Ohio State to be without some key players for national championship game


Ohio State will be at a bit of a disadvantage on defense and special teams when they play Alabama for the college football national championship on Monday.

The Buckeyes will be without defensive linemen Tommy Togiai and Tyreke Smith as well as kickers Blake Haubeil and Dominic DiMaccio.

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Togiai had 23 total tackles and three sacks in seven games this season while Smith had eight tackles and one sack this season. Both players were going to be key in getting pressure on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and trying to stuff Najee Harris at the line of scrimmage.

Losing both kickers means the special teams unit will be shaky. Jake Seibert is the only other kicker who attempted a field goal this season. He missed the lone attempt.

Haubeil announced he had COVID-19.

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“I unfortunately will not be playing in the game due to COVID-19. I’m extremely upset, but at the same time I’m overwhelmingly thankful to be an individual who is asymptomatic,” Haubeil wrote in an Instagram post before kickoff. “I have spent the past 4 months making sacrifices, and have not seen family and friends one single time. So, to say I’m pissed off is a complete understatement. I didn’t go out and do something I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing and then wake up with a positive test. That is the honest truth.

“I’m generally a private person, however, I feel as though it is important for me to share my feelings and overall frustration on this matter. Football isn’t something I just do, it’s a part of who I am. Knowing I have so much more to give and not having the opportunity to do so tonight, is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings I’ve ever experienced.”

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Ohio State will hope to overcome these challenges and get a national championship.



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