From behind enemy lines

From behind enemy lines

Football

From behind enemy lines

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Staff Reports

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Ohio State practiced for the second time in South Florida for two hours in full pads at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., on Monday. Here is what players and head coach Urban Meyer had to say about Clemson and other things as they get set for Friday’s Discover Orange Bowl.

Coach Urban Meyer

On the flu/bug going around on OSU’s team…

“There are four or five guys and it’s a 24-hour ordeal, they’re telling me. They (the four or five players) are quarantined.”

On Noah Spence…

“No [there is not an update]. Not right now.”

“I’ll know more tomorrow.”

On practice in the midst of player absences…

“I like my team, I like my players, I like the fact that they came down in this heat. And I would say it was a hard day…I understand there are some holes right now we’re trying to fight through, but name a program that doesn’t have holes and issues and guys hurt, guys sick. We’ve got a hundred players. Things happen, but we’re very professional and business-like. I like that.”

On hydration…

“We kill them…I remember when I was at Florida, to get a player to go out and play in the 30 degree weather at Vanderbilt you had to beat him with a stick to get him out of the locker room, and this is the complete flip here. This is one of the coolest days I remember. It was great. Our guys are fine.”

On a young player or two that has been challenging to play in this game and who has excelled in Bowl practice…

“Well Vonn Bell is one. Vonn Bell practices at an extremely high level. Tyvis Pell is doing great [too].

“I’ve always been a Vonn Bell guy. It just takes time to move him up in the lineup. The other is good chemistry playing. We played a bunch of games. Von Bell is definitely a talented guy; he’s going to play a lot of ball here.”

On who is working in Noah Spence’s spot…

“Jamal Marcus and Steve Miller. Those two are rotating right now.”

“Today was a real good day. Yesterday was a pretty sloppy day, it was a travel day, and that usually happens. But I was pleased with today.”

On his relationship with Dabo Swinney…

“Our families are very good friends and we do that Nike trip together every year. I think he’s one of the top coaches in the country. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

Ryan Shazier, Senior, Linebacker

On playing for Ohio State:

“I stay fine with my decision once I got up there and talked it over with my family, but I definitely feel like it was the best decision I ever made. Sometimes you wish you were home because of the weather or it’s just so far from home. But I definitely fell like that was the best decision for me and am happy with my decision.”

On playing in the Discover Orange Bowl:

“I feel like this game is one of the most important games we will play this year because it’s a championship game. How many teams get to say that they played in an Orange Bowl or BCS game, and we have an opportunity. Especially in this atmosphere, for me it’s home, but for some guys who have never been to Miami or may never come back this is going to be the best experience they ever have.”

On Noah Spence’s absence:

“It will be a huge loss if Noah [Spence] can’t play and we’ll need some guys to step up if he won’t be able to. It’ll be a huge loss. He’s our sack leader on the team right now, he’s one of the top in the Big Ten and he just has consistent pressure on the quarterback and does a good job against the run game. He just has a lot of experience and if we don’t have him out there it’ll be a tremendous loss.”

CJ Barnett, Senior, Safety

On playing in the Discover Orange Bowl:

“Unfortunately we couldn’t be in a title game, but next best thing. I think this is a great opponent and a great opportunity to be in the Orange Bowl and be in a BCS Bowl. Not many teams get to do it. So we’re fortunate for the opportunity and we look to make the best of it.”

On the last game:

“It feels great, especially for a senior like myself. Last time at Ohio State, last game, it’ll be great to go out with a win.”

On playing against Clemson offense:

“It’s a great opportunity for us. They are a talented group of guys, their whole offense. It’s going to be a tough task. I think we’ll do a good job on responding to the task. We have no other choice but to. Everyone is expecting us to play badly all we can do is impress if we play well.”

Doran Grant, Junior, Cornerback

On how tough it has been getting ready for this game, especially without Noah Spence:

“Whatever coach Fickle says, next man up. That’s always been our motto here. If anything, it’s if a man happens to go down, or if anything happens, we have to bring the next man up. And they have to be ready to play. And we’re going to train them to play. And we’re going to be ready.”

On Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell fitting in:

“Vonn (Bell) brings a little something different. He’s like a little jack rabbit. He’s a little different. And Tyvis (Powell), he has a lot of range as a safety.”

On going up against Sammy Watkins:

“They’re a talented group [as a whole]. They can make plays. Their offensive skill position is very strong. We’ve been watching them and we’ve been working them and getting ready for them. I think they’re probably the best offensive skill we’ve seen all season.”

On the things that stand out about Sammy Watkins (Clemson):

“He has good size and speed. He knows how to get the ball and make a play as soon as he gets the ball, which you’re supposed to do as a wide receiver. And he does it very well. We want to manage that to the best of our abilities and play ball.”

Joshua Perry, Sophomore, Linebacker

On if there is something particular Tajh Boyd does to hurt defenses:

“He can throw the ball well and he can run well. That’s hard to defend. When you have a quarterback that can run, that adds an extra guy. He’s going to put the ball in the right spot, so, you’ve got to be really, really, good at what you do. You have to be able to recognize plays and be in the right spots.”

On if there are any other players, besides Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins that make him worry:

“Their running back is a really good college running back; he’s shifty. And then the wide receivers. They’re a good group. So you just have to be aware of where everybody is on the field, at all times.”

On if there is anyone he has faced this year that he can compare Tajh Boyd to:

“No, that’s a hard comparison to make. He’s got the size and the running ability and can throw the ball. In practice, we’ve had Cardale Jones sometimes, for those QB runs, because he’s a big guy who can move a little bit.”

On Tajh Boyd almost being a Buckeye:

“It’s a little bit funny to think about those things. I think that’s why college football is so fun. The whole recruiting thing is pretty fun, watching that unfold. But once you get your guys, you’ve got to put them in the spot so you can be successful.”

Michael Bennett, Junior, Defensive Lineman

On being in his first BCS Game:

“It is exciting. The Orange Bowl Committee has been awesome. Everything they have been doing for us has been top of the line.”

On the importance of this game:

“I feel like the games that we won, people don’t want to give us any credit for. The one game we lost, people say it’s because the team was good and we can’t be a good team. It gives us a little bit of a chip. This team (Clemson) is a good team and it will be important to beat them so people see that we are legit.”

On the importance of getting Clemson’s offense off the field:

“We have been trying to focus on getting more turnovers as the season goes on. If we get pressure on Tajh (Boyd), we might be able to get him to throw some up that we can get. We need to make sure that he knows that we are here and not just let him sit back in the pocket.”

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