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Ryan Day explains his coaching philosophy for when adversity strikes

And yes, he’s as nice as you think he is

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“I want these guys to play free, I want them to play without anything in the back of their mind telling them to have that anxiety. You have got to go and play with confidence. Now, if something is wrong or something doesn’t go right and they make a mistake, then that’s part of the game. If guys are doing something that they’ve been told not to do and they’re being defiant and being lazy, now we have an issue. If it’s an effort issue, now there is going to be a closed-door meeting.”

-Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on when he believes is the right time to send a message to players via Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com

Ryan Day got his first game as official head coach over and done with. Yet, here we are, still questioning his coaching ability and philosophy. The question of the week, you ask? Can Ryan Day be tough enough when adversity strikes?

A valid question, considering adversity didn’t really strike last week against Florida Atlantic. However, it’s very likely it will make an appearance this Saturday against Cincinnati, and when it does, can Ryan Day demand what he needs from his players and staff?

“It’s not when you’re winning by four touchdowns against FAU. You’ll be measured when adversity strikes, and you don’t know until you know. However, I can’t have more confidence in anyone I’ve ever worked with than Ryan to navigate that, ”Urban Meyer told Lesmerises of Cleveland.com.

Meyer is known for his ability to overcome adversity. He’s also known as being one of the toughest coaches in college football, right next door to Nick Saban.

However, Day has a different philosophy on how he’ll measure up when trouble arises. Instead of focusing on the negatives, he plans to focus on the positives. He’ll reward the guys who made plays and played with energy and he’ll “build upon” the guys who didn’t play up to his standard.

That’s not to say Day won’t be tough, however. “Toughness” was his mantra for the team all preseason, and if it come’s down to it, he’ll send a message. He’s done it before, he said, and JT Barrett and Dwayne Haskins can attest to it.


Ohio State Football released their official game day trailer on Twitter. Watch, get goosebumps, punch a wall, etc. You know the drill.


“I committed on the spot,” Burrow said. “I owe a lot to Coach Herman. He was really the only coach from big-time programs that had any faith in me. There are a lot of people within the program there that didn’t really feel like taking me.”

-Louisiana State quarterback/former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow via Shea Dickson, 247 Sports

Texas vs. LSU is arguably the best matchup on Saturday, and Texas’ head coach Tom Herman recruited LSU’s quarterback Joe Burrow. Let me digress.

Burrow always had athletic aspirations. First it was baseball, then he was going to be the next Matthew Dellavedova. Somewhere down the road however, he decided on football, and the Athens, Ohio native was certain he’d play for Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes.

Burrow knew if he wanted an offer from Meyer, he’d have to impress Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman.

So, that’s what he did. In his second season as starting quarterback at Athens High, Burrow passed for 3,732 yards and 47 touchdowns, and he rushed for 589 yards and nine touchdowns. After his team fell to Marion-Franklin in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs, the junior quarterback was named Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Herman just finished his second season at Ohio State, and he was tasked with finding Ohio State’s next quarterback. Herman watched Burrow’s film and flew out to Athens to watch him in person.

“(Herman) kind of fell in love with me that day,” Burrow told Dickson of 247 Sports. “He went back to Columbus and kind of stood on the table for me.”

After a lot of convincing, Herman got Meyer on board, and on the last day of his junior year of high school, in May 2014, Burrow got the phone call. He was going to be an Ohio State Buckeye.

Burrow said he “owes a lot to Coach Herman.”

Herman would never actually coach Burrow, though. Because, a month before the quarterback’s signing day, Herman accepted a head coaching job at the University of Houston. He’d last two years at Houston, before accepting his current head coaching job at Texas.

Fast forward to today. Burrow graduated from Ohio State, and after a quarterback battle with Dwayne Haskins, decided to transfer to LSU. He won the starting quarterback job, and has been breaking school records ever since.

Burrow is now preparing for his second game of his second season at LSU on Saturday. They’re headed to Texas to face the Longhorns, led by the man who he “owes” for his success.

While there’s no hard feelings between the two— Herman fought for Burrow’s recruitment, after all— a lot rides on this matchup for both teams. If Burrow and the Tigers walk away with the W, Herman may be cursing the day he took that flight to Athens.


The opposing in-state team wearing Buckeye gear. Classic.