Trae Elston suspended one game

Updated: September 11, 2012, 3:27 PM ET
By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com

The Southeastern Conference has suspended Mississippi freshman defensive back Trae Elston for the Rebels' upcoming home game against No. 14 Texas because of a hit in last weekend's win over UTEP.

After reviewing game tapes of Ole Miss' 28-10 win over UTEP on Saturday, the conference deemed Elston's hit on wide receiver Jordan Leslie at the 3:18 mark in the fourth quarter to be "flagrant and dangerous." Elston led with his head and shoulder to hit Leslie near the goal line on an incomplete pass that sailed by both players. Just before UTEP quarterback Nick Lamaison's pass reached the goal line, Leslie pulled up as if to brace for Elston's hit.

Leslie was on the ground for several minutes before getting up.

According to a statement from the SEC, Elston's hit was in violation of Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA rulebook.

"No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder," the rule reads. Also, Rule 9-1-3 states, "No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet."

The suspension is in accordance with the SEC Constitution, Article 4.4.2 (d), which states that a student-athlete may be suspended if it is determined that the student-athlete has committed a flagrant or unsportsmanlike act.

Elston, one of many Ole Miss true freshmen to play for first-year coach Hugh Freeze this season, has provided much-needed depth in the Rebels' secondary. He's recorded seven tackles and one pass breakup in two games.

Coming out of high school, Elston was rated the No. 10 safety in the nation and No. 12 recruit in the state of Alabama by ESPN.com recruiting services.

Ole Miss (2-0) plays host to Texas (2-0) on Saturday.

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