Noah Spence suspended 3 games

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Ohio State sophomore defensive end Noah Spence has been suspended three games, starting with Friday's Discover Orange Bowl against  Clemson, for violating an unspecified Big Ten rule.

The Buckeyes announced the suspension on Wednesday morning and said Spence and his parents did not agree with the ruling by the conference. Ohio State and the Spence family then spent time "exhausting the appeals process that was available to them with the Big Ten," the statement read.

"I was disappointed that the appeal didn't go through," coach Urban Meyer said after Wednesday's practice. "Noah's one of my favorite players. ... We'll move forward."

Spence did not travel to Florida with the Buckeyes, and Meyer had said Spence was dealing with a personal issue. Spence, an all-Big Ten selection, finished second in the conference with eight sacks and had 14.5 tackles for losses among his 52 total tackles.

Spence will be able to practice with the team in the spring, but he will not be eligible to play until Ohio State's third game of 2014 season, which comes Sept. 13 against Kent State. The Buckeyes' first two games are at Navy and against Virginia Tech at home.

In addition, Meyer also said that cornerback  Bradley Roby, who suffered a bone bruise in his knee in the Big Ten championship game, is unlikely to play against Clemson.

Earlier this week, Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said Jamal Marcus and Steve Miller are among the top candidates to take Spence's spot on the field against the Tigers.

"Those are guys that probably haven't seen nearly as much action throughout the year, but they're guys who have practiced every single day, taken those reps," Fickell said. "That's a part of the game, whether we like it or don't like it. 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."

Marcus and Miller have combined for 27 tackles, five sacks and eight tackles for loss this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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