Tyrann Mathieu aka “the Honey Badger” won’t be something the Washington Huskies have to worry about when they travel to Baton Rouge on Sept. 8.
The dynamic playmaking defensive back/return man has been kicked off the team by head coach Les Miles earlier today.
From the CBS Sports early story …
Barely one week after being voted as the No. 1 team in the nation to open the 2012 season, LSU has lost its best player, announcing today that starting cornerback and 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu has been kicked off the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules. His immediate future is uncertain.
“Tyrann Mathieu is no longer on our team. He violated team policies,” said head coach Les Miles at a press conference. On his Twitter feed, Mathieu wrote “The realist hearts have been through the most pain!! I’m out!!”
Last October, the “Honey Badger” was suspended for one game against Auburn for allegedly failing a drug test. For the season, he finished as the leading tackler for the No. 2 defense in the nation in both yards and points allowed, including 7.5 tackles for loss, and forced more takeaways — two interceptions, six fumbles — than anyone else on a team that finished second in the nation in turnover margin. He was also fourth nationally in punt return yards and led the nation with four non-offensive touchdowns. He finished fifth in Heisman voting and was a unanimous All-American.
As a true freshman in 2010, Mathieu recorded 57 tackles, 8.5 of them for loss, and generated seven turnovers. Multiple outlets tabbed him as a Freshman All-American, and he closed the season by being voted Most Valuable Player in the Cotton Bowl.
Obviously, beating LSU will still take a monumental effort from UW. But the lack of Mathieu on defense and special teams certainly helps the Huskies chances. Washington will have a largely untested punter and kicker, and Mathieu could have made things absolutely miserable.