Targeting penalty forces Auburn to shuffle defense

September 10, 2013 10:00:52 AM

Matthew Stevens - [email protected]


STARKVILLE -- The Auburn University football team will have to reshuffle its first-team defense for its Southeastern Conference opener. 


As reported Sunday by reporter Brandon Marcello, Kris Frost's suspension for targeting Arkansas State University quarterback Adam Kennedy late in the third quarter will force the Tigers to change their depth chart. 


Frost is expected to miss the first half of Auburn's game against Mississippi State University at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2). He was ejected after hitting Kennedy in a 38-9 victory. The NCAA's new targeting rule requires the penalized player to miss the first half of the next game if the infraction occurs in the second half. 


Marcello reported Sunday the options for Auburn (2-0) and defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson include moving sophomore Anthony Swain to the inside linebacker spot to help middle linebacker Jake Holland. 


MSU coach Dan Mullen said because the changes on Auburn's coaching staff since 2009 (two head coaches, three offensive coordinators, and three defensive coordinators) have made the Tigers one of the most challenging scouts for his staff. 


MSU (1-1) is looking to defeat Auburn in consecutive years for the first time since it won three straight from 1998-2000. 


Bohanna still listed as doubtful for Saturday 


Junior middle linebacker Ferlando Bohanna was upgraded to questionable for Saturday's game. 


"We should have everybody back healthy, with the exception of the guys that are out for the year," Mullen said. "The guy that is questionable still would be (Ferlando) Bohanna. But everybody else, talking with our trainers today they expect to be ready to go by game time." 


The MSU medical staff hasn't cleared Bohanna (concussion symptoms). He was listed as "doubtful" for games against Oklahoma State University and Alcorn State University. It is uncertain when he will return to practice. His name no longer appears at linebacker on the updated depth chart. Redshirt freshmen Richie Brown and Beniquez Brown are listed at backup middle linebacker and strong-side linebacker. 


Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.