Ryan Day

Ryan Day Talks November Potential, Provides Updates On Buckeyes

COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters for his weekly Tuesday question-and-answer session. He looked back a bit on Saturday’s win over Michigan State, previewed this weekend’s game against Minnesota, and answered a number of questions about the Buckeyes overall. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • Is it normal for an identity to take this long? “I think our team has had an identity from the get go.” The offense is starting to form that identity more and more right now. You can see the combination of the run game and the ball on the perimeter. Guys are getting healthy now as well.
  • Is Donovan Jackson playing his best ball right now? “Yeah, I think so. He’s graded a champion here the last couple of weeks.” You have to be able to run and pass, and he helps make that happen. He’s had two new guys around him, which can take some time to get used to.
  • What does the split-back set with Xavier Johnson and Chip Trayanum give you? Those guys can do multiple things. Any time you see it, it can bring a lot of different variables to the table. That’s not the only formation. Everybody is getting involved in touches right now. Receivers carrying the ball, TreVeyon Henderson catching the ball. Xavier Johnson is a mismatch in a lot of different areas. That’s the job of coaches, to find those mismatches. It comes down to blocking and tackling, but finding mismatches definitely helps.
  • What about Kyle McCord stood out as a recruit? His production on the field, his size, arm strength, leadership, intelligence. He was the first commit in the class and then brought a lot of guys with him.
  • Every time Kyle McCord is out there he gains confidence. He’s finding the speed of the game better than he did earlier in the season. Was also great to get a two-minute drive at the end of the first half on Saturday.
  • Devin Brown is alright. Just a bit of a setback in warmups. Hope to see him get back on the field this week “and survive warmups.”
  • In the couple of snaps that Lincoln Kienholz had, the game didn’t look to big for him. Day gave him an earful on one snap and he liked Kienholz’s answer.
  • There is a chance that Lathan Ransom could be back this year but not likely in the next couple of weeks. No update on Mike Hall right now.
  • Are you seeing what you need from Emeka Egbuka? “He’s getting stronger and stronger each week.” They decided to hold him out in the second half. He feels better this week than he did last week “and that’s the goal.” He’s one of the best receivers in the country and his production proves it. The offense improves when he’s in there.
  • Why did you give Matt Jones some snaps at center this weekend? It was a good time to give him some looks at it and get Enokk Vimahi in the game too. It gave them an opportunity to see if they need to make a change at that position what it would look like.
  • Carson Hinzman is the youngest lineman in the lineup. He’s made a bunch of progress, but he’s young. He’s handled some difficult environments this year. “We think that’s got a very bright future ahead of him.” Every time he’s out there, it’s an investment in his future.
  • Right now they will continue to move forward with the same starting five on the offensive line. They evaluate it each week.
  • Senior Day is coming up. A good portion of them were here when Day became the head coach. They mean a lot to him. He tells the team all the time not to wait for their last game to be emotional about playing at Ohio State.
  • Is the offense playing its best right now? They’ve got a lot of weapons and they’re starting to use them more and more now that they’re healthy.
  • Sonny Styles has versatility but it’s important for everybody else to step up without Lathan Ransom as well. They don’t want to overload Styles “but he can do a lot.”
  • The first coaching point for Jelani Thurman is to make sure he gets a first down before signaling that he got a first down. He has a very bright future ahead of him. He’s got great hands. He understands that tight end is a developmental position.
  • Expecting Tommy Eichenberg and Josh Proctor to have good weeks of practice.
  • If a senior walks on Senior Day but they still have eligibility they can come back if they want.
  • “I think (Marvin Harrison) is the most outstanding player in the country.” His work ethic has transcended through the whole team. He wants to be great and his actions back that up.
  • What do you want to see on Saturday? “Continuing to build on confidence.” The first goal was to win the first game. The second was to win the next 10. Minnesota is well coached. They play hard and have a good culture. It’s a November Big Ten game so they have to be on point right now.
  • What kind of quarterback attitude do you prefer? Every quarterback has to carry different clubs in their bad. Sometimes you have to have composure, sometimes you have to bark, sometimes you have to put your arm around a guy. You have to be yourself but you have to handle different people differently as a leader.
  • Since they entered November, they knew they wanted to play their best this month. The urgency needs to be at an all-time high right now. “We need to be better than anybody else in the country.”
  • Josh Simmons is certainly progressing. You can see the talent. There are some unbelievable clips. Feet, power, hands, it’s all there. It comes together more each week. The game is slowing down. “He can be as good as he wants to be.”
  • When you start to get ahead of yourselves you lose focus on what’s right now. You can only maximize what’s happening right now.
  • Young players who flashed? Jermaine Mathews did well on defense and special teams. Jelani Thurman, Lincoln Kienholz both did well. Malik Hartford graded out a champion as a starter.
  • Are you America’s team? “That’s a good question.” Each team has its own identity, dynamics, and journey. “So here we are in November.” Coming to work every day with these guys, this is a great team to be around. “Great guys.” It’s about the guys on the team. They put the work in and “we’re gonna do it again this week.”
  • What’s it like to have a full menu on offense right now? “You have to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your team to win the game.” Because you can sometimes get yourself out of rhythm trying to use everything without the proper plan. You want to be aggressive and attacking, but you have to do what’s best for the team.
  • What’s keeping you up at night right now? You have to work at all of it. Constantly do everything you can to maximize your results.

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