Councell's suspension upheld, will miss first half vs. ASU

Councell's suspension upheld, will miss first half vs. ASU
October 1, 2013, 11:45 am
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JJ Stankevitz

Notre Dame's appeal was not successful, and the Irish will be without linebacker Ben Councell for the first half of Saturday's game against Arizona State.

Councell was ejected in the second half of Notre Dame's 35-21 loss to Oklahoma for targeting, as he leveled a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sooners running back Brennan Clay. Because the play occurred in the second half, Councell is also suspended for the first half of Notre Dame's next game.

Coach Brian Kelly and Notre Dame attempted to appeal the first-half suspension for Saturday's game, aiming to argue Councell had no intent to hit Clay helmet-to-helmet.

[More: Atkinson's breakout gives Notre Dame offense much-needed balance]

On Tuesday, Kelly confirmed Councell's suspension had been upheld, and that he'll be without him for the first 30 minutes against Arizona State.

Councell, a junior, has backed up freshman 'dog' outside linebacker starter Jaylon Smith this year and has made six tackles. Kelly said sophomore Romeo Okwara will slide over to the 'dog' spot and rotate in with Smith during the first half on Saturday in Texas.