Not only will Ohio State be without a top member of its defense this postseason, they’ll be without him for the beginning of next season as well.
The Buckeyes announced via a press release Wednesday that Noah Spence has been suspended for three games for violating what was only described as a “Big Ten Conference Rule.” The defensive end will miss Friday’s Orange Bowl date with Clemson as well as the first two games of the 2014 season — Navy and Virginia Tech.
Spence, who will be permitted to practice with the team during his suspension, will be eligible to return for the Sept. 13, 2014, game against Kent State.
It had been reported over this past weekend that Spence did not fly with the team to Florida as he was “working on some personal issues at home,” head coach Urban Meyer said at the time. Again, what those issues are have not been detailed by the school.
“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,” OSU stated in its release.
Spence currently leads the Buckeye defensive line with eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. The sophomore was an Academic All-Big Ten selection this season.
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”
If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.
On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa. The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.
Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.
Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team. He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.
With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.