It is only Tuesday, but hopefully you are already halfway through a short work week with Thanksgiving just a few days away. While the festivities will look a lot different this year for most people with everything going on, we can all be thankful for Ohio State football. The Buckeyes remain undefeated on the year, and in the face of a global pandemic, every weekend they take the field at all should be looked at as a treat.
There is lots to discuss today, as Ryan Day held what will be his only press conference of the holiday week on Tuesday morning. He, alongside Kerry Coombs and a handful of players, further discussed the Indiana game as well as previewed the upcoming matchup with Illinois.
Without further ado, let’s get to all of today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
BOOOOOM! Five-star WR Caleb Burton commits to Ohio State
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
ICYMI, Brian Hartline continues to put on an absolute clinic on the recruiting trail, as the Buckeyes hauled in their second five-star prospect from Texas in the last week.
Pair of five-star corners list Ohio State in top schools
(Dan Hessler, LGHL)
The good recruiting news for Ohio State didn’t stop their, as they have made the short list for a pair of the nation’s top corners in 2022.
Buckeye Clips: NFL Week 11 highlights
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
Catch all the action from your favorite former Buckeyes this past weekend in the NFL.
Podcast: Alex Kirshner calms OSU fans following Indiana game
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Ohio State fans need to be talked off the ledge after a victory over a top-10 opponent.
Column: Looking back at five key factors vs. Indiana
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Matt nailed the five key aspects of the game against the Hoosiers.
Podcast: Chris Holtmann, Kevin McGuff preview OSU basketball seasons
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Basketball season has arrived. Hear from Ohio State’s men’s and women's coaches as they preview their respective 2020-21 campaigns.
From around the gridiron...
The head coach was the first man up to the podium on Tuesday, and he began his time talking about some of the issues that have plagued the team thus far. He says that while there are guys who are playing very well for Ohio State right now, this week is about focusing on the things that are holding them back.
Day said the glaring issue defensively is the big plays, and Ohio State’s defense is designed to avoid big plays. “We have to get a couple things changed."— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) November 24, 2020
Day admits he would have liked to get more backups into the game at this point in the season, but the Buckeyes’ inability to close out games has prevented that from happening. He did not rule out a personnel change if one needs to be made.
Ryan Day said Ohio State will explore this week whether there are different combinations of players that could work better in the secondary.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 24, 2020
Justin Fields was not at his best on Saturday, but Day thinks a little adversity will be good for his quarterback to learn from. However, he doesn’t want to see any unforced mistakes like some of the ones against Indiana.
Day called #OhioState quarterback Justin Fields his own biggest critic. He said Fields forced plays at times on Saturday. Day admitted that, for Fields’ growth, adversity is a good thing.— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) November 24, 2020
There is obviously some concern with players going home to see their families for Thanksgiving with the virus currently at its peak across the country, so Day is asking the players to stay in Columbus if possible.
Ryan Day said he knows this week is hard on his players and their families since they can't be together on Thanksgiving, but “They've sacrificed so much to get here,” so they're asking players to stay in Columbus to avoid increasing their risk of contracting COVID-19.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 24, 2020
Day is not ready to compare this year’s defense to 2018’s, and I agree — for now.
Asked about the comparisons between this year's defense and Ohio State's 2018 defense, Ryan Day said he thinks the big difference this year is that all the major issues have been in the passing game, whereas the Buckeyes had issues against both the pass and run in 2018.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 24, 2020
Apparently Day beating TTUN by 100 every year is a personal vendetta.
Day said he believes he once threw five interceptions in a game against Northeastern when Don Brown was the defensive coordinator. He said you don’t forget those games but you have stay aggressive and you have to play through those experiences.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) November 24, 2020
Day finished his time talking about how he was upset that the referees missed a blatant targeting call against Justin Fields on the 4th-and-1 play late in the game. This was the play he was talking about, and you can see he is clearly right.
Kerry Coombs was up next, and he was obviously asked a ton of questions about Ohio State’s struggling pass defense. He agrees with Day that most if it is execution based, but says the team must get better at eliminating big plays. He would also like to play more defensive backs as the year goes on.
Coombs said he thinks he needs to do everything better. He said everything you see on the field is what that player has been taught, so he has to fix the mistakes in the secondary and “that’s something I didn’t get coached well enough."— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) November 24, 2020
Coombs says it is harder to sub in an inexperienced corner compared to a linebacker or defensive lineman, as one slip up in man coverage can lead to an easy touchdown.
Coombs said it’s easier to substitute an inexperienced interior defensive lineman than a cornerback on an island. He said the #Buckeyes would like to do that more and are practicing with a lot of depth but aren’t playing much right now.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) November 24, 2020
Next came a long list of players up to the podium, beginning with Jonathon Cooper. The defensive end says Ohio State is getting good pressure on opposing QBs, but they need to get their sack numbers up.
Like Day, Cooper also doesn’t feel like this defense is as bad as what happened in 2018.
Defensive end Jonathon Cooper on Ohio State's defensive struggles in the second half against Indiana: "I wouldn't say it felt like 2018. This is a completely different team. Completely different coaching."— Joey Kaufman (@joeyrkaufman) November 24, 2020
We got to hear from freshman OT Paris Johnson Jr. next, who got to talk about his new charity foundation. He also talked about what it has been like as a first-year guy. He says his teammates have already become like family to him.
Johnson said he’s learning all over again this year. He said he learned to play offensive line in high school but his mistakes at Ohio State have helped him improve.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) November 24, 2020
Tuf Borland was the next man up, and he too believes that Ohio State’s mistakes on defense are correctable. He stresses that it isn’t the fault of one player, and that the defense as a whole must get better as a unit.
Tuf Borland on the pass defense's struggles: “The one thing we can't do is point fingers.” Said everything is collective, and everyone needs to find ways to get better.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 24, 2020
Fellow linebacker Pete Werner spoke right after him, and he emphasized that the defense must put up a better showing, especially in second halves. He likes his position switch to the inside this year, and feels that he is playing at a high level.
#OhioState linebacker Pete Werner said he likes paying in the middle more this year and the opportunity to blitz more. “I like to blitz. I think I’m pretty effective doing that."— Bucknuts (@Bucknuts247) November 24, 2020
Then it was Josh Myer’s time at the mic, and he says he felt like Ohio State handled Indiana’s blitzes pretty well considering how frequently they came at them. He says his grandmother went through an entire box of tissues watching him wear No. 50 in honor of his late grandfather.
Chris Olave was the last man to speak on Tuesday, and he is not worried about his quarterback. You shouldn't be either.
Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave said there is still confidence in quarterback Justin Fields despite the interceptions. He believes Fields will bounce back just fine.— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) November 24, 2020
Ohio State’s uniforms for this weekend are icy — pun intended.
From around the hardwood...
It appears Ohio State has added one final game to its non-conference basketball schedule, with a matchup against Cleveland State set for Dec. 13. The hoops team opens up their season tomorrow afternoon against Illinois State.
Big Ten Network just announced what looks like a 27th game for OSU basketball, Dec. 13 at home vs. instate foe Cleveland State— Steve Helwagen (@SteveHelwagen) November 24, 2020
Unfortunately, the women’s team will not get to tip their season off on Wednesday as well, as their game against Akron has been cancelled because of COVID-19.