Urban Meyer on Sammy Watkins: 'I can't imagine any better than that guy'

'If you ask me how I felt at halftime, I felt fantastic, like we're going to be in a great ball game here'

Clemson's Sammy Watkins catches a ball during warmups at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Sammy Watkins catches a ball during warmups at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer

"First of all, thank the Orange Bowl and also congratulate our opponent. They played really hard. That was a great coach and great friend. Great game - we just didn't finish the job.

"We just said an emotional good bye to our senior class. It's not because they're seniors, it's because of what they've done. I tried to make that perfectly clear. Just because you stay someplace for a couple years doesn't mean you deserve that respect. It's what you did and how you did it."

On Stephone Anthony's game-clinching interception: "It was a post to the number-two receiver. He (quarterback Braxton Miller) got hit in the shoulder, I think on one of the sacks, he said. And he's a fighter. He fought through it."

On Philly Brown's fumbled punt-catch: "Philly is one of those skilled athletes and tries to, really wanted to, make a game changing attempt to do something. He's not coached to do that. We're not playing the blame game, guys. That was a big play, though."

Ohio State's Corey Brown drops a punt and Clemson's Robert Smith recovers the play during the third quarter at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida. Swinney said the turnover was the key play of the game.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Ohio State's Corey Brown drops a punt and Clemson's Robert Smith recovers the play during the third quarter at the Discover Orange Bowl in Sun Life Stadium Miami, Florida. Swinney said the turnover was the key play of the game.

On the team's frame of mind headed into the off-season: "I think it will be great. A student athlete at Ohio State University, you get a great degree, and go on and build for the future. It's going to sting for a while, probably a long while, because we just didn't finish, and it was right there to finish. Next year's senior class, there's still some guys that haven't played much. We have to get production.

This year's senior class, I mean, everywhere from Craig Cataline, who was a senior and contributor, to Basil to Makridis. When I looked around the room, every one of them could impact the play. And that's the sign of a decent senior class."

On Clemson's Sammy Watkins: Whenever you have a guy that has that much vertical speed, it creates a cushion, and then you just keep flipping those bubbles to him, that's tough to defend. Obviously, we didn't do a good job, but I don't want to take anything away - I don't know all the receivers in the country, but I can't imagine any better than that guy."

On Ohio State's situation at halftime, leading 22-20 after being statistically dominated: "We knew we were getting the ball in the second half. I realize we gave up some yards, but we also created some plays, got a safety, got some turnovers on defense.

Yeah, if you ask me how I felt at halftime, I felt fantastic, like we're going to be in a great ball game here."

On whether the Buckeyes' disappointing finish can be part of the program-building process for the future: "I'm not sure. Is this a typical - you mean the typical growth of the program? I guess that's probably appropriate. I made a comment in a team meeting two years ago, and if you'd have told me when I walked out of that team meeting that this group would buy in and we'd go on a nice run and highest scoring offense in program history and 24 straight wins and all that, I'd have looked at you and said you're out of your mind.

"But I didn't value the quality of person in this program, especially last year this senior group was unbelievable. This group turned into being unbelievable.

"So I guess your question is that you sometimes have to go through things. I'd rather not, but that's part of it. We played a good team in the Orange Bowl, and it was a high scoring game with a lot of great plays. We just didn't finish it."

On Ohio State's defense: "We're not a championship caliber defense right now, although we think about the last two games, we were in position to go win those games. The one thing you're going to find out, the more that you're around me, I'm not a big blamer. We've got to get better. And so our defense certainly made some plays to help us go win a game. Is it what we expect? No, we expect top-ten defense at Ohio State, top-ten offense, and top-ten special teams, and I don't believe we accomplished any of those.

"So we've just got to go out and recruit our tails off, got to develop players and work real hard with scheme, and we'll get there."

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Comments » 2

TigerFan95 writes:

Say what you want about Urban, but the man knows how to be humble and shows class towards his opponent whether he wins or loses. That moron down in Columbia could take a few lessons from him.

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

Great comments Turban on your team. I guess our boys were just a little better than the big boy team from the "Little 10". We are just a lowly ACC team and nobody can play football in our league. According to ESPN at least. I bet you would disagree with them today if they bothered to ask you, which they won't. Didn't another ACC team win the National Championship by beating one of those SEC teams that has Jesus as their head coach. Auburn must have done a bunch of sinning and Jesus threw the game. That really irks ESPN.

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