Ryan Day

Ryan Day Previews Indiana, Updates Situation At Quarterback, Talks Depth Chart

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show, followed by his 10-minute “lightning round” session with the media. He previewed Saturday’s matchup with Indiana, discussed his quarterbacks, and provided plenty of other updates about the rest of his team. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Ryan Day Lightning Round

  • They haven’t seen any kind splintering of the locker room based on the decision at quarterback. If that were to happen, they would address it.
  • Emeka Egbuka will do the punt returning and Xavier Johnson will do the kick returning.
  • The punt and kick returning requires a certain skill set, so having the two guys returning who did it last year made it an easier decision. They have looked at others. Other guys may get opportunities as the season goes on.
  • The junior class has played a lot in their first two years. They played as freshmen. That’s built up the experience of this current team. They handle themselves like older players as well.
  • The plan for playing time for the QBs is being put together right now. As the game goes on they’ll get a feel for what they think is the best plan to win.
  • The thing that is special about Luke Montgomery is athleticism, intelligence, and toughness. As a basketball player in a game last year he got his head split open and eventually went back into the game. He’s tough.
  • What is a “lion’s share” of snaps mean for Mike Hall? What is that number? Don’t know that there’s really a number, but they want him out there a lot. They don’t need him rotating series. There will be some rotating, but he’s one of their best guys, so they want him out there as much as possible without wearing him down too much.
  • He and Brian Hartline will work through the play calling. They will both have the same call sheet. They will talk it over between series. They will have a plan for Hartline to call plays more as the season goes on.
  • Does playing against Indiana give you some cushion to figure out the quarterback situation? They’re looking at Indiana like it’s going to be a dogfight because it usually is. “If it goes another way, it goes another way.” If you do anything other than that, it gets dangerous.

Ryan Day Radio Show Updates

  • JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer are third-year guys now and that’s where you see guys take a step and play their best football. They expect them to take the bulk of the snaps, but Kenyatta Jackson, Caden Curry, and Mitchell Melton have developed well.
  • Denzel Burke is probably one of the top five most-improved players on the team. It started in the spring. He had a different look in his eye. Again, another third-year guy.
  • The 2021 class is very special. It was a difficult time to recruit. Some players had never seen Ohio Stadium until the spring game.
  • Jayden Fielding came out on top in the competition. It was back and forth, but he pulled away down the stretch. He had a good week this week as well.
  • There’s pluses and minuses to playing a week zero game. The good thing is getting a second bye at some point during the season. The bad thing is it makes for a longer season.
  • Keenan Bailey is a very talented coach. Connects with players. “Did go to school at Notre Dame, so I guess we’ll give him a pass on that.” Very hard worker. When you give him a job, he gets the job done right.
  • Cade Stover is stronger in all areas this year.
  • “The targeting rule is in there for a reason, and that’s to protect the players.
  • Tom Allen is a very good coach. He has his fingerprints all over the defense. They have a bunch of transfers. You look at the film from where those players were before, and the identity of the offense is also a mystery. That’s why it still comes down to fundamentals. Blocking and tackling.
  • There are fewer distractions when you play on the road. “It’s kind of just the team together. We’re only allowed 74 (players) on the road.”
  • “Expect the unexpected” in all season openers, especially on special teams.
  • Last week they went through a mock game, so this almost feels a little like week two.
  • Last year on defense the players learned what to do. This year they learned how to do it. When you learn why you do it, that’s when you become special.
  • Everyone’s excited to see the secondary. They’ve been hitting hard and breaking up passes in practice, so they expect that to continue this season.
  • “So fired up that [Tommy Eichenberg} is back for another year.”
  • When a defense can anticipate, that’s when you separate yourself. When you can call out the plays before they happen, you can dominate. There’s a chance for this defense to get there this year.
  • Very pleased with the transfer additions and how they’ve fit into the locker room. They really vetted the players. They walked away from some transfer portal possibilities that weren’t cultural fits.
  • Malik Hartford, Luke Montgomery, and Carnell Tate aren’t looked at as freshmen anymore by Day.
  • Really excited to see Sonny Styles play.
  • They need Mike Hall to take the lion’s share of snaps inside this year. “One of the most twitchy interior linemen I’ve ever seen.” He’s got to be a difference maker, but he’s also got to eat up a lot of snaps in there.
  • Victor Cutler has good athleticism. He’s got the No. 2 center job. “This summer you saw things slow down for him.” He will play this year, but Carson Hinzman is the starter.
  • TreVeyon Henderson’s attitude and work ethic all summer has been off the charts. He’s hungry and excited to be back on the field. He’s involved in special teams as well. “He’s a versatile player.”
  • Chip Trayanum has done a nice job spending the whole offseason at running back. The RBs had a really good practice on Tuesday, which was a physical practice.
  • Evan Pryor is versatile. It took him some time to come back but he’s got his feet back under him. The challenge for him right now has been consistency and learning to play all three downs, but he’s flashing.
  • All of the RBs bring different skills and things they excel at, “which is great, it’s a change of pace.”
  • Xavier Johnson finished last season great. “He can bring something different to the table because he can play receiver and running back.” That creates situational matchups that create a mismatch.
  • Julian Fleming is healthy and back. His size and strength are great.
  • All of the WRs have great work ethics. Mickey Marotti set a rule that Marvin Harrison wasn’t allowed to work the jugs machine alone, so he always has to bring somebody with him.
  • The GPS tracking that the players wear totaled millions of total steps over the offseason for the players. During the offseason all of the workouts were tracked and squads competed against each other. At the end of the offseason, after all of the workouts and millions of steps, the winning squad won by just a couple of points — just like the Georgia game last year. So they’ve been working to find those extra points all offseason long.
  • The players are ready to go play somebody other than their teammates.
  • They’ve got a plan about how they’re going to play guys, “but we’ll see how it goes.”
  • The competitions made some guys uncomfortable, which is what you want. You get to see how they react to those situations.
  • Kyle McCord and Devin Brown have earned playing time. The No. 1 job is to be the best quarterback room in the country and to win championships. “We don’t need them to play extraordinary.” They have a good group around them. “Probably one of the best groups in the country.”
  • Every play has a design and something you’re looking to do. When everything aligns with what you want, how does the quarterback execute on those plays. Also, how do they react when they don’t get what they’re expecting.
  • They will do some huddling this year, like last year. The quarterbacks have to lead the team down the field however that looks.
  • How will they adjust to the loss of plays due to the new clock rules? They are still looking at it and analyzing the numbers. “You’ve got to value possessions more and more.

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