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Urban Meyer: Not involved with Noah Spence hearing

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer spoke about the status of junior defensive lineman Noah Spence during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference, but said he’s not closely involved with the appeal process.

Coming off a three-game suspension, Spence was ruled ineligible just before the Kent State game in September after reportedly failing a second drug test. He has not played for OSU since the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game.

Meyer said he’s not involved with Spence’s hearing — which is scheduled to happen sometime Tuesday — but added he knows “a little bit about it.” Meyer said “we’ll cross that bridge,” in regards to Spence potentially returning to the Buckeyes and added OSU vice president and athletic director Gene Smith is more involved with Spence’s appeal process. The appeal is set to happen sometime Tuesday.

Smith told The Lantern he was unable to comment on Spence’s status in a Tuesday afternoon email.

Beyond Spence, Meyer also addressed the upcoming rivalry matchup with Michigan and some of the concerns he has heading into the game.

  • Meyer said practice is “pretty much the same” during Michigan week, but there’s more education about the rivalry.
  • He said he’s “very concerned” with the OSU run defense and added that big plays have been the main problem.
  • Meyer said he’s “not amazed anymore” when it comes to redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett’s play, but he was earlier in the year.
  • Meyer said the Buckeyes have to be “very cautious” about how they coach Barrett heading into his first start against Michigan.
  • Redshirt-junior defensive lineman Chris Carter and redshirt-junior offensive lineman Antonio Underwood are both listed among the 24 seniors set to be honored during senior day festivities on Saturday. Meyer confirmed that “this will be their final year” playing for the Buckeyes.
  • He said Carter and Underwood made that decision for themselves: “They’re gonna graduate and move on with their life and go about their business.”
  • Meyer said Michigan redshirt-senior linebacker Jake Ryan is a “great player.” He added Ryan “will be a NFL player.”
  • Meyer said Michigan has “as hard a playing defense as (OSU will) face all year.”
  • Meyer said OSU’s turnovers recently have been “very alarming,” but added those issues have been addressed in practice.
  • He said redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis Powell is a little “banged up,” but is set to play against Michigan.

OSU and the Wolverines are scheduled to face off on Saturday at noon at Ohio Stadium.

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