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Ryan Day working to keep his team focused, block out the noise

It can be easy to let the foot off the gas when everyone already thinks you’re No. 1

Wisconsin v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“Of course it’s important to stay focused right now. If they’re reading the hype, if they’re reading all that stuff, then they’re more foolish than I thought they would be. I don’t think our guys are going to do that.”

- Ryan Day at his Tuesday presser via Doug Lesmerises,

As Uncle Ben taught us all, with great power comes great responsibility. Despite their No. 3 ranking in the AP Poll, a good portion of those in the college football world believe the Buckeyes are actually the best team in the nation. Not many expected Ryan Day to compete for a national title in his first year as the coach at Ohio State, but after a dominant 8-0 start to his inaugural season, the hype surrounding his team is at an all-time high — as is the responsibility to keep his guys focused on the task at hand.

It could be very easy for the Bucks to take their foot off the gas a bit in the coming weeks, especially with the off week followed by matchups against a 3-5 Maryland squad and a paltry 2-6 Rutgers team. Ohio State, however, should know better than anyone what happens when you don't take a lesser opponent seriously, and with the target on its back bigger than ever this season, the head coach must make sure his unit does not tread lightly.

Day is confident that his guys are not reading too much into the hype, and are instead continuing to work on getting better each day. The first-year headman explained at his Tuesday presser that the same people saying OSU is the best team in the nation now are the ones that picked them to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten East. Day said that what the analysts thought did not matter to the team then, and that it should continue to not matter now.

“I think all it means is that you have a lot more to lose if you let it get away from you. That’s it. And the more this builds, the more we have to lose,” Day said. “[...] we also know that we’ve got a bigger bull’s-eye on our chest week in and week out. We have to work harder and harder and we’re more and more invested every week.”

Joey Bosa joined the Rich Eisen show on Tuesday to talk about his team’s win over the Chicago Bears, his upcoming matchup with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, and of course his brother Nick Bosa’s flag-plant celebration against Baker Mayfield and the Browns a few weeks ago.

“That was awesome,” said the elder Bosa of his brother’s sack celly, which was of course in reference to Mayfield planting the Oklahoma Sooners flag in Ohio Stadium back in 2017. Nick Bosa is having a tremendous first season in the NFL, and Joey said he is not at all surprised at how his brother has been performing, saying he expected it.

“I’ve never seen anybody like him. Just the way he plays. He’s ready.”

Ohio State senior safety Jordan Fuller has been named a finalist for the 2019 William V. Campbell Trophy. Nicknamed the “academic Heisman,” the award is given to the nation’s best football-scholar athlete based on combined academic success, football performance and leadership.

The two-time captain has excelled for the Buckeyes both on and off the field. He currently holds a 3.6 GPA in business marketing, and is expected to graduate this December. As only the 14th two-time captain in program history, Fuller leads the team in tackles with 41. He has also already recorded two interceptions this season, tying a career-high.

Fuller and the other 11 finalists with receive an $18,000 post-grad scholarship as a member of the 2019 NFF National-Scholar Athlete Class, with the winner of the 30th iteration of the award having their scholarship upped to $25,000.

“The most dominant college football player on one of the nation’s best teams is a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end. Although the Heisman Trophy is typically reserved for players who score touchdowns, rather than those who prevent them, Ohio State’s Chase Young has made a strong case for front-runner status.”

- Josh Planos, FiveThirtyEight

Here at LGHL, we will continue to shout ‘Chase Young for Heisman’ from the rooftops until we speak it into reality. With 13.5 sacks on the season, the junior defensive end has 3.5 more than any player in the country. He is second in the nation in forced fumbles (5), he’s tied for the lead in tackles for loss (15.5) and tied for second in disrupted QB drop backs (14.5). The edge rusher has lined up at linebacker and even played coverage against tight ends as his skillset and versatility has set the table for a dominant Ohio State defense.

Young has completely changed what the Buckeyes are able to do on that side of the ball, as it has allowed the team to shy away from the blitz and play tight man coverage. Only 11 Power Five teams have blitzed less than OSU, yet only Pittsburgh has recored more sacks. He is nothing short of a complete game-changer, and despite being a pure defensive player — which has never won the Heisman Trophy — should get serious consideration to be in New York at season’s end.

I mean, just LOOK at this graph:

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