Noah Spence – Defensive End
Aug 19, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer talks with Noah Spence (8) during practice at Ackerman Road Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
If Brendan Bigelow is the key to Cal’s success this coming weekend, the man who is going to be tasked with keeping him in check is Noah Spence. Spence, the 9th best recruit in the 2012 recruiting class, has started to show glimpses of the player he was billed as being. Mind you, he’s only a sophomore and he still can make mistakes. However, if this defensive end can play a good game, he can be a big reason as to why the Buckeyes win.
Spence uses a good mix of speed and power in order to get past the line of scrimmage, through the offensive line and to the quarterback. He appeared in 11 games last season, even though there was a lot of experience ahead of him. Now, as a starter, he has shown improvement in leaps and bounds after an amazing season to start his Buckeye career.
Because Bigelow is effective when he uses his speed along the sidelines, Spence’s speed is one of the weapons Urban Meyer will try to use to slow the Cal rushing attack down. I get the feeling that you’ll likely see a lot of Spence/Bigelow matchups in space along the seams.
The other place where Spence is going to be important is in the amount of pressure that Ohio State is able to put of Jared Goff. Spence has 9 tackles (2.5 for a loss) and leads the team with 1.5 sacks. He will have to bring the wood in order to help top this Cal offense that has yet to look bad.