Standout defensive tackle Masson Smith will not play in No. 5 LSU‘s season opener Sept. 3 against No. 8 Florida State, a source told ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Wednesday.
Smith’s absence is due to a one-game suspension by the NCAA over an improper benefit, according to The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, which first reported the discipline. Although Smith cooperated with the investigation, the NCAA ruled him ineligible for the first game, the newspaper reported.
Smith will be able to return in Week 2 for LSU’s home opener against Grambling.
The suspension will delay the much-anticipated return of one of the Tigers’ best defensive players. Smith suffered a torn ACL while celebrating a play in the first half of last year’s season opener against Florida State. He missed the remainder of the season.