Following a record-setting 77-31 victory over the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday, the Ohio State Buckeyes had a lot to be excited about, but there were also some significant questions that that will need to be answered before the Buckeyes travel to Arlington, Texas to take on No. 16 TCU.
Following his first game as a head coach, the interim HC Ryan Day an co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano met with the media on Labor Day to discuss both the good and bad that was on display in the Buckeyes’ season opener.
LIVE on OhioStateBuckeyes.com, Ryan Day and Greg Schiano address the media heading into Big Ten play against Rutgers on Saturday. #GoBucksPosted by Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday, September 3, 2018
Champions of the Game:
Offense: Dwayne Haskins, J.K. Dobbins, Isaiah Prince, Demetrius Knox, Michael Jordan, Thayer Munford, Malcolm Pridgeon, Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Austin Mack
Players of the Game: Mike Weber, Terry McLaurin
Defense: Dre’Mont Jones
Player of the Game: Nick Bosa
Special Teams Player of the Game: Justin Hilliard
First Game as a Head Coach
- He said that there were things that weren’t perfect, but that now that he’s been through it once, he knows more what to think about ahead of time.
- He said, “Anytime you do something for a second time, it becomes easier and more efficient.” He said that balancing on three aspects of the game was difficult.
- Day said that he texted Joe Burrow and his parents to tell them that he was very happy to see him perform so well in LSU’s win Sunday night.
Urban Meyer’s Return
- Day said that everything is back to normal. Meyer returned to the team Monday morning. The coaching staff had a meeting, and Meyer was meeting with players.
- He added that the coaching staff was very excited to have Meyer back, but it quickly got back to business as usual.
- He said, “So much of the coaching is done during the week,” meaning that he will just look to execute the gameplan that Meyer leads the construction of this weekend. “Once we get to the game, the decisions are almost made by the time we get there.”
- Day confirmed that Meyer will be with the team on Friday night, and that he will take over on Saturday.
- Day said that on Monday morning, Meyer said to him, “You only had to punt once, huh?”
Oregon State Recap
- He said that the humidity impacted the rotation on Saturday. Because of the heat, they were able to get a lot of different players in the game.
- Day said that he was very proud of McLaurin’s performance on Saturday. He said that the WR is one of the hardest workers on the team, and his faith in the process has paid off.
- “I was proud of him,” Day said of McLaurin. “He’s put a lot of work in and practices really hard… really happy for him.”
- He said that he doesn’t view anyone in the wide receiver room as selfish. If they go a week without a catch, they just keep working.
- After dissecting the lone interception thrown by Haskins, Day praised the quarterback’s effort to force a fumble, as well as Isaiah Prince chasing upfield to make the tackle. “To see 59 running down the field to make that play was amazing.”
- Day said that how the offense uses Tate Martell will change depending on the opposing defense, but they definitely want to get him in the game.
- Discussing the tempo and rhythm Haskins had throwing, Day said, “The ball comes out of his hand quick as you can see. He’s a rhythm passer.”
- He added that most of the offense’s passes were intermediate in nature, because of what the defense was giving them, and that long incomplete passes can slow down the tempo that the offense wants to play with.
- Day said that Demario McCall is a guy in the middle of a very deep position group. He said that he had a great return, and anytime a guy can put that film, it gives the coaches more to analyze. Day also mentioned that McCall kept the ball high and tight.
- On playing both Weber and Dobbins, Day said, “I keep saying, it’s a two-headed monster. Sometimes, it’s the way the play’s blocked. Mike made those plays count and made those safeties miss. But J.K. played well as well. So we’ll continue with that rotation.”
- Speaking of wide receiver Chris Olave, Day talked about recruiting him, and said that the coaching staff knew that when he arrived on campus that he was special. Day said that we will see Olave have an impact at some point this season.
- Day said that Matthew Baldwin is getting closer to being available, Chris Chugunov is still learning the offense, and Kory Curtis was the third-team QB throughout the spring. They will be able to determine a permanent third-string quarterback in the coming weeks.
- He said that Jordan Fuller was a game-time decision, and they felt that it was better to hold him out. He will continue to get treatment throughout the week.
Oregon State Recap
- Schiano said that there was a lot of good stuff on film, so he wasn’t disappointed in his defense, but he was disappointed on a handful of plays.
- He said that with 82 percent of Oregon State’s production coming from seven plays, the breakdowns on those plays is unacceptable.
- Schiano added though that there was a lot of good from Week 1, especially in getting young guys some opportunities.
- “We got to play a ton of people,” Schiano said. “We have a young group and four to five of those guys, that was their first significant action. We need to improve, that’s for sure. That’s not what we want to be out there. But the opportunity is there.”
- He said that the defense needs to work on angles in tackling, and that they gave up too many big plays. “You don’t live too long as a good defense if you’re giving up 80-yard plays.”
- Schiano added, “Anytime you miss any tackles... we really need to work on our angle of entries. We had two DPIs called on us. We gave up two many big plays.”
- He said that he anticipates screens will be a big part of how opposing offenses attack the OSU defense, especially because of the strength of their defensive line. “On some of those screens, we didn’t exactly do what we wanted done.”
- Schiano said that he thought that the secondary did a good job with adjustments, but that missing Fuller was like missing an “insurance policy.”
- He said of Fuller, “I like our odds with him. He’s an experienced player who’s one of the best in the country.”
- The DCor said that Dre’Mont Jones and Nick Bosa played “off the charts.”
- Schiano said that he thought that Pete Werner played very well at linebacker. “Bright future for him. We’re looking forward to see him getting better and better.”
- He added that there were good things from Jahsen Wint and Isaiah Pryor, but that they need to improve. Getting Fuller back on the field will help.
- He said that they might work with a rotation larger than their traditional three, getting Shaun Wade in the game.
- Schiano said that they talked on Monday about not having the Nickle look be the top three cornerbacks, but rather bring in another guy to give him a defined responsibility to work on.
- Schiano said that he thinks that they have more than three linebackers that should play, and he anticipates Baron Browning and Borland both playing when Borland is 100 percent.
- Schiano said that they hope to get Fuller back for Rutgers.
- He said that Tuf Borland got to his 10-play “pitch count,” so they look for that to increase this week after discussing with the team’s training staff throughout the week. He said that Borland hasn’t had any setbacks throughout his recovery.
- He also adds that Dante Booker recovering from injury and Justin Hilliard playing at a high level should impact playing time throughout the season.
- Speaking of Rutgers’ QB Artur Sitkowski, “He is a big, strong-armed, dropback passer with good mobility. He’s not a stiff back there. So you have to be able to have ways to get him down when he does move.”
- Schiano said that he had a connection with Dwayne Haskins back in his days at the Rutgers head coach. “I remember he was in our little-guys camp and so were my twins. Said Haskins was a receiver and talk was “no one can cover him.”
- In speaking of Rutgers improving as a program, “The more competitive teams you have, the better the league.”
- Schiano added that “Iron sharpens iron,” and that playing good teams week-in and week-out only improves your team.
- He said that when he was the head coach at Rutgers, he always thought that the school should be in the Big Ten.
- Schiano said that they have improved with Chris Ash at the helm. “They’re better. They’re a much better team.”
The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Land-Grant Holy Land will have you covered throughout the week with all of the information that you’ll need to get ready for the game, and some that you likely won’t.