stille web

Nebraska junior defensive lineman Ben Stille will start in place of senior Khalil Davis Saturday against Northwestern. Davis was suspended for one game by the Big Ten for an incident in last weekend’s game against Ohio State.

LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Scott Frost reiterated Thursday he supports the Big Ten-issued one-game suspension of defensive lineman Khalil Davis following the league’s announcement Wednesday.

Frost said he and his staff had “no idea” during the game what occurred. One video angle appears to show the senior throwing a punch at an Ohio State lineman.

“The referees told me there was a little extracurricular going on with (Davis),” Frost said. “Now, that was going on both ways. But there’s a difference between a little shoving after a play and what happened.”

Frost echoed his Wednesday statement that he agrees with the league’s decision, adding that Davis will receive “some internal punishment” in addition to the suspension.

Davis — from Blue Springs, Missouri — started the first five games of the season at defensive end. The 6-foot-2, 315-pounder is Nebraska’s leader in tackles for loss (six) and sacks (three) among his 17 total tackles.

Junior Ben Stille will start in Davis’ place Saturday against Northwestern and Deontre Thomas could see an uptick in snaps, Frost said. Junior college transfer Keem Green is another option after he made his NU debut last weekend.

Quick hits

-- Freshman running back Rahmir Johnson is “ready” to contribute, Frost said, whenever that may be. Frost said Johnson’s speed adds a different element to the offense, but Nebraska has waited to play him more until he could execute the entire offense confidently.

“I think he’s been close coming up to this game,” Frost said. “I think he’s ready now. ... His time’s coming very shortly.”

Johnson has appeared in one game this year, carrying three times for nine yards against Northern Illinois.

-- Asked about the planned debut of tight end Chris Hickman this weekend, Frost said NU is bullish about his potential. The Omaha Burke grad will play on at least one special teams unit Saturday, tight ends coach Sean Beckton said earlier in the week. Coaches are rotating freshmen in to relieve older players of a few special teams snaps when possible.

“We’re really excited about Chris Hickman and his potential here,” Frost said. “He can run, he’s a tough kid.”

-- Frost confirmed true freshman running back Ronald Thompkins is out for the season after undergoing another minor knee surgery to “clean something up.” The Huskers don’t expect him back until spring. Thompkins — from Loganville, Georgia — also had both knees operated on in high school.

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