Jan. 3, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes have completed their practices in advance of Friday evening’s Discover Orange Bowl. Wednesday the team practiced for just over 90 minutes at Nova Southeastern University, including about 45 minutes of practice through a heavy downpour. Thursday evening the team will conduct its typical “best Fridays in football” walk-through at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
Coaches’ luncheon: Mid-day Thursday 18 Ohio State Buckeyes, including Braxton Miller, Jack Mewhort, Kenny Guiton, Michael Bennett, C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant and Corey Linsley, attended the Discover Orange Bowl Coaches Luncheon at Jungle Island. Game play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore served as host and emcee. The event included inducting former Clemson star Terry Kinard and former Florida State Seminole Peter Boulware into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame, along with former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese.
Longtime New York Daily News writer Dick “Hoops” Weiss was presented with the Edwin Pope Orange Bowl Vanguard Media Award.
Tessitore had players and coaches on stage for some brief Q&As. A few of the thoughts:
“It wasn’t good. I had a bad rep and at the time I just had to show coach what I was about and I had to show him that I was going to come in and be a leader.” – Kenny Guiton, reflecting back on his “get to know Coach Meyer” moment
“We play really fast. I think we are a fast defense from the d-line back to the DBs. When we are at our best, everyone does their job and we do it very fast. We’ll have to use our speed and a very physical approach vs. Clemson.” – Michael Bennett on Ohio State’s defense
“You love the guy next to you and you know he’s your brother so you play a little harder. We go out there every day and try to get better; play hard. Obviously we’ve got some pretty good skill position guys.” Jack Mewhort on the offensive line…and more
“I’d consider us first a tough group…the hardest working unit on the team. I think we have a great level of communication. We are all really good friends and have very few communication problems during a game.” Corey Linsley on the offensive line
“Taking a trip like this makes all the hours in the spring and summer pay off. We’re having a great time, the Orange Bowl has been great to us and we are really looking forward to playing in a fun game.” – Jack Mewhort
…“Our offensive line is an energy giver.” – Urban Meyer
“You are not just a quarterback. You are the face of the team, so if you want to run for politics someday, you have to just embrace this roll.” – Clemson senior QB Tajh Boyd’s advice to Ohio State junior QB Braxton Miller
About those offensive meetings: Joe Tessitore had Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney engaged in a discussion about the two teams’ offensive staffs spending some time together this spring. Swinney got a roar when he said: “Texas A&M was supposed to be with us, too, but they didn’t come. I don’t know why. So we [Ohio State and Clemson coaches] gathered in Clemson to talk. We [his coaches] lied for two days but I can tell you that we got some great stuff from Ohio State.”
Joe DiMaggio hospital visit: Wednesday evening Drew Basil, Taylor Decker, Bryce Haynes, Carlos Hyde, Andrew Norwell, Bradley Roby and Nick Vannett accompanied coach Urban Meyer to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to visit some patients. Children in at least a dozen rooms were visited by the Buckeyes and given Ohio State hats and Discover Orange Bowl items.
Carter visits practice: NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter (168 receptions for 2,725 yards and 27 touchdowns as a Buckeye between 1984-86) spent the duration of Wednesday’s practice on the sidelines watching the team. Afterward he met with a large media contingent that was on hand at the end.
Approx. 10 Gators, too: There have been approximately 10 Florida Gators and at least one former Notre Dame player, all of whom were coached by Urban Meyer, to stop by Ohio State’s practices this week.
Bullet points from Coach Meyer’s Thursday media session:
- Meyer was rooting “real hard” for Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.
- He said that senior safety Christian Bryant’s appeal for another year has been denied.
- He also confirmed that Tyvis Powell (safety) and Vonn Bell (nickel) would be starting for the first time at new positions Friday night.
- “12-2 is a lot different than 13-1,” said Meyer. “Winning a BCS bowl game is extremely important.”
- Because of his friendship with Swinney, Meyer said this is “a game of mutual respect.”
- Permanent captains for this season have not been named yet.
- Meyer said Clemson’s skill position players are “as skilled as anyone in the nation.”