Ryan Day

Ryan Day Sees Opportunities For Defense, Believes Running Game Must Get Going

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day sat down on Thursday for his weekly radio show. He answered a myriad of questions about his team and upcoming opponent Western Kentucky. Following the radio show, Day took part in his weekly “Lightning Round” session with reporters. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Lightning Round

  • Can you artificially motivate an offensive line to be meaner? Everyone can always get pushed to do better in all of those areas. That’s been a reiteration this week — keep pushing. “We’re all going to play fast and violent.” They’re pushing to maximize their players. That’s not different than any other week.
  • What was the most important non-football thing that you learned about Kyle McCord while doing your due diligence? The relationship with his teammates. The voice he has with them. The film work.
  • Josh Proctor is available for Saturday and he’ll play a lot. They’ll still rotate guys, but he’ll likely start.
  • Marvin Harrison has top-end speed. When he decides to open it up, he can go. He has the quickness too.
  • Ja’Had Carter is getting his feet back underneath him. The more he plays, the better he’ll get. That was his first game in the Horseshoe. It was a starting point. The next step is up to him. He will continue to have opportunities. He’s done some good things in practice this week. He’s pushing.
  • WKU QB Austin Reed is going to be a good challenge this week. All three levels of the defense. He does a great job of getting the ball out of his hands.
  • Josh Fryar hasn’t started very many games. His next progression is as a leader. It’s harder when you haven’t played a bunch, but that is gradually changing.
  • The RB rotation has been good. Everything needs to get ratcheted up. There are higher levels they can get to, including the running game.

Ryan Day Radio Show

  • Why does he wear black on game days? The hat is because that was the hat in his locker to open the season in 2018. The third game against TCU, there was a red hat, so he put that on and was told by the coaches that he shouldn’t be changing hats during a winning streak. So the black hat was good enough for Woody Hayes, and it’s good enough for him.
  • They’re always going to be aggressive on defense. They’re not going to become “bend but don’t break,” but you still have to avoid giving up big plays. It’s situational. How is a team trying to attack you? Awareness is key because not every play is the same.
  • They’ve been more physical in practice this week. They wore pads last Thursday, which isn’t typical. The only way to build a physical offensive line is to have physical practices. They know they’re going to see a ton of movement from the WKU defense, but you can’t think too much. “You’ve got to rock off the ball.”
  • Some of those bad calls — like the Chip Trayanum holding call — will eventually go away, won’t they? “They better.”
  • They could have some Dime packages this week. You adjust to what they do, like bringing in four linebackers against a Minnesota or something like that. You have to adjust but “we’re not gonna get crazy.”
  • The maturity of this defense is completely different than last year’s defense. It’s going to be exciting to see how they handle a completely different offense. Tommy Eichenberg is a calming force for the entire defense. He’s a vocal presence on the field and communicates the calls well.
  • “It’s important this week that we establish the run.”
  • The goal on every carry is to make four yards, and then if there’s a play after that, go make it.
  • Ryan Day hurdled once in a game against William & Mary. He ended up upside down, but he scored a touchdown.
  • There schematic and tempo challenges this week with WKU, but it comes back down to running, hitting, and winning the line of scrimmage.
  • They carry about four plays each week for third and long (7-10) yards.
  • You can see the talent that Devin Brown has, but now was the right time to name Kyle McCord the starter.
  • They’ve been able to see some young guys in the early games. The more they can get guys out there, the better the depth will be later on.
  • There are still things to improve on. There will be things to improve on coming out of this game as well. That’s always the case early in the season.
  • The idea each week is to have a “ridiculous amount of urgency.”
  • On explosive plays, when the opportunity is there, they have to go and get it. Kyle McCord was able to see that with the 71-yarder to Marvin Harrison and take advantage of it.
  • Still plenty of work to do on third down. Nobody has patience for the fact that some guys are doing it for the first time. “We’ve got to go.” Issues like that will get you beat.
  • This will be a week where the defensive line can get after the quarterback.

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