A day after defensive tackle Mo Couch was declared out against Oregon due to heat exhaustion, the Tennessee lineman's health no longer appears to be an issue. During a radio appearance Thursday, Volunteers head coach Butch Jones said only that Couch was "declared ineligible for [Oregon]."
Jones gave no mention to the previous excuse of heat exhaustion.
Butch Jones tells us about Mo Couch, "We've declared him ineligible for this game."— Brent, Clay & Blaine (@3HL1045) September 12, 2013
The 6'2, 304 pounder was one of five SEC players linked by Yahoo! Sports to improper benefits earlier this week. A senior, Couch is the only one of those five players who still has college eligibility, which could now be in jeopardy considering the information in the report.
A back-up defensive tackle, Couch has recorded 79 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 12 tackles for loss in his college career. Those numbers may not be particularly impressive, but any and all defensive depth is crucial when facing Oregon's up-tempo offense. The Volunteers will simply play a man down on the defensive line without him.