Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach

Ryan Day Discusses Health Of QBs, Running Game Improvement, Defense

COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters early Tuesday afternoon for his weekly question-and-answer session. He was asked about a number of topics, including his quarterbacks, the defense, and a handful of player-specific queries. Everything that was said can be found in the highlights below.

  • The offensive line took a step this week. “Where we go from here we’ll see.” TreVeyon Henderson ran hard, the line got better movement, they got off the ball quickly.
  • This time of year you want to be enhancing the things you do well and improving the things you don’t do as well.
  • TreVeyon Henderson gives them the ability to hit home runs. Having him in there makes the offense much different. “We always have to find ways to get Trey the ball.” That was a healthy number of touches for him last week. They worked hard to get his wind up.
  • They’re expecting Emeka Egbuka to practice this week. He was available to play but they held him out against Wisconsin. “He was ready and he was working hard.” He’s had a great attitude as he’s been fighting to get back on the field.
  • What does TreVeyon Henderson give you in the passing game? You’re trying to space it out against zone and win it against man-to-man. All of the RBs do well out of the backfield, but he’s explosive when he’s out there.
  • How can a lower-body injury impact you as a passer? Everybody has bumps and bruises. There’s a difference between being hurt and injured. Kyle McCord showed toughness against Wisconsin. That’s what happens in November. He’s not the only one.
  • What have you learned about November in past years? Every week you have something that comes up that needs to be addressed. You have to get problems fixed. They want to be playing their best football in November.
  • Devin Brown is expected to practice in some capacity today.
  • Emeka Egbuka is a warrior. He’s tough, he does a lot of things for them. That being said, Xavier Johnson has stepped up in his absence. Having Egbuka back does open a lot of things for them. But a bunch of guys have stepped up in his absence.
  • Kyle McCord had a lot of pluses in the Wisconsin game. The hard thing is that one play can ruin your whole day. He had some plays that hurt them, and he knows that. They need to eliminate the mistakes.
  • Are quarterbacks allowed to “just have a bad day?” No. Nobody is allowed to have a bad day at Ohio State. On your bad days, at the very least you have to be average, if not better than that. Playing quarterback is a lot like playing golf in that your next play can be impacted by your last, and the next play can ruin everything you’ve done up to that point. He’s told his QBs to play golf because they learn to manage the round, just like you have to manage the game.
  • Kyle McCord was able to move on from a rough first half and have a great second half. That’s a positive note when you can move on from a bad half or bad play. “I thought that was good in terms of his resilience.”
  • They drew up several plays for Cade Stover against Wisconsin, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out for targets. He’s an unbelievable leader. Gee Scott is the No. 2 tight end right now. After him, there’s a bunch of inexperience. They’d like to get the other guys in the game this week if possible.
  • Did you see anything from McCord that surprised you? When you have a couple of bad drives, you sometimes get your back up against a wall, but he responded, so that’s a positive. He was banged up and he fought through it, so that’s encouraging.
  • There is a comfort level for Kyle McCord when Marvin Harrison is out there with him. But it’s not just Harrison. There are other guys who are dependable catching passes as well.
  • The focus won’t be on the polls, it will be on winning out.
  • What’s the biggest concern about going to Rutgers this week? Any time you go on the road in the Big Ten in November, you’ve got to bring it. They’re playing well on both sides of the ball. They’ve got a great identity. They’ll challenge you in all three phases. They are creative in a lot of ways, certainly in special teams. They need to have a plan for that. They’ll challenge their veteran guys to be ready.
  • The Rutgers defense is a combination of good players and good scheme. The talent has been upgraded. They play complementary football.
  • Davison Igbinosun has been a great addition to this program. His competitiveness, he’s a pro.
  • They don’t have a definitive timeline on Lathan Ransom, but they’ll know more later in the week.
  • The defense has been in control of the game the last couple of weeks, which has informed him on how to approach offensive situations. Sometimes a field goal is a winning play. Just depends on how the game is going.
  • Do they manage Kyle McCord’s practice snaps differently with him dealing with an injury? You always keep an eye on those things, but you have to go out and win every game regardless.
  • Rutgers does a good job of controlling the ball on offense and playing good defense.
  • The conversations with Kyle McCord in game about his ankle were just that McCord was telling him he was fine to play.
  • How much have they talked with Kyle McCord about throwing the ball away? You talk about it all the time. They talk about why they are calling the play, where is it designed, where is the outlet, what is your plan when it breaks down? “We just always talk about having a plan. Constantly going through what may happen on this play. For the most part, I think he’s done a good job at that.” But as coaches they also need to put him in the best positions to be successful.
  • Is there a reason for the intentional grounding penalties? It comes down to not putting him in those situations, but also having a plan for when he is in those situations.
  • How do you get other receivers involved? Continue to find ways to get guys open and push that envelope. They were also running the ball well so there were fewer throws going around last week. Plus a few grounding calls that were designed for guys.
  • Is there enough progress with the offensive line? A bad snap eliminated a big play on the second snap of the game. The blocking on the perimeter was excellent on Saturday.
  • Miyan Williams is out for the year. “Feel really bad for Miyan that he’s not going to be able to play. He had a procedure done. That’s a big hit for that room and the team.” Not an ACL.
  • The plan is to redshirt Lorenzo Styles, Jr. this year. He has one more game to play to get to his four-game limit. They want him to learn the position and get better.
  • Xavier Johnson can run all of the run plays for the Buckeyes. He’s very good at the jet sweeps. The 49ers have made it popular. It takes a guy who has some running back skills who can cut it up and find his way through the mess.
  • Explain the pressure that you’re feeling right now with an 8-0 team while you’re answering questions about things that could be better? “That’s the job. You try to take it one day at a time.” But ultimately it’s about the players. “To have an impact on young people.” Along the way you’re very competitive. That’s why you come to a place like Ohio State, but you have to stay focus on what really matters — and that’s the players. “That’s why you get into coaching.” “When you think about that, there is no pressure.”
  • Is there a sense that the running game is coming along? “We took a step in the right direction. But that was one game. We know where it needs to be to have the balance to win a championship.”
  • He tells his QBs all the time to find the speed of the game. You want to be fast, but you don’t want to be sped up. That’s where your feet have to transfer from practice to the game. When Kyle McCord is trusting his feet, that’s when he’s playing his best ball.
  • Is it tough for a QB to trust his feet when one of them is injured? Everybody is banged up this year. As Coach Mick says, “Nobody cares.”
  • The goal on offense is to score as many points as you can. That hasn’t changed. If they would have taken care of the ball better, maybe they would be scoring in the 40s more often. They’re not going to stop fighting to be the best offense in the country.
  • The feedback he’s getting from Kyle McCord is really accurate on what he’s seeing. “He’s seeing it great.” He’s giving good information to the coaches on what he’s seeing. There have been times where Day didn’t necessarily agree with the feedback, then he’d go and watch the film and see that McCord was correct, “so that’s really encouraging.”

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