COLUMBUS — Following Ohio State’s 45-23 loss to Michigan, Buckeye head coach Ryan Day took to the podium to discuss his disappointment in the defeat and also answer questions. Also meeting with reporters were defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, quarterback CJ Stroud, and defensive end JT Tuimoloau. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.
+ When you looked at the first half, OSU played well on defense up front. Then you had the two long plays. The second half was more of the same. Too many big plays. Too many penalties on offense for OSU. Didn’t do a good job on third down. When you combine all of those things, it gets out of hand pretty quickly.
+ Reaction to the defense? Have to look and see where the breakdowns were. It wasn’t just one area. There was a missed tackle on the first play. Then got beat on the second play. Got some mis hits throughout. The first thing you have to do in this game was play great defense. Except for two plays in the first half they did, but not in the second half.
+ They had opportunities to jump ahead on offense early in the game but it didn’t happen.
+ Does this feel worse now that it’s happened again. “Hard to say right now because this is not the outcome that we envisioned.” They had good preparation. They were fighting in the first half and they felt good going into the second half but they didn’t execute well enough.
+ Where do you go from here? “We’ll figure out what’s next. I certainly know what this game means to everybody.” He knows this game comes back to him, which is what hurts the most.
+ Do you feel like you still deserve consideration for the playoffs? It got out of control there at the end but it wasn’t like they were outmatched “I don’t think.” There are a lot of good pieces on this team. Came up short. “I think if we got a shot in the top four, we’d be a dangerous team.”
+ Did he sap some aggression from his team with some of his decisions? You have to play the field position game. Fourth and five in the third quarter, “I didn’t feel like we were desperate at that point.” They just didn’t do well on third downs.
+ How much do emotions and intangible things determine this game? They felt good. They were swinging from the start, “but we came up short.” Have to get his mind wrapped around why that happened.
+ Was the team flat coming out of halftime? They had juice coming out of the locker room but we just didn’t do it. His message to the team was that they needed to win the first six minutes of the third quarter.
+ CJ Stroud competed. He played hard. Made some good throws. Nobody wanted to win more than Stroud.
+ Are you stunned at the big shots? How do you file this one? You go back and evaluate what happened. There were certainly breakdowns in the back end. When you do that in a big game, you see what happens. The margin of error is so tiny. It should have never happened.
+ Michigan’s defense didn’t throw them any curveballs. They had a good game plan against OSU but it wasn’t anything they hadn’t seen before. They just didn’t make enough plays.
+ Why so much Chip Trayanum? Miyan Williams was still banged up. He tried, but he couldn’t go like he wanted to.
+ Have to keep going forward. Go back to the drawing board and fix it.
+ JJ McCarthy is a great player but they hurt themselves a lot in this one.
+ JJ McCarthy did a good job of making throws under pressure. “We knew he could throw the ball on the move. I just thought he played well when he had to.”
+ What got away from you in the second half? They went into halftime and they were on it. They were doing well. They were defending the run game well. There were a couple of big plays. They just needed to clean that up. “Nothing to get panicked about.” UM hit a couple of big runs in the second half. That’s disheartening. He takes the blame for that. “It’s a story of explosive plays.” “I have to take responsibility for that.”
+ Does he need to change his philosophy about explosive plays? You have to evaluate it. When the explosives go for touchdowns, that’s different because there is no ability to recover on that drive from that.
+ How will you respond to this? You take responsibility for it. “That’s all I can do. I didn’t do a good enough job and I need to do better.”
+ How stunning is this? Also, what’s the problem with the pass defense? “Stunning? I don’t know. It’s football. It’s a hard game.” You take responsibility for it. The players are hurting much more than me and I’m crushed. “They are the ones that I have to be able to look in the eye…”
+ JJ McCarthy made some good throws when they pressured him.
+ Michigan was hunting for ways to get them offensively and they did a couple of times. The runs they got them on were simple runs “and that’s the hard part that I have to look at.”
+ Should you be so aggressive? Some things worked, some things didn’t. You don’t want to hold the guys back, so it falls on him to make those changes to fix things.
+ How did the loss of Blake Corum affect your approach? “I don’t think it really changed anything. We were ready but we failed. I failed.”
+ What are your emotions right now in what may be your last game in Ohio Stadium? “Honestly, I don’t know how to feel right now. It just happened so fast.” He was booed his first game but he thinks he has proven himself in his two years as a starter. Blessed to be part of this brotherhood.
+ Would you play in a New Year’s Six bowl? There is still a playoff chance, “but this is the one.” “I tried to make plays, even sometimes when they weren’t there. This game is really on me. I’ve got to do more.” Whatever happens, he’ll take it up with some consideration. “I don’t have an immediate answer for that question.”
+ He wanted to go for it on fourth down in the third quarter when they started out first and 35. “I’m still one of the best players in the country and I think I can make that play.” He trusts Ryan Day though. There were so many things that went into this loss. “I gotta make plays on fourth down.”
+ How do you want people to remember your time at Ohio State? “That’s a great question. I don’t know. People are going to say I never won the game, and I understand that. People are going to say I never won a Big Ten Championship, and I understand that. I’m just going to have to eat that.” “I wish I could’ve won these games but I don’t think anybody can question my heart.”
+ Did Michigan make adjustments in the second half? In the first half OSU was shooting themselves in their foot. “Credit to team up north’s defense.” They had too many penalties in the second half. It happens every game and sometimes you can get away with it and sometimes you can’t. In these games, you can’t.
+ It was a harsh pill to swallow over the past year and it’s going to be tough again. But this program is tough and the players are tough. We’ll be able to handle it. Hopefully they can make the playoffs. “This one game does not define this team.”
+ How do you think you played today? Played with as much heart as he could. He did everything he could to win this game. But at the end of the day, he’s the quarterback and it’s on him.
+ He put in constant work to get this win. “I hope people appreciate that. I know they probably won’t though.”