Winston Venable suspended

BOISE, Idaho -- Third-ranked Boise State will be without starting linebacker/safety Winston Venable for the first half of this weekend's game against New Mexico State.

Venable was suspended Wednesday for half a game by Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson for a "flagrant foul" against Oregon State's James Rodgers in the Broncos' 37-24 win last Saturday.

Rodgers suffered a concussion when he was hit helmet-to-helmet by Venable early in the third quarter. Benson said that upon review, Venable should have been flagged for a flagrant personal foul and ejected from the game.

Venable hit Rodgers as he was blocking for quarterback Ryan Katz on a scramble play. The punishment was originally a full game but Boise State appealed and the WAC sportsmanship committee reduced it to a half.