COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is taking part in his weekly radio show for an hour starting at 12:00 pm today. Following the radio show, he will spend 10 minutes with reporters during his weekly “Lightning Round” to provide updates on his football team and look ahead to this weekend’s matchup. The highlights of everything said can be found below and updated throughout the next hour. Refresh for the latest.
Ryan Day Lightning Round
- The physical challenge this week, the Badgers epitomize Big Ten football. They have a great identity. They are a physical program. Players have grown up watching it and understanding what the Badgers mean. If the Buckeyes want to win the Big Ten, they have to beat Wisconsin.
- Other guys have had an opportunity to step up in the absence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba. “They have taken it and run.” But it goes back to the offseason and how they have practiced.
- They haven’t changed much with what they’ve done in practice scheduling-wise. Guys have just been practicing with more of an edge and more physicality this year.
- Every game has been part of the evolution of CJ Stroud. “I don’t think he has any intention of slowing down.”
- Ryan Turner has practiced well the last two weeks and has made progress. He’s been getting reps with the ones and twos. He and Jyaire Brown have not been with the scout team lately.
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming are expected to be good to go once again. They will take it day by day, but so far so good.
- CJ Stroud and Cade Stover have built confidence in each other and that can be huge for the offense moving forward because it adds even more to what they can do.
- Lining up under center and playing in the I-formation is also about a mindset. It has limitations offensively, but it’s healthy to have in the game plan.
- The defense has been challenged to play a complete game. The offense will need to do the same. The entire team has yet to play a complete game. “We know that we’re trying to play at maximum capacity this week…” It’s the standard they hold themselves to. When it’s not right, it doesn’t sit well that week.
- Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz and RB Braelon Allen are both talented. Allen is similar to the big backs UW has had in the past. Can get to the second level and make guys miss. Mertz is a talented thrower. He is experienced. And they always have a good offensive line.
Ryan Day Radio Show
- How does he maintain his own mental wellness during the season? It’s difficult, but he tries to play some tennis once a week or just sit in the car in silence for 20 minutes to get his mind right. Recovery is very, very important and it’s good to step away every now and again. There are recovery pods in the WHAC but he’s not sure how Gene Smith would feel if he saw Day taking a nap during a work day.
- Every play matters more in Big Ten play. The margin for error is just that much thinner. “We’ve got to be on hour game.” Every Big Ten team is a quality team. That’s why they talk about competitive stamina so much. All it takes is one bad break to ruin your season.
- Any disadvantages to playing so many games at night? You don’t get much sleep the night after. Then it takes a couple of days to get back going again. The other is just sitting and waiting all day. But it makes for an electric atmosphere.
- Quinn Tempel is the “play-by-play” voice of OSU football practice. He manages 150-200 people on the field during practice. “It’s an art. It really is.” He gets everybody where they need to go. “If you don’t have people in your program like Quinn, it doesn’t work the way it does.”
- He’s not sure his players get enough credit for how well they are able to process high levels of information in all three phases of the game. It’s not always easy to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
- Wisconsin linebackers are always big, strong, and powerful. They never give you an inch.
- The production at linebacker has been good, but it’s a bigger challenge this weekend against Wisconsin. The front end and the linebackers are working better together than maybe they did last year.
- Expecting a little bit less of a defensive line rotation now in Big Ten play but they will still keep guys fresh. “We think that can be a strength for us moving forward.”
- When a TE can create conflict in a defense between run and pass, they become a weapon for the offense. They worked hard in the offseason and studied NFL offenses that use the TEs well. Gee Scott can do a lot of different things as well, but he showed against Arkansas State that he is now a legit tight end. Once Cade Stover, Gee, and Mitch Ross decided to accept their roles, they all started to blossom.
- Wisconsin is a 3-4 defense but they will bring different fronts.
- Wisconsin runs the ball and they control the clock. They understand how to attack defenses. Graham Mertz is a talented QB. Defensively, they are always one of the best in the Big Ten. Each possession will need to be maximized.
- CJ Stroud is doing a good job leading the quarterback room and his teammates respond to him well. Stroud can be defensive of his QB teammates when they are criticized.
- They have to be aggressive defensively. You want to be downhill, but you have to be disciplined. When this defense is disciplined, they are pretty good.
- On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they try to get 10-15 snaps of good-on-good each day. Then after that it moves to more of a scout team emphasis. In order to build Saturday night, you have to practice it. They do that one Tuesday and Wednesday. The only way to prepare for Wisconsin is to be as physical as you can in practice.
- When they prepare scout teams, the teams will watch film and have meetings so they can get an exact look of the opposition. The grad assistants and some of the younger coaches help with that. Corey Dennis and Kevin Wilson are coaching the scout teams.
- Good to see TC Caffey get that touchdown run. Nobody expected that on third and long.
- They will continue to need depth at every spot. They had it last week at safety. They need to build depth everywhere. You want a pair and a spare “and sometimes more than that.” You can’t go grab players off of waivers.
- Sonny Styles has a chance to be special. Handful of freshmen that have done a good job of special teams and then finding snaps on offense and defense.
- Great to see so many guys play against Toledo. “These are the games that we missed a couple of years ago.” It allows players to build a body of work over time.
- On getting out to a fast start last week, they wanted to come out of the gates strong. It was an emphasis all week long. It set the tone for the evening.
- There are a lot of positives coming off of a game like last week’s win, but there are always issues when you watch the film. You have to be honest with what you see. Each position group had things to work on coming out of that game.
- Good to get the WR depth back last week. Jayden Ballard showed up at the end of the game. Those were valuable game reps.
- Mitch Rossi gives them a different look at fullback and it gives them the opportunity to go with the I-formation. The tight ends that they have also allow them to do more of the I-formation.
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