COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters immediately following the Buckeyes’ home opening win vs Youngstown State on Saturday. Day was followed at the podium by receiver Emeka Egbuka and quarterback Kyle McCord.
Here are the highlights of what was said. You can also watch the full press conferences below.
+ On the quarterbacks, Day said McCord had poise and he was feeling that. Brown was anxious early on but calmed down and his talent showed. McCord was efficient overall. They will evaluate over the weekend after watching the film. Day is not ready to name McCord ‘the’ starter. He found Harrison Jr. and hit the play action. “I liked how we came out of the gates playing well.”
+ On the offensive line, Day said it is still a work in progress. They have a sense of urgency and want it to get fixed now. They are looking for effort and execution.
+ On McCord’s ability to see the field, Day said the more he plays he gets, the better he sees it. C.J. Stroud struggled seeing it in his first game at Minnesota. Dwayne Haskins saw it well early on but it took Justin Fields a while and he relied on his athleticism until he got there. “We won’t know the answer to that until we get a few more games in.”
+ “We’re not used to having nine possessions and 60 plays.” YSU came in with a good game plan to milk the clock, run it down, and limit Ohio State’s possessions — especially with the clock rule changes in college football.
+ Marvin Harrison Jr.’s two plays early on were “a deep breath.” They were targeting him a lot. It was good to get him his touches and targets, they tried last week but it was taken away.
+ On the expectations of the offense and scoring a high number of points, Day said the difference right now is the number of plays. They scored touchdowns on six of their nine possession but they are used to scoring 60+ points. They maybe aren’t as efficient but with the way teams are huddling and snapping within 10 seconds, it changes the ability for them to do that.
+ The protection was better on the offensive line but “bigger challenges to come.”
+ It is worth considering settling in on one quarterback to get them ready for Notre Dame. But that is something they will discuss as a staff.
+ “We’re building this thing for the long run. We have high expectations. We want to be perfect. We know what we need to be.”
+ On TreVeyon Henderson’s 11.2 yards per carry and running by committee, Day said it’s hard because there’s not a lot of rushes to go around. He wanted to get Henderson the ball, but they also have to find ways to get the others the ball too, especially Chip Trayanum who flashed last week. “He was running down hill today when he needed to.”
+ On getting the passing game going and being targeted more this week, Egbuka said it was great to be back in The Shoe — that gave them a lot of energy. “It felt good to get rocking and get the ball in the air. But at the end of the day, however we get it done we’re happy.”
+ It isn’t his job to worry about switching the quarterbacks and if the ball isn’t on target.
+ On the difference between this week and last week, Egbuka said they have to watch the film but the felt like they played harder and executed better. The offense last week wasn’t hitting on any cylinders. “But our ceiling is way higher.”
+ They took the ball after winning the toss and wanted to get off to a hot start and give the defense some juice to rally behind. He likes that and wants to get on the field right away. They also wanted to get as many plays as they could with the clock running. There’s a sense of urgency that they now need to have.
+ On McCord’s play, Egbuka said they expect a high level of quarterback play and he believes they both have the ability, like C.J. Stroud had. That’s why they are both at Ohio State. He believes in both of them and they are pushing each other. A lot of people were frustrated with Stroud after his first start too. “You guys are going to see how special they are.”
+ On settling in the game, McCord said anytime the start is under his belt and they get a win, it feels good. He used that confidence and experience to carry it onto this week and do the same this next week to keep that train rolling.
+ On potentially winning the job outright, McCord said the only thing he is worried about is making the most of his opportunities when he is on the field.
+ He was pleased with coming out of the gate and trusting his arm and the players around him.
+ On connecting with Marvin Harrison Jr., McCord said it was cool to see it come all the way from when they first played together in high school. He is going to continue to use the momentum and grow and create more of those connections. When Harrison Jr. breaks open, it’s a good momentum boost for the offense.
+ On the reduced number of possessions, McCord said it has been more important to the game than anyone realized initially. If they don’t get the ball first, then they’re halfway through the first quarter and haven’t touched the ball yet. “Every touch, every possession matters.”
+ Last week there was a lot that went into that game with it being on the road, season opener, and against a Big Ten team. After getting into the flow of a game week and their routine, he has eased into it. The emotions today were more calm and that helped. He took a deep breath and realized it was football, the same game he was playing in the backyard when he was five years old.
+ Devin Brown showed his athleticism and played really well.
+ On a healthy TreVeyon Henderson, McCord said he had that explosive step back in him. “A healthy TreVeyon Henderson is scary.” Any way they can get the ball to him, it’s a win.
+ The offensive line is one of the most important positions in terms of the offense being on the same page. The line has to communicate and be on the same page. They are not where they want to be, but there was a step in the right direction from week one to week two. Now they can take another step.
+ He did a good job getting the ball to the playmakers on time and allowed them to work. One thing he wishes he had back was the pass in the third quarter where he missed it to Harrison Jr., he didn’t sit long enough. He will take this and build from it.
Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.