SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When Urban Meyer addressed his team prior to Tuesday's practice, Ohio State's head coach had a simple message: Practice with a purpose.
Meyer spoke to his team about seizing big moments and then referenced a few plays from the Buckeyes' 2014 national championship run to drive his point home. He talked about Evan Spencer's key block on Ezekiel Elliott's 85-yard touchdown run. He recalled Steve Miller's interception return for a touchdown.
Meyer wanted to make sure his players would always be ready by referencing big moments in that 2014 run and it turns out Tuesday's practice probably wasn't the only time he brought it up.
"I've talked to them quite a bit," Meyer said Friday at a joint press conference with Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, the day before the Fiesta Bowl. "It was a great template to use as far as a young team getting as much game experience as possible, getting ready for the playoff run. So we did use it quite often."
Practice with a purpose and be ready when your number is called. That has been Meyer's message throughout these last three weeks.
"Every team that wins a championship there's going to be a handful of players that are maybe not well known that are going to become very well known," Meyer said. "... Zeke Elliott, you had Stevie Miller and Curtis Grant, they're kind of legends at Ohio State because of their performance in these games."
"I use it more in that because that's real."