Dec. 28, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Buckeyes arrived in Scottsdale, Ariz., around 5:30 p.m. local time Sunday and checked into the spacious Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, headquarters for the team while it prepares to face 10-2 and No. 8 Notre Dame in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. EST (11 a.m. MST). Ohio State is 11-1 overall and ranked seventh by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
Coach Urban Meyer met briefly with the media following the team’s Sunday arrival. During his remarks he indicated that senior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt would miss the game after suffering a broken bone in his right foot during a pre-Christmas/Holiday Season practice at the WHAC. Schutt is on the trip.
Meyer also indicated that true freshman quarterback Joe Burrow did not make the trip to Arizona with the team — but he would be rejoining the team in Arizona soon — after he was involved in a car accident Dec. 26.
Media day Monday
Coach Luke Fickell and five defensive stalwarts — All-Americans Joey Bosa and Vonn Bell and linebackers Joshua Perry, Darron Lee and Raekwon McMillan — represented the team during the first media day of Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl week. (See quotes from all the players within the attached pdfs or on the Ohio State football homepage at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.)
News broke during the media gathering that star running back Ezekiel Elliott was also involved in a car accident over the weekend. He is fine, travelled to Arizona on the team charter, practiced on Monday and will be available for the game against the Fighting Irish.
Practice at Pinnacle
The Buckeyes practiced on grass Monday afternoon at Pinnacle High School for two hours, from 1 to 3 p.m. The team will utilize the school’s fields for additional practices on Tuesday and Wednesday before a final, team walk-thru at Pinnacle on New Year’s Eve Thursday.
Sixth stay at the Princess
Ohio State is staying at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel for the sixth time since 2002. The Fiesta Bowl selects the hotels for the teams designated as home and away. The Buckeyes are the home team for this game (but will be wearing white jerseys by choice.)
The Princess is quite nice, located next to the golf course that hosts “The Greatest Show on Grass,” the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Perhaps most impressive from a team standpoint is the spacious meeting room space to accommodate the variety of team functions and meetings throughout the week.