Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes

Ryan Day Talks Running Game Woes, Injury Updates, Purdue

COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters for his weekly Wednesday interview session. He previewed Saturday’s game at Purdue, answered questions about his team, discussed the running game struggles, provided updates on injuries, and much more. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

  • What’s the problem with the running game? “I think we have the personnel to do it.” There was one play schematically where they “were going up hill.” There were extra guys defending the run, which opened the passing game. “I felt like the scheme and what we were doing” was sound. They’ve got to coach it better.
  • TreVeyon Henderson is expected back this week.
  • Can’t put a finger on OSU’s struggles at Purdue over the years. “We’ve gotta have a great week of preparation.” They won’t do anything different this week given the history of games at Purdue.
  • It depends on who you’re playing as to how much you might introduce to your quarterback that is new.
  • Why so much 12 personnel last week? Combination of Gee Scott’s blocking, wanting to give Maryland something different to deal with. They will continue to look at different personnel groupings.
  • They missed some things early on offensively against Maryland that got them into a slow start. They found their rhythm later on in the game. They need to get started better on offense to get that rhythm going for the whole team.
  • They know this is going to be a long stretch of games. They can’t have a bad game.
  • Purdue does a great job defensively. They have a great defensive coach as a head coach. They have good players who are put in the right spots and they play hard.
  • No update on Emeka Egbuka right now. It isn’t a long-term issue but he’ll have more information later in the week.
  • The goal is to get four yards on first down, and if teams are going to load the box, then Kyle McCord needs to complete passes like he did against Maryland.
  • Is there a common thread in their running game woes? They can do a better job of getting movement up front, getting to the second level, and the running backs can do a better job of seeing it.
  • How do you match what you want to do with what your offensive line can actually do? You’re trying to figure out what your guys can do well and does it fit your backs. He likes the stretch plays because it gets the back out in space, but they haven’t been blocking it great.
  • They talked about Dallan Hayden in the preseason. They didn’t want to use up a year of eligibility because of their depth. They don’t want him playing in five or six games without getting a bunch of work in. Hayden is ready to go and he’s been great about it. “We think he’s great.” But they already have three guys in front of him. He’s working hard.
  • Day tells recruits “There’s nothing that can’t be done here.”
  • They have challenged players this year to be leaders and speak up, and they have. This is a team that is calm in times of chaos. When did he notice that? “I think you just see the personalities on the team and you see that they’ve played in games before.” They handle their business in a mature manner regardless of what it is.
  • What has Cade Stover done to be such a big part of the passing game? He takes a lot of snaps. He does a lot of dirty work. When he does so much, he can create conflicts for a defense in pass and run situations. He also runs some really nice routes out in the open. The play-action is opening up because of his dirty work. He’s playing faster. It’s not an easy job. You have to block like a tackle, catch like a receiver, and pick up pass rushes like a running back.
  • When they don’t get four yards on first down, how does it set you back? “It’s huge.” When you get more than that, it opens even more things. Second-and-10 sets you back. Negative plays are killers.
  • What happened on the bad snap on the punt and how do you prevent that? The ball slipped. That can’t happen again. The illegal formation on the punt was a matter of Xavier Johnson just being a little bit too far into the backfield. They need special teams to be an advantage for them because it’s a third of the game.
  • Why not just pass more? At the end of the day you have to move the ball, but there will be games where the weather will impact the ability to throw the ball. But when you have a good defense and a young quarterback, you’re probably less likely to take some chances early on. Gotta keep building and getting better tho. They want to continue pushing the envelope.
  • Should the level of detail be better when you have a full-time special teams? Every area needs to have a great level of detail. It starts with Day. They want special teams to be a weapon for them. There’s been good things there.
  • Frustrated with bad calls or apologies? “It’s hard for me to say much. It’s my job to advocate for the players and compete. So you’ve got my word I’m gonna go as hard as I possibly can to defend our players.”
  • If they are coming up short in any area, they have to look at everything. What are they doing, how are they doing it, preparing for it, calling it. If there is an issue with the offensive line it’s not too late to make changes. But the gaps are still where they were when the jobs were won in camp. “Feel free to make a push.”
  • The offensive line is playing hard. There have been some issues, like with all positions. Everyone has to do their part in making the running game work.
  • “It’s going to catch up with you later in the season if you can’t run the ball. I’ve learned my lesson on that.” They know what they need to do.
  • Josh Proctor has been through a lot. Lathan Ransom too. Broken legs, adversity. That’s what shapes your character and who you are. That’s the rewarding part of coaching. Overcoming struggles, mental or physical, “we’ve had all of the above here.” “You didn’t get into coaching to do anything other than have an impact on people.”
  • You’re seeing what Josh Proctor is capable of, and now he just needs to continue doing it.
  • Is it possible that the talent on the offensive line is not where it needs to be? “I’d tell you if I didn’t think so.” There was a point where Paris Johnson wasn’t where he needed to be. The expectations for everyone is high.
  • Describe your feelings on the development of the offensive line right now. It’s either personnel, coaching, or scheme for any issue. They can do a better job with their hands and pad level. The execution wasn’t there on Saturday. “We’re just gonna keep swinging on this thing.”
  • It’s hard to tell where this defense is right now compared to last year. It’s still early, but they anticipate now instead of reacting. They’re playing faster and seeing it. But they have to do it every week. You won’t know that until the end of the season.
  • Hudson Card has a strong arm. He can run around and make plays. They will challenge the OSU defense.

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