In just under an hour, the Ohio State Buckeyes will take the field for a battle against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama enters as an 8.5-point favorite, but the latest news could swing that line even further in the Crimson Tide’s favor. Just an hour before kickoff, Ohio State announced it would be without 13 players.
Some of those missing tonight’s game are key contributors. Starting defensive end Tommy Togiai, defensive tackle Tyreke Smith and the Buckeyes’ top two kickers won’t be able to play.
But that’s just the start.
Here’s a full list of Ohio State players that will miss tonight’s national title game.
Ohio State’s full unavailability report:
CB Cam Brown
DL Jacolbe Cowan
K Dominic DiMaccio
DT Ty Hamilton
WR Jaylen Harris
K Blake Haubeil
OT Dawand Jones
LB Cade Kacherski
LB Mitchell Melton
DE Tyreke Smith
DT Tommy Togiai
S Kourt Williams
RB Miyan Williams
Yes, two kickers.
— Chris Vannini 😷 (@ChrisVannini) January 12, 2021
Losing key starts for the biggest game of the season is never a good thing. However, the Buckeyes are used to playing at less than 100-percent this season.
During the regular season, Ohio State dominated Michigan State while the team was missing over 20 players. In the semifinal game against Clemson, the Buckeyes missed a few key starters and went on to blow out the Tigers.
Of course, the Crimson Tide are a different animal altogether. Alabama was the most dominant team in the country all season long and that hasn’t changed.
Nick Saban and company are expected to win tonight’s game – especially with the return of star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
That’s why they play the game, however. Ohio State wasn’t supposed to be Clemson either.
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