Buckeyes Arrive in South Florida Minus Noah Spence

By Kyle Rowland on December 29, 2013 at 4:45p
Noah Spence is home dealing with personal issues. Urban Meyer hopes his sack leader will be available in Friday's Orange Bowl.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ohio State arrived in Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning, but only after an hour delay in Columbus due to weather. And not every member of the team made it to South Florida, sophomore defensive end Noah Spence, the Buckeyes’ sack leader, is at home dealing with “personal issues,” according to head coach Urban Meyer.

Spence has 52 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks on the season. If he were to miss the Orange Bowl, it appears Jamal Marcus would replace him in the lineup.

“Noah didn’t fly down with us,” Meyer said after Ohio State’s arrival. “He’s working through some personal issues at home. I hope [he will be here].”

Marcus is no stranger to the playing field. He’s been a presence on special teams and on defense as Spence’s backup. Marcus, a sophomore, recorded 15 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble during the regular season.

Less than a month after a stinging defeat to Michigan State, which cost Ohio State a spot in the national championship game, Meyer said it’s all systems go for the Buckeyes. Disappointment lingered, but an opportunity to provide No. 7 Ohio State with a positive perception led the team to quit sulking and licking its wounds.

“I think the fact that we’re playing Clemson in a BCS bowl game wakes up everybody up real fast,” Meyer said. “You worry as a coach that fundamentally that you’re not in shape and fundamentally behind a little bit. That’s what we worked on yesterday, and I’m going to run them pretty good today and get Christmas out of them.”

Under 79-degree cloudy skies and constant buzzing from airplanes arriving at nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Buckeyes went through a lengthy Sunday afternoon practice on the campus of Nova Southeastern University. All indications are Marcus Hall is again working with the first-team offensive line. 

Ohio State’s trying to overcome that early December loss to the Spartans, but it appears history is on their side. During the BCS era, teams that lost its final regular season game or conference championship game with a berth in the national title game at stake are 8-3 in bowl games. The past six teams are 5-1.

If the Buckeyes improve on that record, it will most likely be thanks to the defense – and possibly Vonn Bell. The true freshman safety told a Chattanooga TV station that he would start in the Orange Bowl. Meyer didn’t confirm that statement. However, he did concur that Bell will see a significant increase in playing time.

Ohio State’s secondary came under fire all season. The final two games were at another level, though. The Buckeyes surrendered 755 yards passing and seven touchdowns through the air in back-to-back weeks to Michigan and Michigan State.

A probable secondary lineup for Ohio State on Friday is Bell at nickel, Tyvis Powell at free safety, C.J. Barnett at strong safety and cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Doran Grant. The odd man out in that scenario becomes Pitt Brown, who could be used in dime packages.

“Vonn is a really good athlete and a really good player,” junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “He changes up the game when he gets in. His athleticism and judgment on balls, I feel like he can help out a lot.”

Bell’s played sparingly, mostly on special teams, making 12 tackles.


Comments Show All Comments

Seattle Linga's picture

Spence - good luck to you and I hope you get through your issues with a great support system. We're all pulling for you. Hopefully you can still find a way to make it to Florida !!

OSU069's picture

I hope Noah Spence can get through his personal matters and come play in the Orange Bowl. We need him. 

Buckeye5000's picture

We are definately going to need all the pass rushers we can get to try to disrupt Tayh Boyd, so I hope Spence can make it to Florida....and play in the game. I know everyone has high hopes for Bell but with the way our DB's have been playing it might not be enough to slow down Clemson's passing game. A solid pass rush will be critical.

2014 Undisputed National Champions!

Olemissbuckeye's picture

So this isn't the first time I have heard of a player dealing with "personal issues", but I really want to know precisely what issues Spence is dealing with.
Parking tickets? Family health issues? Girlfriend? Baby mama drama? Existential crisis?

Olemissbuckeye's picture

What I would love to know even more than Spence's issues is if people could sack up and have a reply instead of a mere downvote.

Olemissbuckeye's picture

I see where you guys are going with that, but I never said it was my business (and the first post was meant to be light hearted). He's just so important to the D that I'm just really curious. 
 I'm a mid thirties guy posting on a message board about nineteen and twenty year olds who have stolen years off of my life over the years. Of course its my business. Lol Seriously tough, thanks for the replies so we can actually talk about it. 

teddyballgame's picture

Lets just respect his privacy.  Sometimes things more important than football need your attention.  I hope he can eventually make the game though.

dlb72osu's picture

No dv, olemiss, but the definition of a personal issue is "none of our frigging business". If it's good enough for UFM it will have to do for us.
Have you never had an issue that wasn't open for public review? Let's simply respect Mr. Spence's privacy.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

- Invictus

Idaho Helga's picture

This in spades.  When you  were 19, did you think all your personal issues might/had to be public? And yes, I went to tOSU on a 4 yr academic scholarship so no one cared whatever the hell I did.   I obviously didn't get 1/10th of the perks these guys get but then I had no hassles so I wouldn't trade my scholarship for theirs. 
Trust in Urban.   It could be a girlfirend, who knows but if it's none of our business, then, it's none of our business.

extemporary08's picture

"When you  were 19, did you think all your personal issues might/had to be public?" No disrespect, but this is the era of CIAbook...er, facebook and social media. Kids air out all their petty problems for everyone to see...(really has nothing to do with Spence and what he's dealing with, just a general observation of society today)

Olemissbuckeye's picture

This is an entire website devoted to making the "as the world turns" of college kids our business. We second guess everything about them, including psychoanalyzing the decisions of high school (!) kids. I get that people say "trust the school and respect his privacy." I respect that opinion and agree with it and am glad there is honor amongst us thieves. However, I am still naturally curious, as "personal issues" is intentionally vague and reminds me of "violation of team rules". I dont deserve or demand an answer, but even if we can agree on the line in the sand perhaps we can agree that the line is at least arguably arbitrary.
Also, when I was 19 has nothing to do with the price of tea in China. I didn't play for OSU and did not miss (I hope he doesn't?) a BCS Bowl for personal issues. Nobody cared where I went to college or if a friend or relative died or if I knocked up my girlfriend.

joel121270's picture

Yep, none of our business. That's the problem with society today in that a lot of people need to know or feel they are given the right to know a persons personal business.
I hope he comes back but first and foremost hope that he gets whatever issue it may be taken care of for his well being.
I didn't vote either way, just gave my opinion.

buckeyedude's picture

Maybe his iguana cat died?



BuckeyeVet's picture

"Poop" is the response of Chief Big Dump? Lol, sir.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Knarcisi's picture

As my 3 year old would say, " awwww, you said a bad word". 

fanfarris's picture

One of the funniest comments at the Hollywood Oscars was when Jack Palance one of the stars of the movie City Slickers,talking about his costar,Bill Crystal. Jack said well ,Bill crystal is a fine Actor, but i Crap bigger than him.


Bucks777's picture

Agree to miss the trip to south florida; The Orange bowl, it must have been more than household drama, girlfriend issues, or baby mama drama, You simply do not pass up The Orange Bowl and a chance to play in it!!  Must either be grades, or a family illness which must be pretty serious. 
Those are the only things that would keep me out of a game of this magnitude, either way we are behind you Noah, hope all is well, and you do have a great support group here at Buckeye Nation; and with the great group of coaches around you waiting to help out.
Have a Great New year, and hope you can make it down to play. We are big fans of your's! Take care of what you need to; and you are in our prayers.

Geraffi's picture

Good luck Noah. Hope you can work things out. 

buckeyepastor's picture

Sorta unlikely that Spence has academic issues.   That would not be something that could be reconciled for this game.  Whatever it is, it doesn't sound as if Spence is 100% out of the picture for the bowl game, which suggests it's a matter that could be reconciled in the next couple days.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Bucks777's picture

I believe academic issues also keep players from traveling with the team, had some issue once when I was a freshman, had to meet with the Professor on her time table and set up proper coursework to make up; in order for her to release me to play. However, as you stated; highly unlikely.

LeftCoastBuck's picture

Could be if it is an "I" that needs to be resolved

"Have a Coke and a smile!.....along with $150 in UM football tickets"

Bucks777's picture

I had an incomplete, and that was my issue./ So yes it could be that. 

chemicalwaste's picture

Depending on department, even if a student has a school sanctioned event, if he or she misses a quiz or an exam because of a game or anything the department doesn't necessarily care. The chemistry department gives you a big old T.S. and sends you packing if you miss quizzes, labs (depending on course and professor), exams, anything. In a sense, I hope that's the case rather than something happening to a family member or anything like that.
Good luck to you Noah, and hopefully we'll have the pleasure of watching you blast Tajh Boyd a few times.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Noah Spence was named as a member of the Academic All-Big Ten team two weeks ago.

LeftCoastBuck's picture

Good catc +1...thanks

"Have a Coke and a smile!.....along with $150 in UM football tickets"

buckguyfan1's picture

I hope an Angry Team with Angry Coaches landed in South Florida.  I will be there and if needed I too will be Angry. 

wyatt's picture

Glad to see Vonn Bell get some playing time.  The DB changes were needed in the first 12 games.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Damn it - Noah Spence is going to hurt badly if he isn't able to get his personal issue resolved.

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced


Hope Spence's issues are fixable and he makes it to Miami. Football aside it's his life and to force him to possibly miss such a big game it must really be serious. Positive thoughts for him.
If Spence is out this would be a GREAT opportunity for Marcus or Lewis or even Steve Miller to have a breakout game and give us that 2nd solid pass rusher for 2014.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Oneida54's picture

UFM would not say Spence was in or out even if he knows. Everything he says to the media is for effect. Thats college coaches way!!

Condor's picture

I can't imagine that UFM was too happy to see Vonn's statement in the paper that he'd start. Doesn't strike me as something he'd take kindly to... Don't the coaches usually announce the starters?

"Do not fear me gypsy, all I want is your tears."

 -- Borat Sagdiyev


Bamabucknut's picture

Noah...we are pulling for you.I've said a prayer all will be well.

CowCat's picture

Noah. Family comes first. We'll still be here for you and your family.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

DenBuck's picture

Hang in, Noah!

Buckeye For Life

sonofsarek's picture

"Personal issues" this time of year = grades.  He probably flunked a class or two. 

Knarcisi's picture

I thought the same thing the other day. 

chemicalwaste's picture


"Noah Spence was named as a member of the Academic All-Big Ten team two weeks ago."