Urban Meyer announced to the media Saturday that Ohio State redshirt junior defensive back Bradley Roby and junior running back Rod Smith have both been suspended for the team's season opener against the University of Buffalo. Both are expected to be available for the following week's game against San Diego State, though Meyer added that depending on the resolution of Roby's legal situation, his number of games missed could grow.
Roby's suspension follows yesterday's news that the class-a misdemeanor battery charges he'd been facing since an altercation at a bar in Bloomington, Indiana in July had been reduced to a lesser class-b misdemeanor. Smith's suspension, news at this point, comes following a disciplinary issue that was said to have occurred last winter.
In Roby's absence, Doran Grant and a group of younger defensive backs including Armani Reeves, Tyvis Powell, freshmen Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, and Cameron Burrows will be expected to step up. Smith's absence comes with the Buckeyes already missing Carlos Hyde, who's suspended indefinitely (though believed to be no more than a 3-game suspension if Hyde meets certain team obligations).
Though redshirt senior Jordan Hall had been running with the one's at halfback, Smith was widely expected to be the principal ball carrier with Hall mostly playing the Pivot (aka the Percy Harvin role in Urban Meyer and Tom Herman's offense). The team may have to further incorporate sophomores Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, and freshman Ezekiel Elliott and Dontre Wilson to fill the void left by Smith's suspension.