Ohio State on Thursday issued one-game suspensions to four players, headlined by junior defensive end Joey Bosa, for its season opener against Virginia Tech Sept. 7 in Blacksburg.
Bosa, senior receiver Corey Smith and sohpomore and junior H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson, respectively, were suspended for a violation of athletic department policy. ESPN's Joe Schad reported the suspensions were due to academics and marijuana, though did not specify individual players transgressions.
Coach Urban Meyer said he supports the suspensions, though admitted losing Bosa is a concern given the Buckeyes face a road game against a Virginia Tech team that beat them, 35-21, at home in Week 2 last year.
"I think the department has policies that we expect and I 100 percent am fully supportive of it," Meyer said. "Whether it's a sprained ankle or stuff, you try to create a culture where teams know how to move forward and not concern yourself. When we lost Braxton (Miller) 10 days before the first game, you lose JT (Barrett) a week before the Big Ten Championship game, you push forward. You know, we're pushing forward."
As a sophomore, Bosa paced Ohio State's championship-winning defense with 13 1/2 sacks and 21 tackles for a loss. He'll be replaced on the Buckeyes' defensive line by some combination of freshmen Sam Hubbard and Darius Slade and sophomores Jayln Holmes and Tyquan Lewis.
"One of the best defensive players in the United States of America won't play in that game," Meyer said.
Marshall and Wilson were triple threats for Ohio State last year. Marshall caught 38 passes for 499 yards with six touchdowns, rushed 25 times for 145 yards with a touchdown and returned 24 punts for 283 yards and a score; Wilson had 21 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 18 times for 100 yards and averaged 24 yards per return on 22 kickoffs. Smith totaled 20 receptions for 255 yards in 2015.
Newly-converted wide receiver Braxton Miller should factor in replacing all three of the suspended skill players in Week 1 against Frank Beamer's Hokies.