Georgia Tech will be a little lighter on starting experience on the right side of their offensive line when they take the field for their opener next month, head coach Paul Johnson announced Wednesday.
Thanks to an unspecified violation of team rules, starting right tackle Phil Smith has been suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season. Johnson would not get into any type of specifics as to what led to the suspension, but did allow that whatever it was that caused the punishment did not occur recently.
Either Catlin Alford or Ray Beno will start in place of Smith in the opener Sept. 1 against Western Carolina and Sept. 10 against Middle Tennessee State. Both of those games are at home.
Smith has played in 23 games the past two seasons, including 12 starts. he started eight games last season, and will likely regain the starting job this season upon reinstatement.