EULESS, Texas — The high school that served as the practice home of the Ohio State Buckeyes for the start of their Cotton Bowl practice week in Texas is Euless Trinity. The Euless Trinity Trojans.
“I think me and coach Meyer will have to have a talk after this,” defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle joked when the Buckeyes arrived for their Cotton Bowl matchup against Southern California. The USC Trojans.
Ohio State had a spirited practice on Sunday that started with “Fight On,” USC’s fight song, playing in the background. That was followed by a pep talk by Urban Meyer that approached 10 minutes in duration.
The disappointment of being bypassed for the College Football Playoff has receded. The focus now is on ending the season on a high note.
That means practicing on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Meyer said he would prefer not to have his players away from their families on Christmas, but the Dec. 29 game date made that unrealistic.
“We’re going to do some cool things for our players,” Meyer said. “One of the great things we’re going to do on Christmas is practice, and have a really good practice that day.”
Yeah, the holiday spirit has its limits.
The Buckeyes will practice at AT&T Stadium the rest of the week. The Dallas Cowboys’ home was the site of Ohio State’s College Football Playoff championship game victory over Oregon three years ago.
Center Billy Price is the only Buckeyes starter who played in that game, but the older players have fond memories of it.
“I wasn't fortunate enough to play back then,” Sprinkle said, “but I just remember walking in there and seeing that huge screen and just taking it all in. Coming back this year and being able to play in it, it's going to be huge.”
Meyer gives transfer blessing
Meyer said he supports the decision of freshman receiver Trevon Grimes to transfer to Florida. Grimes left Ohio State during the season to tend to his ailing mother in Fort Lauderdale.
“He’s got a situation that he wants to be closer to home,” Meyer said. “They’re great people, so we’re not going to stand in the way of that.”
No reply for Swinney
Meyer was asked about Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s comment that Meyer is on the back end of his coaching career, which Ohio five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman said was a factor in his decision to sign with the Tigers.
He didn’t take the bait.
“Oh, I’m not … ” he said before pausing. “I don’t speak of other coaches, and so I don’t worry about it.”