The college football world knew Ohio State would be shorthanded for tonight’s national title game, but it wasn’t sure until now just how many impact players would be unable to suit up against Alabama.
Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they’ll be missing three starters against the Crimson Tide. The three starters listed as out for tonight’s game are Blake Haubeil, Tyreke Smith, and Tommy Togiai.
Haubeil recently revealed on Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19. That’s a huge blow for Ohio State, as the senior kicker has made all of his extra point attempts and 5-of-7 field goal attempts this season.
Losing playmakers on the defensive line in Smith and Togiai is also a tough pill to swallow for Ryan Day’s squad. They were both outstanding in the semifinal matchup against the Clemson Tigers.
Ohio State will be without three starters tonight: DT Tommy Togiai, DE Tyreke Smith and K Blake Haubeil
— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) January 12, 2021
In total, the Buckeyes will be without 13 players for the national title game. The program was dealing with COVID-19 issues all of last week, so it’s not surprising to hear that over a dozen players are unavailable.
Since the defensive line is missing Smith and Togiai tonight, Ohio State will need Zach Harrison and Tyler Friday to step up against Alabama.
Defeating an Alabama team at less than 100 percent won’t be an easy challenge, but Ohio State has been dealing with adversity all season long.
Kickoff for the national title game is at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
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