Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show on Thursday, followed up by his “lightning round” session with reporters. Day provided updates on his football team and previewed Saturday’s road trip to Northwestern. Everything that was said can be found below.
- Does the weather put more importance on the run game this week? Yeah, they need to do a good job and adjust to the conditions. They just have to handle it better than the opponent. The forecast doesn’t look very promising, so they are now starting to talk about the plans in all three phases.
- Does he have a better feel about this team following the win over Penn State? It was a good win in a tough environment, but he doesn’t look at things like that week to week. They knew long ago that this was going to be a tough one, but there is a sense of accomplishment, but they haven’t checked off any goals so far. The focus was on practice this week. They have been focused on energy and execution this week.
- There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with injuries as a coach. They have the best doctors and sports science at Ohio State, but that’s the game. It’s frustrating but that’s why they build depth. Hopefully they can get a boost from returning guys this month.
- The expectation is for Mason Arnold to be the long snapper the rest of the year. They will travel Max Lomonico this week as well.
- They have practiced in the wind the last few weeks in Ohio because it’s been windy here. But they have also practiced with some wet footballs this week. They squirt balls with water before the snap but you don’t want to do it too much because it can weigh the balls down and affect a quarterback’s throwing motion.
- How have you see the OL approach this week? It’s been good but there’s been an edge to them, which is great. It takes all five guys to execute the running game. Their protection work in the pass game has been solid this week as well.
- The execution between CJ Stroud and Marvin Harrison was unbelievable. The perimeter plays weren’t working so there was some sight adjustment done by Stroud and Harrison. That stuff gets worked on during the offseason. You never know when you’re going to need it. Job well done by those guys.
- Does he have to have conversations with JT Tuimoloau about expectations, recognition? He deserves that recognition. He’s been playing this way for a couple of weeks now. He’s been close. Teams will know where he is now, but that’s why you want to have balance in your D-line room. If they want to slide his way, that will free up the other side.
- They went over the travel list and they’re confident they’ll have enough running backs for the game.
Ryan Day Radio Show
- Toughness has been a message for the team all year. Discipline and skill as well. They knew last week’s game was going to be four quarters, so that’s what they prepared for. That’s how games against Penn State go. “We won the game in the fourth quarter.”
- “Never seen anything like that my entire life. Although I can’t sit here and tell you that I’m all that surprised.” – On JT Tuimoloau’s performance on Saturday.
- Larry Johnson did a good job of subbing while Penn State was running tempo.
- Ohio State picked up the pace with 9 minutes left in the game and got into a rhythm. Cade Stover’s touchdown reminded him of the touchdown by Binjimen Victor in 2018 at Penn State. They didn’t want to go conservative after that quick change turnover.
- They ran bubble screens because Penn State was crowding the box and playing cover zero, so if you get a couple of blocks, you can get some big hits out wide. They didn’t execute the way they wanted to but they want to make the defense defend the entire field.
- You saw great ball skills from the defensive ends on their interceptions. Zach Harrison is playing his best ball and he graded out a champion.
- Tyleik Williams did a great job getting leverage and using his hands on his fourth down stop. When he becomes more and more consistent, “he’s gonna become a weapon.”
- When you are +4 in turnovers, you win 80-90% of the time. If you win the turnover battle overall, you’re around 60% winning percentage.
- There are things the offense needs to grow upon but last week was a big win on the road.
- They handled the silent count really well. The tempo as well last week.
- On the delay of games: “We can get the play in sooner.”
- Having the guard signal for the snap can take away from how well the guard plays. It can make you a bit late going off of the silent count like they did last week.
- Cade Stover on the Penn State linebackers was a matchup advantage for Ohio State. If defenses want to double a receiver, they can use Stover to move the ball.
- The receivers stepped up out of necessity this season.
- Late in the game, you think players, not plays. You look for guys to step up and get the ball to them, such as Marvin Harrison late in the game last week.
- What is balance for run and pass? You’re always looking for 250/250. It doesn’t always work that way. Depends on the game that you are in.
- Playing in inclement weather is part of playing in the Big Ten.
- When they have bad weather predicted they try not to look too far in advance, but a few days out they start looking and they will prepare for it by practicing outside. Sometimes you don’t have to make many adjustments. Other times you do, but they’ll talk about that as they get closer to the game.
- This was a good week of practice. “I think we have our eyes on the prize.”
- They try to have a balance between changing things up in practice to have more fun, but also sticking to a routine because guys like having routines.
- When you go into a game, do you attack matchups or gaps on a defense? Depends. Some RBs like different things. They have runs they’ll run against anybody, but there are others that they game plan.
- How do you address and coach missed tackles? When you’re playing against better competition, those things show up more and more. The issues are always seen on film, but this was great film for the defense because it’s 80 plays against a really good offense. A lot to learn from and teach from.
- How much do you watch and learn from other offenses and defenses? “All the time. We all steal all kinds of different ideas.” You can’t do everything but it does open up a lot of ideas as you talk through it.
- Long snapper Mason Arnold did well. He still didn’t have his black stripe off. A long snapper playing in a tough environment for the first time, that didn’t help Ryan Day sleep well. But they took Arnold’s black stripe off this week.
- He told CJ Stroud after the game that he shouldn’t have put Stroud in that position at the end of the first half.
- Was great to hear the Ohio State fans late in the game last week.
- Are teams loading the box against you more than they have been this season? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to go away from the balance that they want.
- He worked with Northwestern DC Jim O’Neil at San Francisco, so he knows them.
- How often does he get input from defensive coaches during games about what an opposing defense is doing to OSU’s offense? That doesn’t really happen. He does have the ability to flip over to the defensive coaches’ headsets and conversations.
- Jordan Hancock is getting into football shape. It’s great to see him back on the field.
- Is Cameron Brown getting closer? “We’ll keep working on that.”
- Chip Trayanum has been doing well in practice. He has picked up the offense well. But he has an offensive background, so it’s helped him. “Looking forward to seeing him on the field.”
- How many plays do they try to get Mitch Rossi per game? It depends on the game and what they’re into, like short-yardage, four-minute, etc. They like to have him out there for 10-20 plays. Rossi’s catch over the middle was as open as he’s seen a guy in a long time. Probably because of his athleticism. CJ Stroud said he was so open that he thought somebody was going to pop out of the ground in front of him.
- “I really like this freshman class.” They have had to work hard with their academics and lifting and being on the field and failing. They were still coming in off of the pandemic issues that cost them some time in high school.
- Freshman WR Kaleb Brown will be able to go back home to Chicago this week. He’s an example of a guy who’s missed a lot of football over the past two years. He has made plays in practice and it’s a gradual build for the young guys. Sometimes it may feel like nothing happens for long stretches with freshmen but as long as they work and get better and get on special teams, things eventually take off.
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