Ryan Day

Ryan Day Show Updates: Previewing Wisconsin, Preparing For Home Stretch Of Regular Season

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly Thursday radio show appearance, answering questions about his football team and their upcoming matchup at Wisconsin. The highlights of everything Day had to say can be found below.

  • The progress with the defense started last year. They are now more veteran across the board. He and Jim Knowles had a lot of conversations about the next steps that needed to be made, not just about personnel but also in this conference. What Knowles is doing now is much different than what he did at Oklahoma State. It ultimately comes down to what the players do on the field. This is a confident defense right now.
  • The Buckeyes need to go on the road and run the ball and stop the run.
  • They wanted to enhance the things the defense did well last year and then fixing the things they didn’t. They’re still only seven games in, so they’ll see how the changes have done later in the season.
  • The most enjoyable thing about being on the road is the pageantry of other campuses and stadiums, but there’s nothing like silencing the crowd with a big play.
  • For a center, there is always a lot going on. That will be the case this week as well in a loud environment. You’re seeing improvements in practice showing up in games for Carson Hinzman and the offensive line. There is still more growth to be had, which is encouraging.
  • It’s been fun to be a part of high school football again watching his son. It’s different than watching it while recruiting. There’s nothing like Friday Night Lights. Celebrating afterwards or being devastated after a loss. You can get so caught up in the college level but it is good to go back to the high school level and remind yourself why you got into the game in the first place.
  • Wisconsin is always big, strong, and physical. Running back Braelon Allen is tough. The offensive line is physical. Quarterback Braedyn Locke has stepped up for the team and led them to a comeback win last week.
  • Wisconsin’s offense is a little different style than in the past, but they do a good job of playing to their personnel in the spread-run game.
  • What is needed for road focus? There are a lot of distractions for home games. Friends, family, tickets, just being on campus. When you’re on the road, it’s quieter. It’s them in a hotel. Even in the stadium, it’s just them and a few thousand Buckeye fans.
  • There’s a time and a place for a trick play. So when you decide to practice it, you’re investing in that play, so if you don’t use it that week, you’ve wasted that time. “We always have things in our back pocket if we need them.”
  • As they continue to get guys back on offense, they can really start to maximize the offense because they’re more experienced overall as well.
  • Who is the scout team QB now? They will still go 1s vs 2s, but some walk-ons have had to step up at QB on the scout team. Lincoln Kienholz has done a good job in practice with the twos. Tristan Gebbia as well. Those two guys are in two very different situations. Day calls Gebbia “Coach.” He helps mentor all of the guys.
  • How do you manage players’ frustration with lack of playing time? You try to find snaps for them when you can. But then when you find it — like against Purdue — they have to do something with it. They tell the team that every day in practice is an audition to play in a game. Most players are closer to playing than they think.
  • You have to build depth in college football. You can’t pick somebody up off of waivers if somebody gets hurt. So when players play early in the season, they need to make those plays count because they may be called upon later in the season to step up.
  • They need to do a better job of being “extra loud” on punt situations when the ball is on the ground. Teammates didn’t hear the “poison” call during the play, so they’ve corrected that.
  • Penn State came in with a very active defensive line. NFL players down the road. He knew it was going to be a challenge for the offensive tackles. There were some really good snaps. Some snaps could be better, but the pass protection was pretty good.
  • On picking up a cornerback blitz: If it’s something you see before hand you can slide the line that way. If that doesn’t happen, the RB usually has to pick that blitzer up.
  • Is there a common thread for slow starts? No.
  • Kyle McCord is able to come off the field and communicate what he saw. When you’re doing it for the first time, you trying to figure it all out. Now he’s able to tell the coaches everything that he is seeing and exactly what is happening.
  • How do they practice short yardage during the week? They’ll teach it and then they go against the scout team. It’s hard to go too hard in practice with that with good vs. good because the injury risks are higher.
  • There is give and take with the wildcat. It equates numbers but you lose the ability to throw the ball. Jack Sawyer has lobbied to throw the ball as a wildcat. Sawyer told Day that he wears 33 just like Devin Brown. Day told Sawyer to worry about defensive end for now.
  • Practices have been good this week. Great weather. Important to have a great week of practice coming off of the win against Penn State. On the road at Wisconsin is always difficult. “I’ve never been there. I’m excited to go.”
  • Day has not been to either Illinois or Wisconsin yet as a Buckeye coach.
  • “It’s unbelievable” that Marvin Harrison has had 21 catches and 19 first downs against Penn State the last two years.
  • Great performance by the fans last week as well.
  • How do Marvin Harrison and Cade Stover complement each other? Different players with different skill sets. Harrison is big and has a huge catch radius. Stover does a lot of dirty work inside and creates conflict. He’s become a whole player who makes some great catches. He’s making a difference in the run game and pass game.
  • Jordan Hancock was recruited to be doing what he’s doing now. He’s very competitive. One of the first guys in the building every morning. He’s doing that playing two positions. Jermaine Mathews has stepped up as well outside when Hancock is at nickel.
  • Sonny Styles continues to grow. He can do so many things. He can play the deep half, he can play the middle, and he get get into the backfield. He’s constantly meeting with the coaches. He’s a student of the game. That doesn’t just happen. It takes work and studying. He’s good with hands, leverage, all of the kinds of fundamentals that you need at multiple positions.
  • The best defenses he’s been around have had good linebackers with experience who can recognize offensive formations and diagnose plays well.
  • TreVeyon Henderson has had a good week of practice. “He’s full go.”

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