Following a hard-fought Big Ten East showdown with the always dangerous Michigan State Spartans, the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes are settling into their first bye week of the season. On Tuesday, head coach Ryan Day addressed the media to put a bow on the 34-10 victory over MSU and to look forward to the second half of the regular season.
Check out the video of the press conference here:
Ryan Day Press Conference: on a bye, the Buckeyes start preparing for the second half of the season, presented by OSUCCC-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute #GoBucksPosted by Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Offensive Champions: Master Teague, Luke Farrell, Austin Mack, Jonah Jackson, Josh Myers
Players of the Game: J.K. Dobbins, Thayer Munford
Defensive Champions: Chase Young, Davon Hamilton, Robert Landers, Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Malik Harrison, Jordan Fuller
Players of the Game: Jashon Cornell, Shaun Wade
Special Teams Player of the Game: Chris Olave, Drue Chrisman
Scout Team Players of the Week: Alex Williams, Ryan Batsch, Xavier Johnson, Enokk Vimahi
Reviewing Michigan State
- Day said that they need the bye week following a physical game against Sparty. “We’re a little battered, but that’s what happens six weeks in.”
- The coach noted that they learned a lot about the offensive line. He said that they didn’t give in when they got punched in the mouth, and they ended up playing great against an elite defensive line. “To run for over 300 yards on that outfit is saying something.”
- Day said that during the bye week, the focus in on self-evaluation and self-improvement, both on and off the field.
- Coaches are working with each player to give them tangible things to improve upon for the rest of the season.
- When asked, Day said that they do look at advanced analytics, especially for opponents. However, he said that it is just a part of the formula, since teams will often change tendencies from week to week.
- Day said that his preseason plan to stay out of the defensive gameplan. He obviously stays involved in the planning, but he lets the defensive coaches run their side of the ball. He said that “too many cooks in the kitchen” can make things worse.
- Day said, “The first goal was to get 6-0... It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the next one.”
- Discussing Dobbins’ long run, Day praises the entire offense, “To hit a big play like that, all 11 have to do great.”
- When asked, Day said that the team’s chemistry and toughness has been incredibly important in the season’s first six games. He specifically praised “the quarterback” for how he took hits. Day said that that mentality translates to the rest of the team.
- Of Justin Fields, he said, “He’s a talent. He’s a load. It’s not like he’s skinny or going to take too many shots. He actually delivers the blow on some guys.”
- He said that he didn’t really know what to expect from Fields in terms of leadership and toughness, because he didn’t see him play in high school, and they don’t hit during practice. However, especially against MSU, Day said that those qualities are evident, “To be able to take a shot like that and then come right back, there’s a grittiness there.”
- Day added of Fields, “When you’re preaching toughness and your quarterback takes a shot in the face… that just goes to show you what this kid is made of.”
- Day talked about the unusual situation of Brendon White adapting to the bullet position. He says that he is improving and getting more comfortable in the position, and he is definitely part of the defensive plans.
- The coach said that along with White, Jashen Wint, Pete Werner, and Justin Hilliard are all essentially playing the same position.
- Day said that Luke Farrell has done a lot for the team, not only this year, but in 2018 as well. He said that the tight end does everything well that the team needs from the position. He said that the touchdown he had against Michigan State was well deserved.
- He said, “He’s not a guy who takes a lot of maintenance. You tell him something once and he gets it.”
- Day praised Shaun Wade as being incredibly valuable covering slot receivers, coming up in run support, protecting against screens and more.
- In reference to Rutgers transfer Jonah Jackson, Day said, “Jonah is as close to a man and a pro as I’ve been around in quite some time.”
- He praised how the graduate transfer has adjusted to the locker room.
- Day said that he thinks that the special teams have been solid, but there is room for improvement in the return game.
- Day said that having great recruiting talent in Ohio is “huge for us.” He said that their plan is for the state of Ohio to be the base for the program, then to move out to the rest of the midwest, and supplement national players as well.
- In terms of the percentage of players in each recruiting class from the state of Ohio, Day said that it depends on the year and the talent available, but it is about finding the players that fit at Ohio State, and players from Ohio have a leg up, because they understand what the program is all about.
- He said, “Ideally, you’d have as many Ohio guys as you can have.”
- Day said that he loves it at Ohio State, he hopes to be here for five, 10, or 20 years, so he isn’t interested in commenting on NFL opportunities. He said, “I love it here... I don’t want to ever talk about that stuff. I love it here and this is where I want to be.”
- When asked, Day said that he hasn’t spoken to Dwayne Haskins since the preseason, but that he’s going to be fine.
- Day said that he knew that the life of an NFL coach hasn’t for him when he had to move three times in three years. He said that’s not what he and his wife want for their family, and that he said, “Never again.”
Following their bye week, the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes will return to the field on Friday, Oct. 18 against the Northwestern Wildcats. The game will be broadcast on FS1.