Ohio State Football Notebook: Meyer Heaps Praise on Clemson

By Kyle Rowland on December 10, 2013 at 5:00p
Urban Meyer knows what awaits the Buckeyes in Miami.

Ohio State might be unfamiliar with Clemson – the Buckeyes and Tigers have played only once – but count head coach Urban Meyer among the group familiar with what football in the tiny South Carolina outpost is all about.

While he worked for ESPN, Meyer finally figured out why Florida missed out on several recruits that ventured to Clemson. The facilities, fan base and traditions all created a desired destination. Running down the hill and touching Howard’s Rock is one of college football’s most anticipated moments each Saturday.

The game-day environment surrounding Tigers’ games is no less charged than the chaos that envelops Columbus during the fall.

“I was very impressed with the atmosphere and the crowd support,” Meyer said. “They have a great town. I got to spend the day there. I have a lot of respect for Clemson.”

It showed soon after Meyer was hired by the Buckeyes. Before turning his attention to a young up-and-coming offensive coordinator at Iowa State, Meyer pursued Chad Morris. Following the flirtations, the Tigers quickly made Morris the highest paid assistant in the country at $1.3 million.

The past two seasons, as Tom Herman orchestrated record-setting numbers for the Ohio State offense, Morris continued the assault at Clemson. Each enters the silly season as sought-after head-coaching candidates.

“I have seen them up close and personal and recruited some of those guys,” Meyer said. “Their athleticism at receiver is ridiculous and their quarterback can both run and throw. That is something we lived on for years. It is just so difficult to defend.

“But there is no question that their scheme is terrific and what their offensive coordinator and what their offense does there is great, but what really makes them go is the athleticism at receiver.”

Most of that adoration is aimed at Sammy Watkins, a projected top-10 draft pick. He has over 1,200 yards receiving this season and 10 touchdowns, setting up a must-see matchup between he and NFL-bound cornerback Bradley Roby.

No New York for Braxton.Despite quality season, Braxton Miller is not a Heisman finalist.

No York City

The national championship wasn’t the only thing Ohio State lost out on after falling to Michigan State. The defeat likely pushed Braxton Miller aside for Heisman consideration. A record-tying six finalists were revealed with Miller having to stay home and watch the proceedings on his couch.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Auburn running back Tre Mason and Boston College running back Andre Williams were all invited to New York City for the gala. 

It’s a forgone conclusion that Winston will take home the award, adding the list of Seminole W’s who’ve earned college football’s highest honor. Quarterbacks Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke won the Heisman in 1993 and 1999, respectively. 

A three-game stint on the sideline with a sprained MCL was Miller’s ultimate undoing. Even in 10 games, he was still able to throw for 1,860 yards, rush for more than 1,000 and total 32 touchdowns. His efficiency was much improved from a year ago.

Miller’s completion percentage of 63 percent was a career high, five percent higher than his previous best. Five interceptions were also indicative of the strides he made with an entire year in Meyer and Herman’s system as well as an offseason to work with both. Miller finished fifth in the Heisman balloting last year.

He was tabbed as the Big ten’s offensive player of the year and quarterback of the year for the second consecutive season.

Tickets Galore

The Orange Bowl matchup was announced only two days ago, but the immediate reaction shows little demand for tickets. On StubHub, more than 9,000 tickets are available and they are going for as little as $46, only $15 cheaper than a parking pass. The average price is $191, making it the least expensive BCS bowl game of the season.

Clemson is making its second trip to Miami in three seasons, while Ohio State hasn’t appeared in the Orange Bowl since New Year’s Day 1977. But the Buckeyes did play in the same stadium two years ago against the Miami Hurricanes. Another factor are the high hopes Ohio State fans carried into this season. The Rose Bowl and national championship game were the wanted endpoints.

But there’s an abundance of Buckeye fans and alumni in the South Florida and throughout the state, which should boost attendance. Staying home for the holidays in 2011 could also be an underlying element.



Whosisbrew's picture

Watkins vs. Roby makes me want to cry a little. That 2009 Rose Bowl game might have to be a blueprint for success in this one.

NJ_BUCKEYE's picture

I think OSU fans are just digesting the loss and dealing with the disappointment after having high hopes.  I think ticket demand will pick up over the next week as the pain from the loss fades and people realize this is still a huge game for OSU's perception in the Southeast and also the momentum that was lost last weekend can be restored if we can beat Clemson to go into the playoff system on a high note.  People should also remember that the b1g could win both their BCS bowl games this year and that could be a big boost to the conference's national perception that has been seriously damaged over the last 2-3 years.  Strength of schedule gets better if people perceive a conference to be more competitive.  It's important for the B1G to start changing the national narrative.

GregB's picture

Changing the narrative is a huge goal.  Its obvious that the new system will still rely on perception of pollsters so being a BIG champ needs to automatically qualify for the top four the way an SEC champ does.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Again, I think OSU vs Clemsux is going to be the biggest shootout in Miami since they tried to storm Tony Montoya's mansion!

Hoody Wayes's picture

Regarding the Orange Bowl:

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I could go a couple rounds of fits of strength with her!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

BullCityBuckeye's picture

I think you meant "feats" of strength.  However, fits or feats, I definitely agree that a couple of rounds with her would be nice!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

HA - I must have gotten caught up in the Festivous pole!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Oyster's picture

You just know she has a butterface, right?

FitzBuck is clearly the winner.  Not even close.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

The Buckeye fans will show up!!!
I have a question - what is the over/under for the number of times we'll be forced to watch Woody punch out the Clemson guy?  I'm guessing 175!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

AndyVance's picture

Lets go guys: make every game a home game!

AltaBuck's picture

I was just a kid at the 1977 Orange Bowl versus Colorado. It was pretty cool. I was able to meet Jeff Logan.

I am Groot - Groot

Go Buckeyes14's picture

If we manage to get the W against Clemson in the Orange bowl, it will only be the second time in program history that we will have won 13 games, the other being in 02', which is still pretty in my eyes. Go Bucks! Beat Clemson!

Seattle Linga's picture

Not trying to be "That Guy" but in 2002 we were 14-0 but your post was still correct.

d5k's picture

In order to win 14 you have to win 13.

Whoa Nellie's picture

Buckeyes and stone crab.  Awesome combination!

“Don’t fear criticism. The stands are full of critics. They play no ball. They fight no fights. They make no mistakes because they attempt nothing. Down on the field are the doers, they make mistakes because they attempt many things.”

bucksfan92's picture

I have been going to OSU bowl games since the 1996 Citrus Bowl vs Tennessee and this might have been the easiest ticket ever.  At 8:30 pm on Sunday I got an e-mail from OSU with a link to buy as many tickets as I wanted, and I didn't even get in the Alumni lottery this year.  Those tickets are terrible though, so I went to the OB site directly and got better ones.  I think Clemson fans will surely outnumber us - going to a BCS bowl is certainly a much bigger deal to them.  This is probably going to be the first time all year we have played before a non-Buckeye partisan crowd.

BuckeyeOfTheTiger's picture

I wouldn't be so sure about that, Ohio State has a huge fan base in Florida, and given that we don't play down there very often, I'm sure all of those fans have to be plenty excited to go.  Add in how well OSU fans normally travel, even with the lower excitement level of this game I expect plenty of OSU fans in the crowd.
I go to Clemson for grad school (after doing my undergrad at OSU) and radio stations are pumping out tons of advertisements for the general public to buy cheap tickets through the Clemson Athletic Dept website to take care of their allotment, it's pretty evident they think they're going to have a hard time selling them all.  I would guess 60-40 for OSU in terms of actual fans of those schools, but I also wouldn't be surprised if the number of locals who go for the game and halftime concert is significant as well.


Jay.gale98's picture

We plan to make every game a home game...we bought our tickets through the Clempzon website...4 tickets for 200 bucks.  Not too shabby.