Meyer: "The Great Champions Don't Miss"

The Ohio State football head coach is locked in going into the initial College Football Playoff National Championship. In his final comments before the title game Monday night, Urban Meyer talked about the importance of the team being as dialed in as he is.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Oregon top dog Mark Helfrich met with the media for a half hour press conference Sunday morning -- the last before the initial College Football Playoff National Championship set for Monday night -- but it was truly Meyer's show.

The OSU mentor was asked the majority of the questions and talked about the importance of being ready for the challenge the Buckeyes will face against the Ducks in AT&T Stadium on the biggest stage in the sport.

"There's never a game you don't want to take your best shot, but this one you try to paint the stage so they're not shocked when they step in the arena, because it is going to be -- the Sugar Bowl was incredible, and this is even ratcheted up a little bit more," Meyer said. "So we talk quite often about when you have that opportunity to step into the batter's box you get one swing. You step into a prize fight you get one swing, and the great champions don't miss.

"That's the mentality that we've preached for really forever. That's the way we train you. That's to be prepared when that swing, that opportunity arises to make that play, you be ready. So yes, we've really hammered that real hard with our players."

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Among other highlights from Meyer's final press conference:

  • "This is a great matchup. It's college football history. It's a game that I've devoted a good portion of my life to, same with our players, and now our players can say they played in the first College Football playoff national title."

  • When asked if he felt confident he'd ever return to the title game, Meyer said, "I don't htink so. ... It's everybody's dream and everybody's goal, but it's very complicated and everything has to align perfectly for this to happen." Meyer said his trip to the 2012 title game between Alabama and Notre Dame, which he worked for ESPN, ignited "The Chase" for his program.

  • On Oregon's tempo offense: "We have worked very hard on it. ... That's something we've beaten into our players. ... The good thing is it's not completely foreign to our players because we operate at a good tempo as well, but this one is different."

  • Meyer said that both Taylor Decker and Adolphus Washington have told him they will return for their senior seasons at Ohio State, something they've both said publicly the last couple of days as well.

  • When asked about winning a title for the state of Ohio, Meyer said, "When you grow up in the great state of Ohio, that is big. ... It would be great to win one for the state of Ohio."

  • On Joshua Perry: "He's what college football is all about. ... He has an incredible ability to make someone's day a little brighter, and he takes that very seriously." Also mentions he's put in the work to become an NFL player at the end of his OSU career.

  • On the adversity the team has faced: "There's going to be events that take place; how do you respond to those events? ... I can't remember coaching a team that has been through more. Certainly when the Braxton Miller situation and throughout the course of the year other things have shown up, and they have really responded. That's the essence of a good team. If you can hit the storm and come out the other end stronger, that's called a real, real team, and how many of those are out there? I've done this 30 years and probably can count them on one hand."

  • "Our No. 1 concern is their quarterback."

  • On Cardale Jones: "Cardale has always had talent, but really something happened in the last couple months. I know he had a little baby girl. I know there's been some -- everybody in life has a chance to push restart. Not many people on a grand stage like Cardale has, and he pushed restart and he hit the right button, and that's called selfless approach and a serious approach to how he handles his business, on and off the field. That's one of the great stories in college football and one of the great stories I've witnessed."

  • Meyer reiterated he expects Braxton Miller to return for his senior season.

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