Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach

Huddle Updates: Ryan Day Radio Show/Lightning Round | Penn State Week

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show on Thursday and followed that up with his weekly “lightning round” session with reporters. Day discussed his team, provided updates on some players, previewed the matchup against Penn State, and much more. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Lightning Round

  • Have they had to remind the defense that this is going to be a step up? They get that. “They go against us every day.” They compete every day in practice, and how they compete every day reflects on Saturday.
  • These are the games that can change a player’s life. You look at games like this when the schedule is laid out. Looks at past games against Penn State and there have been some huge games. The players recognize that.
  • No injury updates today.
  • How much runway does Jaxon Smith-Njigba need in order to be ready for the last part of the season? That’s left up to the medical staff.
  • Kickoffs are better than they were last year. They want to see more and more. There is a fine line between putting the kickoff into the end zone and trying to pin them. The ability to both is important.
  • How close are any of the true freshman receivers to being game ready? “They’re getting better every week.” Kojo Antwi has been getting involved in punt coverage. It would be nice to start seeing some of those guys come on.
  • On Donovan Jackson’s missed assignment that led to a sack and fumble, “everybody makes mistakes.” They have fixed the issue. You identify why it happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
  • Guys who play multiple sports are helped out in football. JT Tuimoloau’s spatial awareness and hands can be seen because of his basketball skills.
  • Penn State has a good secondary. They get their hands on you. Have to do a great job at the line of scrimmage with protection. The WRs have to be physical at the top of their routes. “We’re going to do what we do.”
  • Julian Fleming’s strong offseason has also made him a more viable downfield threat this season. He’s a big, strong, fast receiver who has a bunch of ability.
  • Donovan Jackson is going to be a star.

Ryan Day Radio Show

  • The Buckeyes have responded well to adversity and will need to start quickly this week.
  • The defense has a good rhythm going right now. They felt going into this season that this defense had a chance. They’ve got good energy going. Guys have stepped up throughout the defense.
  • Tommy Eichenberg is one of the leaders of the defense. He has taken the reins. He’s been around the ball all season. People listen when he talks, though he doesn’t talk often.
  • The linebackers are the glue between the front and the secondary. If you have a good defense, you’ve got good linebackers.
  • The Buckeyes have done a good job on offense of controlling the game. But to really control a game you have to be able to run the ball.
  • The first thing the coaches do at halftime is use the restroom, then the offensive coaches meet with the offense and defensive coaches meet with the defense. Then position groups break out. Coaches are talking constantly during the game on the headset about what’s working and isn’t.
  • The offensive line is coming together. It’s not the first time for anybody anymore. They can adjust well and identify things. The line can also make an adjustment on the sidelines as well.
  • On the sack and forced fumble on CJ Stroud, the most frustrating thing is that they planned for it and Justin Frye called it out before it happened.
  • It was usually just one guy for Iowa ruining the running plays and giving them a numbers advantage, which means it’s fixable.
  • There is a referee on the sideline for each side with a headset who is in communication with the review booth and so Day is always asking if plays are being reviewed and so he gets feedback on when to may call a timeout to allow a review.
  • When they talked to Chip Trayanum in the transfer portal, they said they wanted him as a linebacker but there could be a running back opportunity. Trayanum went to them a couple of weeks ago to tell them he’s available at RB if they need help.
  • Penn State is always tough. Winning on the road at Penn State is difficult to do. Nothing is easy and it never has been. They have a good secondary with a good scheme. The defensive line played well last week. This is going to be a challenge defensively.
  • Day is familiar with both of PSU’s QBs. Sean Clifford has won a lot of games and can beat you with your feet or your arm. They recruited Drew Allar and he has a good future ahead of him.
  • The wakeup call on noon games is about 7:30 am. They try to get everybody to bed by 8:30.
  • On what he tells players early in the morning before a 12:00 pm kickoff: “I don’t care if it’s coffee, if it’s Red Bull, if it’s C4…you need some juice in the morning.”
  • Ronnie Hickman graded out in the high 90s last week. It wasn’t his fault that he wasn’t in on a lot of action.
  • Lathan Ransom playing well and being recognized as a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award is a testament to the entire defense. Ransom can do a bunch of different things. Can play man, zone, and can blitz. His versatility keeps teams guessing.
  • What has Kyle McCord shown in practice to let you know he’s ready? He’s grown this year, so has Devin Brown. They are both getting better. During the bye week, they gave CJ Stroud a day off and McCord went with the ones.
  • Scout team is a big responsibility. The better the looks are, the more accurate they are, the more prepared the team is. If you have a good scout team, they can show the areas that have cracks that can be exploited, so you’ve got time to fix those issues. Being on the scout team allows young guys to play against a lot of good players.
  • They have academic meetings every Thursday and they make sure that players have everything they need for road games. It’s good to get guys getting back to in-person classes. He doesn’t know the percentage of guys who have online classes vs. in-person classes.
  • The noise that Penn State piped in during the 2020 game, along with the masks people were wearing, made it very difficult to communicate even to the people next to you.
  • Playing on grass is always a bit different, so you have to prepare for it. It’s a fast turf for grass. They practiced on grass this week.

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