FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The latest roadblock for Ohio State in what’s been an eventful trip to South Florida is Braxton Miller’s apparent bout with the flu. Miller was supposed to be available at interviews Tuesday morning but no-showed. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman said Miller stayed at the team hotel to hydrate and get fluids. He is expected to practice later this afternoon.
Head coach Urban Meyer confirmed Monday that several players came down with a 24-hour flu bug. A team spokesman said team doctors are taking precautions to avoid the spread of the illness, including quarantining some of the sick from the rest of the team. But the game must go on.
It won’t play for a national championship, but Ohio State is still winners of 24 of its past 25 games. The Buckeyes are back among the nation’s elite, and with Meyer and Herman leading the offense, records have been shattered as fans rejoiced. Goodbye to the days of low-scoring, white-knuckle affairs.
During the 2013 season, Miller, Carlos Hyde and a stout offensive line have led Ohio State to many yards, many touchdowns and much applause. On Friday night in the season finale – the Buckeyes’ first Orange Bowl in more than a generation – they’ll need perhaps their finest offensive effort of the season.
“With a couple days left, we really need to fine tune the game plan,” Herman said.
- Jack Mewhort said Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley will be his toughest challenge of the season. Beasley has 12 sacks on the season. Mewhort said he’s been preparing for him since Dec. 8.
- Following the loss to Michigan State, Corey Linsley said it took a week to get over loss. But now the Buckeyes are completely regrouped and ready to end the season on a high note. Philly Brown said it’s not hard to get motivated.
- The OSU team that takes the field Friday will be angry and determined, according to Hyde.
- “There’s no drama in our room. We’re all really good friends.” –Linsley on the offensive line. He said it’s a bittersweet to be preparing for his last game with so many friends.
- Asked to name the offensive MVP, Brown said the offensive line. The team success is predicated on line's ability to overpower opponents.
- On Hyde, Mewhort said he’s proud of the way he overcame his struggles and worked his way to being one of the top running backs in the country.
- “It’s not in Marcus’ nature to stay down for long. He’s bounced back very well.” -Mewhort on Marcus Hall
- Brown’s amazed at how far the offense has come since the first practice in the spring of 2011. He described the improvements as “crazy.”
- The Ohio State offense was described as “fun” by Hyde. He said the offensive line is the key to all the success.
- Hyde said he was encouraged by Clemson-Georgia game when Bulldog RB Todd Gurley ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
- Even though Braxton’s production dipped in Nov./Dec., Brown said he hasn’t noticed anything different. He said it’s still the same Braxton.
- “We lost our last game, they lost their last game. So as competitors, you’re humbled to a certain degree.” –defensive coordinator Brent Venables
- Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is a fan of Braxton Miller, calling him “undervalued” as a passer.
- The last time Clemson was at the Orange Bowl, it lost 70-33 to West Virginia. The Tigers say that is history and in the rearview mirror. Two years later, the defense is better and the team is seeking to make up for that poor performance.
- “It’s going to take all 11 guys. Every time they drop back, you have to consider [Miller] taking off scrambling.” –linebacker Spencer Shuey
- “Short of going to Pasadena, this is the next best opportunity we could have hoped for.” –Venables