Ohio State arrived in Florida on Sunday for the Discover Orange Bowl, but it did so without the team’s top pass rusher Noah Spence.
Coach Urban Meyer told media Sunday that Spence was dealing with “personal issues” and did not make the trip with the team for Friday’s game against Clemson.
"[Spence] didn't fly down with us," Meyer said. "He's working through some personal issues at home."
Meyer didn’t offer any details on Spence’s situation nor did he clarify whether Spence would ultimately be available for the game. All Meyer said was that he “hoped” Spence, a sophomore, would be able to join the team later in the week.
Spence’s father, Greg, gave no comment when he was contacted by cleveland.com.
Spence is a first-team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten selection. He led the Buckeyes with eight sacks and had 14.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore Jamal Marcus will likely fill Spence’s role.
Losing Spence is definitely a blow to the Buckeyes, who are facing Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and the best passing offense they’ve faced all season. Boyd has thrown for 3,473 yards and 29 touchdowns this season, which ranks 13th nationally.
- - - - - - -