Quotebook: Clemson

By Kyle Rowland on January 4, 2014 at 9:00a
Hyde was the man again, but didn't get enough carries down the stretch.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Even without a national championship on the line, it was all set up for Ohio State to end its 2013 season in a cheery mood. The up-and-down nature of the Orange Bowl resembled a Carnival cruise leaving the Port of Miami. But in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Buckeyes were destined for an offseason filled with happy thoughts.

Instead, Ohio State enters the stretch run of recruiting, spring practice and fall camp on a two-game losing streak. After 24 wins, it’s nine months of adversity. Urban Meyer is used to winning and takes losses harder than most coaches, which likely means he’ll work all the harder to rid the feeling of losing.

“The one thing you’re going to find out the more that you’re around me, I’m not a big blamer,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to get better.”

Meyer on the defense.

“We're not a championship caliber defense right now,” he said.

True freshman safety Vonn Bell earned the start in the Orange Bowl. He also made one of Ohio State’s biggest defensive plays, intercepting a Tajh Boyd pass near the goal line.

“We ran a little zone play. I read the eyes of Tajh and he threw it and I was able to make a play,” Bell said. “They said we need plays made, so I made the play for us.”

Bell said he was moved into the starting lineup at the beginning of bowl practice. Being a difference maker and producing is why the move was made.

“They just wanted to see me make plays and do what I do,” he said. “Like when I got here. Just play your football and they knew I could play. So that’s what they told me to do.

“I played all right. I could get better at some things. But I made plays that were there for me sometimes. I just have to get better, and I have more motivation this spring.”

The first year of playing college football provided Bell with frustrations, namely not playing as much as he thought. He was a coup on National Signing Day, joining the Buckeyes as a five-star recruit who would make an instant impact. For much of the year, the only thud was his playing time. Bell appeared sparingly, mostly on special teams.

“It just motivated me to keep on grinding every day. Just be patient,” he said. “As a true freshman, it’s really hard to play DB. You have to be really talented and you just have to stay patient and show them every day and earn the coaches’ trust.”

Senior left tackle Jack Mewhort wants he and his fellow seniors to be remembered for their work ethic, among other things.

“I think we were very resilient, hard workers, good people. I like to think that would be the legacy,” Mewhort said. “Obviously we dropped a few tough ones here at the end. We would have liked to go out on top, but I think we set a standard for these younger guys. I think they’re going to do great things. This program will stay on the rise with Coach Meyer and some of the leaders coming back.”

During Mewhort’s sophomore season, the Ohio State football program hit rock bottom. Two years later, the Buckeyes are positioned for repeat success, even after two losses.

“[Meyer] pulled us out of something bad,” Mewhort said. “I’ll be forever grateful to him for that. You have to keep moving forward for this next group of guys and start fresh next year and do it the right way.”

When Meyer came to Ohio State, wins followed almost over night. It may have looked easy from the outside, but Mewhort assures you it was not.

“I know it looked like immediate success after going from 6-7 to 12-0 in one year, but it wasn’t immediate at all,” he said. “It started at 5 a.m. in January of 2012. Every day we came to work and we grinded hard. What you saw on the field was a product of a lot of man hours, a lot of effort.”

There was talk all week about the Ohio State defensive starters who were missing and how it represented major problems for the Buckeyes. As it turned out,  Bell, Armani Reeves and Jamal Marcus played well. It was some of the veterans who no-showed. 

“I feel like the young guys, they were ready and prepared to play,” junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “Vonn and Armani and Jamal, I felt like they really stepped up when we needed them to.”


Comments Show All Comments

bucksrmk's picture

Man last night hurt, unfortunately deep down thought it may play out the way it did.  Lots of changes need to be made.  I trust in UM and his recruiting.  Gotta love the guy after his post game press conference.  It's just so hard to comprehend that our defense is so bad.  Granted, Clemson is a good team, but not great, we are just are not there yet.  Michigan State beats them by 10 points.  Can't comprehend how we could not disrupt the bubble screen.  Have not counted but they ran that play 13 plus times.  Time to recruit!! 


Rjr88's picture

Hard work and talent will not be enough for this defense to improve.  We need new D coaches.  Period.


Backup Placekick holder's picture

D didn't throw interceptions or fumble a punt.
Head Coach needs to have the whole team disciplined.
I recall a coach with a less talented team winning the NC in his second year.
Phone's ringing - It's Urban on the line - let it go to voice mail.

RufusVonDufus's picture

Oh please, less talented?    You have got to be kidding.    Tressel took Coop's kids and did with them what Coop was unable to do and they were not of lesser talent.   In fact, they probably were much more talented.    But then Tressel proved his mettle by becoming the mediocre coach he was.   Granted he won games but he was beating much lesser competition just as we have been recently doing.   What was Tressel's longest winning streak?    How bad were the beatings administered by Florida and LSU?    How about USC?   Which top ten teams was Tressel able to beat after Coop's kids departed?  


Backup Placekick holder's picture

In the BCS:
2011 - #8 Arkansas
2010 - #7 Oregon
2006 - #6 Notre Dame
Plus in 2004 he beat Kansas in the Fiesta Bowl & won the NC in 2003.
Did I mention the unknown coach for Division 1AA won a NC in his 2nd year?
Urban is over paid and over rated.

Buckeye-in-DC's picture

Overrated? Wow.  

TheBigCat's picture

The guy has won 2 NC's, and is one of the top two HC's in football.  He has primarily won with the shit storm that Tress and Fickell left him with.
We are extremely lucky to have him, and if anything he deserves to be paid better. Sure, he needs to make changes on the defensive side.  I just can't believe people are idiotic enough to say he is overrated.  I would have liked him on our sidelines when he took us to the woodshed in 2006.  Unbelievable.

nm_buck's picture


"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

MAVBuck's picture

overrated huh?!?!

urbz4prez's picture

I've noticed the last few games our DBs have a hard time getting off of their blocks which led to many of the big plays on the perimeter. If this can get shored up by next season we will see major improvement. It doesnt matter what scheme or coverage the D cords run if our guys can't get off blocks to make tackles.

Luckily I saw some great things from our young guys last night. Im excited for the future!

"And Urban Meyer said "Let there be light, and it was so."

st pete bch buckeye's picture

Coach meyer heard saying you think the screen is coming here?  Coach fick replies whats a screen?

klfeck's picture

Defense wins championships, nuff said.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

RoyWalley's picture

We suck!!   We can't beat a team from the South for nothing.   We would finish near the bottom of the SEC, THATS A FACT FOLKS.

cajunbuckeye's picture

If it's a fact, prove it. If it's only your opinion, add more cuss words and capital letters. That's the only way I'm going to believe you.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Cajun, the nimrods, haters and mental midgets are out in force right now; I don't take anything seriously that these clowns post. I know you're on 11W a lot and post good, thought-provoking insights (as do the vast majority of fellow 11 dubbers). An honest, well reasoned critique is always welcome here; most of the "gems" on here today (like this one: "Urban is over-rated and over paid") are from immature people reacting out of frustration and anger, without any thought or rationale behind their verbal diarrhea.
Give it a week, most of the trolls will be back under their bridges by then! And, by the way, in response to the post about not beating southern schools, I think we won a Nat'l Championship by beating The U, didn't we? Isn't that in the South? How about Arkansas? Aren't they in the SEC (oh, wait! Sorry! We really didn't "win" the Sugar Bowl that year, did we)?

AltaBuck's picture

Fickell has been the LB coach since '04 and we have witnessed some very good LB play prior to 2011.  I just think he is out of his element as a DC but the guy can coach and he is 100% Buckeye. Keep him as a position coach and bring in a new DC. I don't base this opinion on what happened last night but rather the last two seasons. The defense on the field last night was a patchwork quilt and they actually made some great plays. Bosa = Warrior......that is all I can say about that guy.  He may end up the best DE to don the S&G. Perry made a great stop pulling down Boyd on 3 and short.  Bell looks like the real deal. He looked good in coverage, made sound tackles and the Int was a thing of beauty. The 2013 class was loaded and the 2014 class looks even better on the defensive side of the ball. The future is bright considering the play we are seeing from the young guys and these classes.
The defense we have seen these last 2 seasons has been very undisciplined and very easy to scout. To me, that is all about a defense's ability to work as a unit and creativity (Blitz packages, scouting (self and opposition)). That is all on the DC's shoulders. I just don't see Fickell able to fulfill that role, which completely sucks because the guy bleeds S&G.
One other observation, I swear anytime Fickell calls a corner blitz, the opposing team knows it. In the MSU game (TD when CJ bit on the out and up) and last night, both teams ran the perfect play to burn the D.

I am Groot - Groot

Backup Placekick holder's picture

Fire Urban.
Bring us Dantonio. 

Ethos's picture

We see you Trollinnn, you hatin, it's time to down vote nice and plenty

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Ethos's picture

It's a parody from a song. Get over it old man. 

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

buckeye_chick's picture

We knew going in that the D was thin at best and was patched together. What disappointed me most was Braxton's two (!) INTs at the end. Even with a lousy D, we still had a chance. I hate to say it, but I will be OK with Braxton going to the NFL if he chooses to do so. I think this team needs a vocal, energetic leader out there, and Braxton just isn't that guy. The thing I remember most about when Troy Smith took over from Justin Zwick is the feeling you got from him in the huddle. Even up in the stands, you could feel the confidence and positive energy flowing from him. I just never got that feeling from Braxton. I think he's a good kid and I wish him well. I just think it's time for a change. (And some good luck for a change!)

Ethos's picture

I think him leaving or staying a is a win/win for the team. I think if he leaves he won't go high but he will be getting paid for the pain and that will be what's on his mind. 

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

chibuck's picture

Hard to believe Braxton has zero bowl wins. Any leads on who will be replacing Withers?

Buckeytrips's picture

With the bullshit play calling it is not hard to believe at all.

nm_buck's picture

I know this is off topic... but there were like 5 times when the clemmy defense pinned their ears back... when an old fashioned screen pass would have taken it to the house.
Maybe it's just me, but that would have worked big time.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

Buckeytrips's picture

I was screaming that all night. So much for the imagination of our OC. It was like watching the B10 CG all over again.

MAVBuck's picture

Going to be a long offseason but if nothing else seeing the young guys respond so quickly when called upon is encouraging