Usually I would use this space to talk about some bigger picture stuff about this year’s team, but today I’m going to shamelessly self-promote instead. The Land-Grant Holy Land podcast network is back in full swing, and we have a ton of great content coming at you daily now that football season is officially back — including my very own podcasting debut on the 2020 edition of Hangout in the Holy Land, which will release for the first time under new management on Wednesday.
In terms of Hangout in the Holy Land specifically, we will be dropping game previews each Wednesday, and then game recaps sometime over the weekend following the final whistle. If you have questions for the show, make sure you give us a follow and tweet us @HolyLandPod, and we will do our best to give you our thoughts!
With all my plugging now out of the way, let’s get to today’s headlines...
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Can Ohio State average 50 points per game in 2020?
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
The Buckeyes averaged 46.9 points per game in 2019. Can this year’s offense be even better?
Podcast: Previewing 2020 OSU season with Pick Six Previews’ Brett Ciancia
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Speaking of podcasts, Matt sat down with the great Brett Ciancia to preview the Buckeyes’ upcoming season from an outside point of view.
Ohio State set to make final push for five-star OT
(Dan Hessler, LGHL)
Ohio State’s recruits have put together their own little recruiting weekend in Columbus, and they are hoping to see one of the nation’s top remaining uncommitted O-linemen there.
Firsthand Look: Corn Nation previews Nebraska
(Tia Johnston, LGHL)
Our friends (or, this week, foes) over at Corn Nation gave us some insight into what to expect from the Cornhuskers this season.
Buckeye Clips: NFL Week 6 highlights
(Tia Johnston, LGHL)
Austin Mack makes his first NFL reception and Chase Young was the highest-graded rookie defender in this week’s action for Buckeyes in the league.
Expectations for Ryan Day in year two
(Meredith Hein, LGHL)
Ryan Day far exceeded expectations in his first season as Ohio State’s head coach in 2019, but those expectations are much bigger heading into 2020.
From around the gridiron...
We got to hear from Ryan Day and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa in their first game-week press conference of the year on Tuesday afternoon, beginning with the head coach.
Day opened up by talking about the running backs, which is a position group he feels has better depth than ever. He said he still isn’t sure exactly how the carries are going to shake out between the guys, but will look to keep everyone fresh by rotating bodies. Day also said that they originally expected Master Teague to miss the season opener against Bowling Green, but he is good to go now after the long delay.
Ryan Day on Ohio State's running backs: "We probably have more depth there than we've ever had, which is great because we're going to need it more than ever."— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) October 20, 2020
Says the tailbacks are running with their pads down recently better than before.
Day continued to stress the importance of sticking to their COVID-19 protocols. He understands that while everything looks pretty good right now, one slip up on any given week could really throw a wrench into their plans.
Ryan Day said it “would be premature” to say Ohio State in dealing with COVID-19 so far because outbreak can happen any time. Says the Buckeyes talk about it every single day because it's so important they remain vigilant. Only takes one mistake to put themselves and team at risk— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 20, 2020
Day said he is excited to finally see where his team is at against real competition. When asked about all of the new guys on defense, Day said that he likes the physicality and the leadership coming from that side of the ball, and mentioned that there are a bunch of young guys expected to fill the shoes of departed NFL talents. The linebackers, specifically, have caught his eye as one of the units that have really stood out on defense.
Day is asked about defensive players that have caught his eye. He said we’ll see in the game. He’s impressed with the linebackers as a unit.— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) October 20, 2020
While he understands the aspirations the team has for this season, Day says the focus is solely on Nebraska. You can’t get caught looking ahead to the bigger goals of a national title, as that leaves you susceptible to upsets.
Contrary to probable thoughts, @ryandaytime said "There has been no conversation" with his team about jumping into national title hunt, that "it's all about beating Nebraska." That putting the cart before the horse is not the way to start the journey.— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) October 20, 2020
We have seen the rest of the country struggle in early games this season in other conferences, but Day does not expect the Buckeyes to suffer the same poor level of play. They have kept an emphasis on the little things in practice to avoid sloppiness out of the gate.
Ryan Day doesn't expect sloppy play to start the season. “My expectation is the level of play is strong. That's why we've been practicing.” Said the Buckeyes have emphasized playing clean football and not turning the ball over.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 20, 2020
While it was expected based on how the coaches talked about him the past few weeks, Day officially named Nicholas Petit-Frere as the team’s starting right tackle, but said Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones will both play, “one way or another.” Harry Miller was also named the starting left guard.
Speaking of the offensive linemen, next up at the podium was Studrawa, who opened up praising Petit-Frere for his work this offseason getting his body in the right shape. His lauded both he and Miller’s work in the weight room to prepare for this season.
Greg Studrawa said Harry Miller's numbers in the weight room after Buckeyes came back from their time away from campus “blew the numbers away” from before the pandemic started. “His development during this time was just critical,” Studrawa said of Miller becoming the left guard.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) October 20, 2020
Even with how good last year’s offensive line was, Studrawa thinks this group could be even better.
Stuarawa said he thought last year’s #OhioState offensive line was among the best in the country. He think this year’s group could be better if they handle their business.— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) October 20, 2020
Studrawa is also incredibly pleased with the depth he has along the line, specifically naming Johnson and Dawand Jones at tackle, Matthew Jones and Enokk Vimahi at guard, and Luke Wypler at center. He was specifically impressed with Dawand Jones, whom the team tried out at guard for a little after Wyatt Davis originally opted out.
When Wyatt Davis said he was going to opt out, Greg Studrawa tried Dawand Jones out at guard. Within three practice, Studrawa said, they knew he could play on the inside.— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) October 20, 2020
"He jumped out. It was so unbelievable."
If you were worried about Ohio State losing all that talent to the draft last season — don't be.
The Buckeyes still have 14 former five-star prospects on their roster, while the rest of the Big Ten combined only has six. As The Athletic’s Ari Wasserman always says, stars matter.
From everywhere else...
Ohio State is urging people not to gather in large groups for game watch parties in order to keep down the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. The Midwest has been struggling to contain the virus in recent weeks, and the Buckeyes don't want to be the reason for another outbreak.
Speaking of the global pandemic, here is what happens when you don't take it seriously:
Ryan Day said today it would be premature to call Ohio State's COVID-19 testing a success.— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) October 20, 2020
"We might be good for two or three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, and then all of a sudden, we stub our toe and have an outbreak."
Below is such an example. https://t.co/4D4OFBfdaQ
If you know the story behind the nerf dart, this video is hilarious.
Went to breakfast with my buddy Greg this morning and brought a gift I've held onto for 13 years pic.twitter.com/EyHm07KeuZ— Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) October 20, 2020
Similar to Ohio State’s announced “Equality” helmet stickers, Penn State will be wearing a patch on their uniforms this season to symbolize the journey towards unity.