensions for in-game roughness in the Big Sky’s effort to crack down on player safety.