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Report: Ronnie Perkins, 2 Oklahoma Players Suspended for Peach Bowl vs. LSU

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29: Ronnie Perkins #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners in action against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Three Oklahoma Sooners football players, including defensive lineman Ronnie Perkins, have reportedly been suspended and will not play in the College Football Playoff semifinal Peach Bowl against No. 1 LSU.

According to SoonerScoop.com, Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson and wide receiver Trejan Bridges are the suspended players. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports confirmed Perkins' suspension.

Jason Kersey of The Athletic reported the suspensions are a result of failed drug tests.

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley declined to discuss the reported suspensions on Wednesday.

"I'm aware of the report that is out there," Riley said, per Kersey. "Unfortunately at this time, I cannot comment on it."

The winner of the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28 will go on to face the winner of the Fiesta Bowl between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 13.

With 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks during his sophomore season, Perkins is undoubtedly the biggest loss for the No. 4 Sooners among the three suspended players.

Oklahoma can ill afford to be without arguably its best defensive lineman against an LSU offense that ranks third in the nation in scoring with 47.8 points per game. In addition to the play of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, the Sooners have to worry about running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has 1,689 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns this season.

Stopping either of them without the services of Perkins will make an already difficult task even tougher Riley.

Freshman defensive lineman Marcus Stripling, who has just 1.0 sack and 1.0 tackle for loss this season, is the top candidate to fill in for Perkins.

Stevenson, a junior running back, has also been a key contributor for Oklahoma this season. He has rushed for 515 yards and six touchdowns, and his 8.0 yards per carry are the best on the team.

Kennedy Brooks will be the clear top running back without Stevenson, while the leading rusher, quarterback Jalen Hurts, will be tasked with using his legs plenty as well.

Also, with running back Trey Sermon out for the season, T.J. Pledger could see more work than usual as Brooks' backup against LSU.

Bridges is a freshman wide receiver who has not made any on-field contributions to the team this season, meaning Hurts will continue to rely on CeeDee Lamb and Charleston Rambo in the passing game.