Orange Bowl 2014: Ohio State Will Get Glimpse of Future on Defense

Ohio State’s defense has been the topic of much consternation over the past month-plus, thanks to subpar efforts against Michigan and Michigan State in back-to-back games.

Come the Orange Bowl, some will get their wish, as Ohio State’s defense is about to look a lot different than it has all season long.

For some, it couldn’t be much worse than giving up over 1,000 yards and 75 points in a two-game span.

With those kinds of results, could the young replacements really do much worse?

We’re about to find out. As many as four changes are in store from the defense that took the field in the Big Ten Championship game.

Some of the changes are due to injury situations, and others are because of the flu bug going around the Ohio State locker room, but perhaps the biggest blow comes not from injury or sickness, but from an issue away from the game of football.

Ohio State’s best pass-rushing threat, Noah Spence, didn’t make the trip to South Florida with the team and may not be able to be in attendance due to what the team is describing as a “personal issue.”

Couple that with the news that Bradley Roby isn’t a for sure go thanks to a bone bruise in his knee, according to Eric Seger of The Lantern, and you have two of the most important pieces against the high-powered Clemson passing attack missing.

That means it could be on sophomore Armani Reeves to tackle the tough task of Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins (85 receptions, 1,237 yards,…

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