Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach

Huddle Updates: Ryan Day Radio Show, Lightning Round – Rutgers Week

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show on Thursday. He looked back on Saturday’s win over Wisconsin, provided updates on his football team, and looked ahead to this weekend’s game against Rutgers. Following his radio show, Day spent 10 minutes with reporters for his weekly “lightning round” answering questions about his squad. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Lightning Round

  • Day started out by mentioning that the team’s thoughts are with the folks in Florida right now. They have many players from that state and they are thinking about everybody down there and it gives you a lot of pause. They will do everything they can to help their players affected by this in any way they can.
  • CJ Stroud had gotten really good coaching in high school but also had to do a lot of stuff on his own. That’s what hungry players do. You could see his ability to process information early on. He has a high football IQ and did right away.
  • Jim Knowles does a great job of changing up looks but keeping it simple for the players. That stresses an offense when the defense is giving different looks pre-snap and post-snap.
  • They have checked in with every Florida player’s families. Kye Stokes’ parents are first responders. But it’s not just nuclear family that is impacted, but friends, other family, etc. Nobody in life-threatening situations at the moment.
  • Jayden Fielding has been good kicking off. He’s not been perfect. The expectation for every position at Ohio State is to be the best in the country. They will continue to go with Fielding on kickoffs.
  • Josh Proctor finally showed “the old Josh.” It wasn’t a physical issue, it was just about the preparation and getting his body, mind, and soul ready to play the game. They saw the Josh Proctor that can help them win games this year.
  • Denzel Burke’s injury was too close from when it occurred to put him in the game. He’s had a good week of practice. They will watch how it heals. He’ll be ready to roll this week.
  • Sonny Styles and his family expressed their interest in reclassifying last year. That’s not for everybody. “We’ve been down the road before where that’s not worked.” He is surprised by what Styles has been able to do this year.
  • Taron Vincent ate up some double teams last week. His attitude, positivity, and production is going to be important for this defense. If they’re going to play in big games, Vincent needs to play like that each time out.
  • No updates on Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Cam Brown.

Ryan Day Radio Show

  • It was good to start the game off going right down the field. They used the seams well. Then got the interception and a 14-0 lead.
  • What factors go in when choosing to take the ball or kickoff. They want to win the last five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. Generally to do that, you want to defer and get the ball in the second half. The start of the game can often just be two teams sparring and feeling each other out. By the second half, you should have your feet under you and be able to attack.
  • The atmosphere Saturday night was great. Most everybody stayed the entire game.
  • Cade Stover’s success starts with blocking. Especially against Wisconsin. He won his battles. He “pried open a lot of those holes.”
  • They are different this year with their perimeter blocking than they have been in previous years. That’s the receivers and that’s Cade Stover getting out wide and finding work. It’s giving the running game an advantage.
  • Two first starts for JK Johnson and Jyaire Brown at cornerback. Tim Walton did a great job of getting them better. But they worked every day and the team believed in them.
  • How does Jim Knowles’ game plan get impacted by two new corners? They had a good idea of where they were at. Knowles still called his stuff, but you’re still aware of not putting them in bad spots.
  • Cam Martinez has been great for the secondary. He can handle a lot of information and can play both corner and nickel.
  • It’s so important to get stops on third down against Wisconsin. If you give up a third down, then the offense has just lost another two or three minutes.
  • It was his decision to put the second-string in for the 75-yard touchdown run. That’s on him, but at the same time, you expect everybody to execute. That’s a wakeup call for those players. It’s part of the maturation process for the younger guys.
  • The two biggest points in the game were both by Tanner McCalister. He had the interception early and then the breakup on the deep pass at the end of the first half.
  • Tommy Eichenberg has been a strong leader. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but he gets guys lined up. The defense feeds off of him.
  • The defensive line went up against a big challenge against Wisconsin. The Badgers are okay picking up three yards a snap, and that can wear on a defense. Taron Vincent and Mike Hall were strong. The defensive ends won their matchups. “I thought we won the line of scrimmage.”
  • “It’s a safety-driven defense now…so we need more depth there than ever.” They have been deep and they are playing well. Josh Proctor has played well against Wisconsin throughout his career. Looking to get Lathan Ransom back this week. It’s hard to process the fact that Sonny Styles is already playing. His attitude has been great.
  • The receivers understand that if they are physical in the run game, that will eventually create one-on-one situations outside for them. The defense will need to add a guy into the box to help stop the run, which takes a guy out of the secondary.
  • The chemistry continues to grow on the offensive line.
  • What factors go into deciding when to go up tempo? If you do something consistently the same, defenses can get the timing down. So if you change speeds, the defense can’t get the timing down as easily. Sometimes you want to shorten the game, sometimes you want to lengthen it depending on the situation. Refs also slow things down more by standing over the ball more than they used to. Oftentimes, the offense will take the field on a particular drive being told to expect some tempo and to be alert for it.
  • Greg Schiano has been at Rutgers long enough now that his recruits are now playing. They have some weapons on the outside. They can throw the ball and they are creative on offense with formations and play calls. Every year they are getting better and better. Defensively, Rutgers is similar to what they were last year. They have a veteran secondary. They have bigger guys up front. They are statistically doing a great job. This is the best Rutgers defense they’ve seen since Schiano has been there.
  • CJ Stroud does a lot of work and prep on his own during the week so that he is ready for the game. When defenses try to throw him a curveball, he can handle it.
  • Emeka Egbuka is very physical. “He’s a warrior.”
  • Two different styles of running with their tailbacks. TreVeyon can go the distance at any point. Miyan is very strong, but can also hit the long one. They pull for each other because they know the team needs them both.
  • Yesterday they started practice by having a 4-play scrimmage from the 10-yard line with the threes that got everybody jacked up. The defense won. They had another practice recently where if a field goal was made, everybody would get some new jerseys. The kicker made it and everybody was excited.
  • Special teams this week is key because Rutgers challenges you there. Two years ago, people remember all of the different trick plays that Rutgers will bring. You have to remain aggressive still. You can’t take a step back, you just have to be aware. Rutgers has blocked three punts this year and they know they’ll be aggressive. It’s about identifying who the rushers are and protecting.
  • Day was recounting the kick return against TCU when a player laid in the end zone and the ball was thrown back to him and he returned it for a touchdown. A flag was thrown on the play and he still thinks back to that play and where he would be right now if that flag wasn’t thrown.
  • CJ Stroud is just as humble as he’s always been. He’s very grounded. He understands what’s important. Stroud handles everything in a classy way and it’s not always easy. He has sacrificed a lot to be where he is.
  • Kicker Parker Lewis is now eligible. It’s good to have depth in the kickoff area. Jayden Fielding has done well in that area. Lewis will give them more depth there.

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