Ohio State's College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson is just four days away, and the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator Ed Warinner is grabbing every minute he can for study and preparation.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Ohio State's College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson is just four days away, and the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator Ed Warinner is grabbing every minute he can for study and preparation.
That explained why he had his personalized OSU coaches' manual and valise with him when he showed up for interviews here at the J.W. Marriott Camelback on Tuesday morning. His day, as he said, started at 5 a.m. local time and will continue into the night.
And as he headed for the bus at the end of the interviews, he had his manual tucked up under his arm.
"We have practice coming up, and meetings," Warinner said. "So I've got to get ready to go."
On a sunny, cool, screen-saver photo of a day, the No.3-seeded Buckeyes were later headed to their first on-site practice of the week, at a high school just east of their hotel. It was the same for No.2 seed Clemson.
What gets done in practice likely will tell the tale come Saturday night in the University of Phoenix Stadium, because as Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said, it will come down to the fine points of play as much or more than the grand schemes.
Clemson is 12-1, Ohio State is 11-1, he said, and though Venables didn't have his notebook and practice plan with him when he spoke with the media Tuesday morning, he had it on his mind.
"Everything's even, the talent's even … it's who wins one-on-one," Venables said. "It's the pile drill across the board. That's what wins this game."
He's considered one of the more creative defensive coordinators in the country, but he deferred such praise.
"It comes down to execution," Venables said. "Coaches often get too much credit when everything is going great. It comes down to some basic, simple, fundamental things: pad level, punch at the point of attack, being physical at the point of attack, running through blocks, sealing an edge.
"It's very fundamental how this game will be won."