- Marcus Hartman
Ohio State football took a few days off before getting back on the field Friday to begin preparations to play USC in the Cotton Bowl.
How long did it take the Buckeyes to get over being left out of the College Football Playoff?
“Not long,” defensive end Sam Hubbard said. “USC is historically a great program, and it’s Pac-12 champs against Big Ten champs. It’s a great matchup and I think we’re fortunate to be in the game.”
The Buckeyes and Trojans won’t have anything to play for but pride, although Ohio State will look to snap a six-game losing streak in the series.
Archie Griffin was in the backfield for OSU the last time they took down the Trojans, a 42-21 triumph in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1974.
“We’re playing one of the greatest programs in college football so we look at it like another chance to go out there and show we’re one of the best teams in the country,” safety Damon Webb said.
“It was definitely disappointing,” Webb said of missing the playoff, “but I feel like as a team we got over it real fast.”
The Buckeyes and Trojans are set to face off Dec. 29 in Dallas at AT&T Stadium.
Hubbard is one of several Buckeyes who has eligibility remaining but could turn pro.
He said he would talk about that after the bowl game, as did receiver Parris Campbell.
The players who met with the media Friday night also seemed to agree they could not see any Buckeyes following a small trend that has seen some college football players skip their bowl game to concentrate on preparing for the NFL draft.
“The brotherhood and the tradition of excellence that we have here and the love that we have for this team -- offense, defense -- no matter where you play, no matter where you come from -- white, black, Asian, Polynesian, whatever the case is -- the love for one another is real,” senior Billy Price said. “So I don’t think any of my guys would sit out.”