Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes

Ryan Day Radio Updates: Previewing Michigan State, Building For Big November Finish

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show on Thursday. He touched on a number of topics, including the Buckeye running game, the young defenders stepping up, the offense coming into form, the game Saturday against Michigan State, and more. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

  • Excited to be back home for what will be the latest kickoff in November history for an Ohio State home game.
  • Only had four possessions in the second half against Rutgers, but they scored on three of them. First half had some third-down failures that limited their drives. They’ve done a great job finishing games, but it would make things easier if they’d start better.
  • The secondary depth has stepped up. Jermaine Mathews, Jr. is stepping up for the defense. Malik Hartford as well. “These are two Ohio guys that know what it means to be a Buckeye.” They both came in this season expecting to play.
  • Jordan Hancock is a very hard worker. Puts in a lot of time watching film. You’re seeing him play his best football right now. They need him to continue being an impact player.
  • The patience of Kyle McCord last week with Rutgers’ two-high defense was important. The underneath stuff will keep you on schedule, and you also have to lean on the running game. You have to be disciplined when a defense is staying deep like that. You take what they give you.
  • Everybody is involved with the run game. When TreVeyon Henderson is playing, everybody has the anticipation that it can hit bit at any moment. The offense gets more confident with that possibility.
  • You try to gear your running scheme to what your OL and RBs can do.
  • Walk-on tight end Pat Gurd played last week without Cade Stover. He graded out well in that game. Gee Scott is a true tight end now. It’s a lot of hard work making that transition. You go from running routes all day as a wide receiver to blocking guys all day instead. He made a nice catch in the end zone last week.
  • TreVeyon Henderson as a pass catcher gives OSU another option. The first thing a defense looks at in the passing game is how are they going to defend the WRs, then the TEs. Then that leaves a linebacker on a RB generally, and that’s something that Henderson can take advantage of.
  • “We’ve got to be healthy here down the stretch.”
  • They have made some adjustments this week to be able to play fast Saturday night.
  • The linebackers are the glue to the front of the defense and the secondary. Whether it’s run fits or coverages. They are the go-between. “They are the ones that have to run the show.”
  • They’ll get Cade Stover back this week.
  • Do you anticipate more trick plays? Any time you deal with something like you, you have to use effort and get the ball on the ground. They would have liked to have handled the Rutgers trick play better, but OSU needed to be aggressive on that fourth down. “We’ll continue to be aggressive.” Fourth-down stops are turnovers. They are important.
  • OSU has allowed just 16 points off of their 10 turnovers this season. There are 12 situations that they evaluate after each game. Sudden changes are one of those. Third down, explosive plays, red zone are others.
  • They’ll have breakfast at the Blackwell on Saturday, then go over the Woody. Get moving around. Can’t just sit around when you have a late game. Meetings at 2:30 pm. Then team meal and you’re off and running.
  • The freshmen are excited for the first night game in Ohio Stadium for them.
  • The night game has allowed OSU to put together a great list of recruits this weekend.
  • CJ Hicks is right around the corner to getting on the field. The Buckeyes have three guys getting the bulk of the snaps right now, but Hicks is close. The more you make plays in practice, the more coaches take note.
  • Michigan State is stout up front defensively. “They’re good. They’ve created turnovers.” Good scheme. Give this staff a lot of credit. They had a coaching change and they’re still getting the players to play hard. Offensively, they are similar to the last couple of years. They run a spread but will mix up tempo. The offensive line is very good.
  • The discussions about redshirting players are tougher than others, depending on the player. The key is to have no surprises for the players themselves.
  • When the scout team gives you a good look in practice, you’re able to fix the problems quicker.
  • Calvin Simpson-Hunt got his black stripe removed. He had some great effort plays on special teams last week. “He deserved to get his black stripe off.”
  • When you’re playing special teams, you’re learning how to be a better football player. They show clips of former Buckeyes in the NFL still making plays on special teams. It stresses the importance of those roles.
  • Every day is an opportunity at Ohio State to be the next great one. They all grew up watching highlights and games of great players. He tells the players not to forget that kids are watching them today wanting to be where they are, “so don’t forget that.” They are passing along the tradition of Ohio State football.
  • It is exciting to hear the feedback from defensive recruits and their families. They talked about what it could look like a year ago and you’re seeing that now.
  • Davison Igbinosun is a competitor. “You can just see it.” He fights for the ball, he fights for calls. That’s the way he plays. The team has embraced his personality. The coaches love the competitive plays when the balls are in the air. They saw him doing that in the preseason.
  • Josh Proctor now has 100 tackles in his career. To show up like he did on that pick six “man oh man.” He puts his body on the line every play. They need him to continue to play well. Proctor avoided a targeting penalty on that play. “It’s not easy when you’re going full speed, but he did and I give him a lot of credit for that.”
  • On interception returns you have to be smart about not blocking somebody in the back or get a hold. “There was a lot of discipline there. Really smart.”
  • Tyleik Williams is a smart player. He’s done a great job with his hands and pad level, but he’s into the game. He is watching formations, positional stances of linemen, etc.
  • Have past OSU coaches have an impact with you and have you shared that with your players? Yes, you want players to know about the tradition of Ohio State. Urban Meyer, obviously. He and Jim Tressel spent a bunch of time together this summer talking. John Cooper is around a lot. He was at practice yesterday. (Note: He is also at the Tuesday press conference most weeks.)
  • He tells his players not to wait until the last game to get emotional because nothing is guaranteed.

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