Ryan Day

Ryan Day Updates From Radio Show, Lightning Round As Notre Dame Looms

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day sat down for his weekly radio show on Thursday to discuss Saturday’s matchup at Notre Dame. Following that, he met with reporters for his weekly “lightning round” session of last looks before the Buckeyes head off to South Bend. Everything he had to say can be found below.

Lightning Round

  • When you have a guy like Marvin Harrison coming back for a third year, you try to find ways to enhance his skill set and availability. But when people decide to double him, that presents an opportunity for other receivers. That’s been the focus. Winning the one on ones, and ND will force them to win those battles.
  • On the offense and holding things back for certain matchups: “We always want to have curveballs. We will. We always want to have changeups.”
  • Was Kyle McCord so comfortable last week because the offense stayed on schedule? “It’s important.” They did a good job of staying on schedule. They want to win first down. That’s just four yards. That’s as important a part of this as anything. If you can convert short yardage situations, you’ll keep the ball moving. Ohio State is one of the best third-and-long offenses in the nation, but it’s still only like 18% which isn’t something you can rely on.
  • Lathan Ransom and Josh Proctor have played in big games so that won’t be the challenge. The Notre Dame talent and scheme will be the challenge.
  • How has this defense adjusted on the fly this year? It’s important. They are facing a new QB and a new coordinator, but that’s part of the game.
  • The team has been looking forward to this game for a while. “They know what comes with games like this.” He told the team that games like this will get you remembered in the halls of the Woody.
  • Kyle McCord has had another good week of practice, just like last week. More poise, more purpose. Really good feedback during practice from McCord on what he’s seeing and how he’s processing.
  • Is there a place for games like this through college football expansion? With the new teams coming into the Big Ten, there is still talk about how many conference games will there be. He’s focused on Notre Dame right now.
  • By the time the guys get done with today’s practice, they should be pretty mentally exhausted. He told them after practice tonight, they need to take a mental break tonight. If you’re grinding as hard as you need to be, you need to get away for a moment.
  • On having a “letting it rip” mindset: “I think it’s critical. That’s our mentality. There’s no other way to be.” He told his team that they’re going to go as hard as they possibly can and then look at the scoreboard in the fourth quarter and see where they are.

Radio Show

  • Is it more challenging to keep your team involved at home or on the road when you’re waiting for a night game? It’s the same at home or on the road. It’s a long wait and you have to keep them moving. Sometimes depends whether you’re in the city or in the country.
  • He has good memories over the years of having night games and being able to watch the 12p games and see some exciting outcomes. It gives you a little perspective.
  • The first time he coached at Notre Dame Stadium his grandfather and brothers were there. “It was a big deal the first time.” Some good memories there for sure.
  • ND cornerback Benjamin Morrison is one part of a well-coached secondary. “We’ve played against good secondaries before but these guys are as good as we’ve played.”
  • Scoring two defensive touchdowns like they did last week can flip the scoreboard fast. It’s a huge deal any time the defense scores. The success rate goes through the roof.
  • What happens on Friday nights on the road? They will have a room with the game on if there’s a Friday room. They will also have a movie room. There’s also a big meal room. There’s a room where guys are working on their bodies. Three different operations going on. Day hasn’t done bed check the last couple of weeks because he was at his son RJ’s football games, but he’ll be doing it again this weekend.
  • Defensively, Notre Dame does a great job with their execution. They don’t give you freebies. Few missed assignments. Very experienced. On offense, it starts with Sam Hartman. It’s an older team. Audric Estime is a very good running back. It’s exactly what you would expect from a top 10 matchup.
  • Does Sam Hartman remind Day of anybody? Maybe Stetson Bennett because of experience and age.
  • You always learn a lot from the first three games. You flush out a lot of assumptions as you learn more.
  • When you watch ND, do you spend much time on the Navy film? They look at everything, but you look at the Navy game the least.
  • Gee Scott knew it was going to take time to become a real tight end. He’s done that now. It’s tough to play. He and Cade Stover have done a great job of embracing the toughness that is required.
  • It takes time to develop as tight end. It may be the most difficult position to play as a true freshman. You have to learn how to be a receiver, lineman, and running back. That’s a lot to ask of a player mentally, let alone physically. Tight ends can line up anyway, so that requires a lot of practice and understanding.
  • How has Kyle McCord grown as a leader off the field. “I think the team really believes in him now that he’s the starter.” He’s in the front seat now. “I know this is a big one for him.”
  • Devin Brown checked his box for his first touchdown pass and his first interception, then you grow from them. How quickly do you learn and grow from it is what makes you a great quarterback.
  • This is the biggest step forward for the offensive line. They have to be able to run the football. Have to protect and communicate.
  • Notre Dame has a really good offensive line. It’s going to be the biggest challenge of the season for Ohio State.
  • Stopping a team on fourth down is a turnover in OSU’s mind, especially near midfield. It’s a huge change in field position.
  • The Buckeyes ran hard. You just that by whether or not they’re accelerating at the line of scrimmage. Are they pattering their feet or are they moving forward? They need more of that on Saturday.
  • TreVeyon Henderson is playing his best football. The RBs need to continue to protect the ball. They’re gonna need all of them this season. Henderson is more vocal than in the past. “He’ll speak up, and I like that. His attitude has been excellent.”
  • The defensive line needs to win the line of scrimmage in this one and continue to speed up the opposing quarterback.
  • The three cornerbacks Ohio State has have settled into their spots. They expected that, but they needed to see it. They’ve gotten their hands on balls in games just like they have in practice. Day loves the energy. The play is not perfect, but they’re aggressive and they keep moving.
  • Chip Trayanum is a different kind of running back than anybody else they have. He’s 235 pounds and can move. Forces opponents to defend things differently when Trayanum is out there with another RB.
  • Gee Scott also gives them some versatility. The more things you can do, the harder it is for the defense to react.
  • What’s the instruction on kickoff returns? There are times when they’re just going to fair catch it, but that’s pretty rare. They want to create an explosive and get the ball out to midfield. It is also situational and depends on the kick itself.
  • Caden Curry is a physical guy, especially on special teams. He runs through contact. “He’s going to do some really good things for our defense this year.”
  • The guys understand that doing well on special teams will lead to doing well on offense or defense. It’s all fundamentals, awareness, technique, and winning at the point of attack.
  • Getting some one-play drives is a good problem to have when it comes to a lack of total plays. Good to see Tyleik Williams get so many snaps on the other side of the ball as well.
  • Western Kentucky threw a lot of defensive looks at Ohio State and the Buckeyes stayed aggressive in attacking them. The RBs ran hard and that’s what needs to happen Saturday night..
  • The Buckeyes want to spread the field horizontally and then take vertical shots every week.
  • It was good that WKU challenged them in a number of ways with their offense, and the forced turnovers were great to see.
  • Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers have been around, and they’re not the only ones. The entire defense is veteran right now and you’re seeing the byproduct of that.
  • Good week of practice so far. They know they needed a great week of practice. They need another good day today. When you have a 7:30 game, it’s almost like another half day of preparation. There’s a mental side of this as well in terms of when the game is played. This is a huge opportunity for the players, but it doesn’t just happen on Saturday night. It’s a build up. This will be an electric environment.
  • Marvin Harrison “is a hell of a player.” He finds a way to get open a lot. Kyle McCord likes him a lot and it has nothing to do with them playing high school together, it’s because he’s open and talented.
  • “We’re gonna let it rip.” They’re going to look for some one-on-one situations and attack. “That’s what we’re going to do Saturday night.”

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