SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame suspended starting tailback Cierre Wood two games for violating team rules, leaving the Fighting Irish without their 1,000-yard rusher against Navy and Purdue.
Wood led the Irish in rushing last year with 1,102 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Wood, a senior, played in all 13 games in 2011 with nine starts. Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III will likely be the Irish's top two ball carriers now that Wood is out.
Coach Brian Kelly also announced that junior defensive end Justin Utupo was suspended for the games against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday and the home opener the following week against Purdue.
"Our players are aware of the standards I set for our program and that failure to meet my expectations will result in consequences," Kelly said in a release. "Justin and Cierre violated our team rules so I've suspended them for the first two games of the season."
Utupo played in 12 games in 2011, primarily on special teams, and was a reserve defensive end on the most recent Notre Dame depth chart.
Earlier, Kelly suspended quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese for the season opener for their roles in a skirmish with police following an off-campus party in May.
The Irish have also lost starting cornerback Lo Wood for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He underwent surgery on Wednesday.
Missouri RB Josey to miss season
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri tailback Henry Josey will not play this year after injuring his left knee in November against Texas.
Tigers coach Gary Pinkel says Josey is expected to make a full recovery. He says he saw Josey running during practice Sunday.
Josey tore his ACL, MCL and patellar tendon against the Longhorns, requiring two surgeries -- one following the injury and another in the spring. He led the Tigers with 1,168 yards rushing in 10 games last year, with quarterback James Franklin finishing second with 981 yards.
Kendial Lawrence will start at tailback in Saturday's opener against Southeastern Louisiana. He also began the 2011 season atop the depth chart, before breaking his left leg in practice prior to the team's second game.
Rogers leaves Vols, transfers to Tenn. Tech
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Da'Rick Rogers officially has left Tennessee's football team, just not the state's borders.
The former all-Southeastern Conference wide receiver has transferred to Football Championship Subdivision program Tennessee Tech, the school confirmed Monday afternoon. The move was announced four days after Tennessee indefinitely suspended Rogers for a violation of team rules.
"It'll be exciting," Rogers said in a school release announcing the move. "I'm excited to be here and be with the team and have brand new camaraderie with these guys. It'll be fun to watch us play."
Because Tennessee Tech is an FCS school, Rogers can transfer there without sitting out a year of competition. Tennessee Tech opens its season Thursday against Hampton.
The move reunites Rogers with former Calhoun (Ga.) High School teammate Tre Lamb, the starting quarterback for Tennessee Tech. Lamb's father, Hal Lamb, coached Rogers at Calhoun and apparently spoke up on the receiver's behalf to Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown.
"It's a unique situation for me, but we know he's a good kid," Brown said. "He knows a couple of the players on our team, and we know his high school coach, and we're going on their recommendations."
Rogers caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns last year to earn all-SEC honors, but he also had caused a few headaches for Tennessee's coaching staff even before getting suspended last week.
Enough reports surfaced about Rogers' tenuous status on the team late last season that Tennessee coach Derek Dooley released a statement indicating the star receiver hadn't been suspended or dismissed.