State College, Pa. — Linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White will miss the remainder of the season with a right knee injury, Penn State coach James Franklin announced Tuesday.
The senior was hurt midway through Penn State’s 34-27 victory over Temple last weekend. Although he was able to hop up, take a few high steps and walk off the field on his own, he did not return and was spotted later with a full brace on his right leg.
Brandon Smith, a former walk-on, is expected to make his first start against No. 4 Michigan in the middle of a banged up defense that’s lost all three starting linebackers to injuries.
“He’s been here four years and he’s played three defensive snaps,” Franklin said. “He played 57 plays. I think the confidence he displayed and how he called the defense I think helped.”
It is the second-straight season-ending knee injury for Wartman-White, who missed all but three series last season with a torn left ACL.
The Philadelphia native suffered both injuries against the Owls on similar plays.
“He handled the setback last year really well,” Franklin said. “This year, we were still kind of working through his physical and mental confidence and it was growing and growing each week.”
Wartman-White missed all but two games in 2012 with an injury and was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA.
In addition to Wartman-White, Penn State likely will play without its other two starting linebackers. Brandon Bell (left leg) and Jason Cabinda (left hand) are nursing injuries as well.
Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel says coach Dabo Swinney has apologized to his players for remarks he made about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Martin Luther King Jr. , comments the coach thought created an unnecessary distraction.
O’Daniel told The Post and Courier of Charleston that Swinney apologized last week, saying he thought he was a distraction to preparations for this past Saturday’s 59-0 victory over S.C. State.
... Atlantic Coast Conference officials have changed one of the final tiebreakers that could determine who plays in the championship game. Conference spokesman Mike Finn said the seventh tiebreaker will be an analytics company’s ranking of the teams.
The conference partnered with SportSource Analytics this summer in the event of a potential tie, ESPN reported.