Ryan Day

Postgame Updates: Ryan Day Thrilled With Buckeyes Defensive Effort

COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media following the Buckeyes’ 20-12 win over No. 7 Penn State. He discussed his defense, quarterback Kyle McCord, the meaning of this win, and answered a number of questions from reporters. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • On winning with defense: “I’m okay with it.”
  • The crowd was tremendous. When the Horseshoe is rocking, it’s a difference maker. You could tangibly see it on the field. It was as loud as he’s heard it in a long time.
  • The defense was physical all game long. “I gotta give Jim Knowles credit and his staff.” They have made some changes and the defense continues to play well. “I’m happy for our guys.” “You’re starting to see the confidence grow.”
  • Assess the offense: Penn State had the No. 1 defense coming in, so they knew it was going to be difficult. They didn’t run the ball well enough. Not enough explosive plays.
  • Devin Brown rolled his ankle. Not getting into the end zone was big.
  • “I gotta give Marvin Harrison so much credit.” Most teams want to take him away first thing, but he was open all game long. He showed up in a big spot again. “It’s hard for me to find somebody who’s better in the country.”
  • Why’d you go for it on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line. Just feels like when you’re on the 2, you have to be able to score. But they also knew it would be difficult for PSU to go 98 yards.
  • If Penn State doesn’t get called for a hole on the fumble return, this would have been a whole different game. But it was a hold and that’s why Kyle McCord double clutched the throw. They left a lot of plays on the field offensively and didn’t execute well enough. Good enough to win, but the OSU Sdefense also put them in a great position offensively.
  • On PSU being 1-of-16 on third downs. “Tremendous. Unbelievable job.”
  • “I thought Jermaine Mathews played a big-time game.” If we can play like this, that’s championship-level defense.
  • Not sure how many teams out there have top 10 wins on their resume like Ohio State. But they come out of this game thinking they should have won by a few touchdowns. But he would’ve taken a 20-12 win well before the game if asked. “It doesn’t always look pretty.”
  • Tommy Eichenberg said in the locker room that they need to be “second-half warriors.” Great leadership there. Cade Stover and Xavier Johnson led the team as well.
  • What’s Marvin Harrison’s preparation like for big games? “Woo.” Day leaves work on Wednesdays before Harrison does. He is always working on the throwing machine.
  • Why kneel at the end of the first half. “I didn’t want anything crazy to happen.” The fumble return was in the back of his mind. It was conservative, but they were getting the ball to start the third quarter. He just wanted to get into halftime and figure out what’s going on.
  • Denzel Burke was close to playing this week. If he has a full week of practice, he should be good to go next week.
  • In year two of Jim Knowles’ defense, he’s got a better feel for the conference. The guys are playing with confidence. They are getting enough information to play fast and confident. That was the most confident and energetic group he’s been on the field with since 2019.
  • The defense allows him to call the offense differently. “I just think in a game like this in particular, you have to do whatever you can to win the game. And if you feel like your defense can flat-out win you a game, then you have to do your part. You can’t be selfish.” “Our defense was in control of the game.”
  • Cade Stover is one of the most valuable guys on the offense. “Certainly Marvin is Marvin, but after that, Cade is right there.” “Some big-time plays. We have to keep finding ways to get him the ball.” Could’ve done a better job as a staff doing that for him today.
  • Defense played fast, strong, violent.
  • TreVeyon Henderson ended up being unavailable. Hopeful to get him back next week. “I feel like he is close.” Tony Alford felt that Chip Trayanum and Miyan Williams were the two best options to go with today. They’ll check the film and see if that’s the right call moving forward.

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