Ohio State's Urban Meyer says 15 bowl practices 'critical...a game-changer'

Buckeyes return to the bowl arena after sitting out last season because of NCAA sanctions

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Braxton Miller (AP Photo)

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Braxton Miller (AP Photo)

Urban Meyer has been waiting for two years to get his hands on his team for a special 15-day perk called 'bowl practice season.'

When Ohio State was forced to sit out the 2012 bowl season because of NCAA sanctions imposed for violations that occurred under former coach Jim Tressel, the worst part of the ordeal, to Meyer, was those forever-lost extra practices sessions.

He asked his team to work on their own, voluntarily, and they responded with team-led workouts that helped soften the blow in terms of player development and transition into the Buckeyes' off-season strength and conditioning period.

This year, Meyer can have his cake and eat it too. In addition to the extra week of work afforded by OSU's Big Ten championship game against Michigan State, the Buckeyes will get their full complement of practices in preparation to play Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

For a coach who admits that he "worries about everything," Meyer is about as happy as a near-miss national champion can be.

"The extra practices were something we didn't have a year ago, and that was almost a panic situation for me - 15 practices that you'll never get back," Meyer said during his Orange Bowl teleconference with Dabo Swinney Sunday night. "Any coach will tell you that those 15 practices are critical to player development. It's a game-changer. We're going to take full advantage of that.

"Last year, our players did it on their own. They did a good job with them...But we're excited to be back on the field."

Ohio State, like Clemson, will open its bowl practice session with a workout on Friday.

One of the first orders of business for the Buckeyes will be to shore up a porous pass defense that's sure to be sternly tested by the Tigers.

"There are certain things we have to get fixed," said Meyer, "and fixed in a hurry."

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Comments » 4

TigerNE writes:

15 practices can be good if you stick to existing strategy or bad if you try to make too many big changes. OSU may have enough to change in their pass coverage that it benefits us. They could come out a little confused and clumsy to start or for the whole game.

tigerrob44 writes:

Ohio St should feel fortunate they are playing us instead of FSU. We probably won't beat them quite as bad as FSU would. Next Oct 16 on a Sat afternoon how much difference do you really think it makes in a game whether we got 15 extra practice days over Christmas or not. Coaches want everybody to believe it's a big deal and in reality it's pretty much nonsense. It can't hurt, although, so I guess there is some truth to that idea.

lhaselden writes:

I think the fact that for years Clemson was in bowl game and USC was not had a huge effect on our lead in the series.
The coaches have a good idea by now who is leaving for the NFL and can spend extra time with the RSs so that they can get an idea what they need to work on in winter workouts.

TheTruth46 writes:

in response to tigerrob44:

Ohio St should feel fortunate they are playing us instead of FSU. We probably won't beat them quite as bad as FSU would. Next Oct 16 on a Sat afternoon how much difference do you really think it makes in a game whether we got 15 extra practice days over Christmas or not. Coaches want everybody to believe it's a big deal and in reality it's pretty much nonsense. It can't hurt, although, so I guess there is some truth to that idea.

Good luck with that sir. Seems as though I remember hearing and reading such boastful statements before CU's last Miami visit. Hope your feelings and expectations aren't crushed.

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