Dec. 29, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - After holding its final two practices of the year Friday and Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the Ohio State Buckeyes departed early Sunday morning for Miami, Fla., and the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl.
Two charters filled with team members, support staff and administrators arrived at Miami/Fort Lauderdale Airport about 10:30 a.m. in overcast but warm - mid-to-high 70s - weather. The planes taxied under a water cannon salute and then media and Discover Orange Bowl representatives met the players as they exited the plane.
Head coach Urban Meyer, quarterback Braxton Miller and linebacker Ryan Shazier each spent time with the media upon arrival. Some of their thoughts:
- "It's [the game] really big for us right now because it is a championship series bowl game. We're going to come in here and try to do what we can do for the Big Ten and for Ohio State and try to get this W." - Shazier
- "My main focus is really on the team right now, especially on the game plan. I've been watching a lot of film." - Miller
- "It's really cool because I know I'll have family here. Just being back in this atmosphere really means a lot." - Shazier; who is from Pompano Beach and is one of five Buckeyes from Florida with the others being starting RB Carlos Hyde (Naples), starting TE Jeff Heuerman (Naples), starting DE Joey Bosa (Fort Lauderdale) and freshman WR James Clarke (New Smyrna Beach).
No Noah Spence
The biggest news from the tarmac Sunday was the confirmation that all-Big Ten Conference defensive end Noah Spence (14.5 tackles-for-loss; team-high 8.0 quarterback sacks) did not make the trip to Florida with the team. Meyer said Spence was managing a personal issue and said he hoped he would be with the team this week.
After a quick lunch, meetings and visit to the training room for taping at the team's headquarters - the Westin Diplomat - the Buckeyes made the 40-minute ride to Nova Southeastern University where they went through about a 90-minute session in 79-degree weather with winds at 19 MPH out of the south and 82 pct. humidity.
Players showered at Nova Southeastern, which is where they will also lift this week, and then arrived back at the hotel at approximately 5:30 p.m. ... the conclusion of a long, 12-hour travel and practice day. This evening the players will attend a welcome session at their team headquarters and then have the evening free to relax and explore the area.
All of the latest information on the Buckeyes is available in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl information guide. Catch up on all the stats, bio updates, details and game notes by clicking here.
Enjoy. And Go Bucks!