FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ohio State's leader in sacks is out for Friday's Orange Bowl – and beyond, Ohio State announced Wednesday.
Sophomore defensive end Noah Spence, who’s totaled 7.5 sacks this season and is coming off a career-high six tackles, didn't make the trip down for "personal issues" per Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on Sunday, but as it turns out, the Big Ten handed down a three-game suspension for a violation of conference rules.
Clemson gives back visiting children at hospital
The Columbus Dispatch reported that it was for a "unapproved dietary supplement.” The delay both in specifics on the ordeal were due to appeals.
"Spence's parents, who did not agree with the rule violation nor the penalty imposed, were assisted by the Ohio State Department of Athletics in exhausting the appeals process that was available to them with the Big Ten," an Ohio State statement said.
Meyer sided with his player as well.
"I really wasn't (planning to play without him)," he said after practice Wednesday. "I was just disappointed that the appeal didn't go through. Noah is one of my favorite players – great family, great person."
Sophomore Jamal Marcus, who has two sacks on the year, is expected to take his place.
"That's a part of the game, whether we like it or don't like it," Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said earlier this week. "These guys all know it. What that does is puts a little more heat on your guys that are leaders to say, Come on, let's continue to move forward. These guys are here for a reason. They're on scholarship for a reason. It's time for them.
"When one man goes down, sometimes it's a chance for -- you might find out a little more about those guys. That's the exciting thing for those guys and ourselves. It's an opportunity."
TIGERS WRAP PRACTICE
Boyd wraps final Clemson practice
Clemson held its third and final practice at its Miami Shores headquarters at Barry University Wednesday. Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will hold an 8 a.m. press conference early Thursday morning and then it's all final game prep until the 8:30 p.m. kickoff Friday night.
"We've had really good work," Swinney said. "We had a good balance. Mentality-wise I like where we are and (Thursday) is a really big day for us. Our normal Friday game prep is a very important day. We still have some work to do and have to wait until Friday night so the process continues."
Swinney's calling on his players to focus on the little things over the next couple days.
"Details, we've got a little down time when you get a chance to rest go through the gameplan," Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd said, who went through his final practice as a Tigers. "Physically it's out of the picture, it's all about the mental work. Going through the gameplan and understanding what we're doing. Just take it from there."
Clemson's injured list contains one name, junior starting end Stanton Seckinger, who is questionable after spraining his ankle at the team hotel this week.
Swinney announced the Tigers’ team captains will be seniors Spencer Shuey, Quandon Christian, Darius Robinson, Tajh Boyd, Tyler Shatley and Brandon Thomas.
"I still remember their first practice as Clemson football players back in August of 2009," said Swinney. "Some of them had a long way to go. Some of them were not highly recruited. But they have worked hard and improved and are part of a class that has done great things."
CLEMSON VISITS HOSPITAL
With practice in the books, Swinney and a group of 30 Tigers visited Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami to hang out for an hour going room-to-room.
They came bearing gifts, in the form of Clemson T-shirts and various items from the Orange Bowl, and Orange Bowl mascot, Obie, was on hand.
"We've been receiving a lot all week," Swinney said. "It's a great opportunity to be a part of all this bowl, but to be able to come and give back – that's what it's all about.
"We're out practicing football and getting ready for a great game Friday night, but this is real life. There's people in this hospital who are struggling. That's their reality. It just brings great perspective to come out here."
ONE MORE TIME
Ohio State isn't finished with its practice slate, going one more time Thursday at Nova Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. They waded through a 40-minute downpour in their Wednesday practice.
"It's kind of weird trying to grip the ball and it slips out of your hand," Buckeyes junior quarterback Braxton Miller said. "And all of the guys are trying to focus and lock it in, but we probably have to work on it. You don't get rain like this and it stops. Every fifteen minutes it starts up again."
Miller, who woke up feeling sick Tuesday morning, said he's back to "100 percent" for Clemson.