Ohio State CB Bradley Roby, RB Rod Smith out for opener

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Bradley Roby will sit out the Buckeyes season opener against Buffalo.
Bradley Roby will sit out the Buckeyes season opener against Buffalo. (USATSI)

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby's legal issues improved Friday when his battery charge was reduced, but Urban Meyer says the All-American candidate will sit out the season opener against Buffalo.

Roby was arrested in July after an altercation outside a bar in Bloomington, Ind.. He was charged with misdemeanor battery at the time, but those charges were reduced on Friday and the cornerback agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program that could result in the charge being dismissed eventually.

Meyer said that Roby could face additional punishment, but for now the suspension appears to be limited to one game. Running back Rod Smith was also suspended for the Buffalo game as a result of a team rules violation last winter.

The Buckeyes, ranked No. 2 in the AP Top 25 released Saturday, will be missing several players when they take the field in hopes of continuing their 12-game unbeaten streak under Urban Meyer.

Smith likely would have started the opener with leading rusher Carlos Hyde serving a three-game suspension for an altercation earlier this offseason. Instead Meyer said Jordan Hall will be the starting running back, followed by Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball and Ezekial Elliott.

The Buckeyes are still heavy favorites -- many sportsbooks have the line around 35 points -- against Buffalo, but the Bulls have to like their improving chances as more stars are sentenced to the sideline. This is arguably the most talented team under fourth-year coach Jeff Quinn, led by future NFL Draft pick Khalil Mack. The Bulls, picked to finish fourth in the MAC East, will be tested when conference play starts after back-to-back road games against Ohio State and Baylor to kick off the season.

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