COLUMBUS — Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano spoke with the media on Monday. The spent some time recapping Saturday’s win over Oregon State and previewing the week ahead. There were plenty of questions asked about the Buckeyes and plenty of answers provided as well.
+ Urban Meyer came back today. The coaches had a meeting this morning. “Things are back to normal.” Meyer has met with some players as well.
+ It was hot on Saturday, so the tempo took a toll on both sides and things get sloppy. They rotated positions as much as they could.
+ Coaches hadn’t seen Urban Meyer much, so there was a lot of embracing, but then they got back to business as usual. “Coach is coach.”
+ Asked where his growth may be from game one to game two, Day said he made some notes on where he can get better. Awareness of clocks and timeouts. He’ll be more efficient this time around.
+ Most of the coaching is done during the week with the game planning. Then once the game starts, “the decisions are almost made before we get there.”
+ The offense is suited for tempo. They are in shape up front and run well and are athletic. For a young quarterback, if he is comfortable — like Dwayne Haskins is — it suits them well.
+ The play calling “was pretty efficient.” Players were moving fast and plays were coming in quickly. “I thought that was good. The overall operation I thought was clean.”
+ Jordan Fuller was a game-time decision. “We felt like it was better to hold him. He’s getting treatment today.”
+ Demario McCall is part of a very deep group. Had a nice return against Oregon State. “Any time you put that on film” the coaches will take notice.
+ It was great to see Terry McLaurin rewarded with a successful day. He has put in so much work and a lot of time it has been faith without results. The receivers know that if you keep working, the ball will find you.
+ The rotation at running back will continue.
+ “We’ll keep the routine the routine” just as they did when Meyer was gone. Meyer was excited to get back. Day will take over on Saturdays, but it has been a group effort the entire time.
+ The offense is a collaborative effort and they take pride in that. Everybody has their own area and responsibility to add something to the game plan.
+ Meyer’s comment to Day was, “You only had to punt once, huh?”
+ When you start playing better defenses, the decisions the quarterback makes becomes more consequential. “That’s how you can lose a game.” They need to be aware that one play can ruin your whole afternoon.
+ There was great effort to make the tackle on Dwayne Haskins’ interception. Isaiah Prince and Binjimen Victor made great effort to get the returner down.
+ The ball comes out of Dwayne Haskins’ hands quickly, which also helps the offensive line.
+ Looking at the deep ball, you can’t force things down the field. You have to take what the defense is giving you. That’s all part of the decision-making process when it comes to the deep ball.
+ “Really happy for Joe [Burrow].” Day texted him and his parents to let him know how happy he was for him. It didn’t surprise Day to see Burrow involved in a scuffle before the game.
+ There is always communication about subbing for players as they get tired during the tempo. When the offense subs, the defense is allowed to sub, so it slows the game down.
+ Now there is more film on Dwayne Haskins for opposing defenses, so the offensive staff has to figure out how defenses are defending him on the field as quickly as possible. You can’t let something new affect you and ruin the game early, so it is okay to check down and punt.
+ Day was recruiting a quarterback out in California when he was told about Chris Olave. He didn’t play as a junior and he tore it up early as a senior, so the OSU staff fell in love with him. He’s going great and learning from veterans. “I’m proud of where he is and you’ll see him at some point have an impact on this season.”
+ The No. 3 quarterback is up in the air between three guys. Freshman Matt Baldwin is still working to get healthy. Grad transfer Chris Chugunov just showed up, so he’s working on learning the offense. Walk-on Kory Curtis was the No. 3 guy in the spring and fall camp and is progressing.
+ Urban Meyer was very much up to speed on everything going on.
+ There were some plays called that had deep routes, but the coverages didn’t allow for those passes to be made. Haskins has thrown the deep ball well in practice, however.
+ There was a lot of good stuff on the defensive tape, so he wasn’t upset, but there were some bad plays.
+ 82% of the Oregon State offense came on seven plays. They can’t allow that. “It’s unacceptable.” Small errors are made, but when you’re being spread out and you make a mistake, they can make you play.
+ The defense did a nice job with quick change and they scored on defense, so those were positives.
+ “There are a lot of good things. We got to play a ton of people.” Four or five guys were making their first start, and the old adage is that you make a big jump between your first and second game.
+ Tommy Togiai played strong. Tyler Friday “did his job. Nothing spectacular.” Schiano said he looks to see if guys belong when he watches tape and those guys did well. Tyreke Smith was in there as well early.
+ Rutgers will be starting a freshman quarterback who has made one career start. How does the defense go after him when there isn’t a lot of tape? Schiano says it’s more about what the offense can do with him and then you counter that. They are familiar with the quarterback — Artur Sitkowski — because he is a Jersey kid.
+ The hope is to have Jordan Fuller back. Regarding Jahsen Wint and Isaiah Pryor, there was a lot of good and a lot of things that they can learn from.
+ They knew there could be some growing pains on defense with a new middle linebacker and two new safeties. It’s like having a new pitcher, catcher, and shortstop.
+ Everyone is excited to have Urban Meyer back. “We hit it running.”
+ Tuf Borland’s pitch count was right around 10 plays last week. They look for that to increase, but it will be up to the training staff and medical staff to find out what is optimal. Baron Browning did a nice job. He will continue to play.
+ Dwayne Haskins camped at Greg Schiano’s Rutgers camps as a kid and he played wide receiver and nobody could cover him.
+ “I think we have more than three linebackers that should play.” Baron Browning is one of those guys. When Tuf Borland gets back, “I can see them ham and egging it.” Dante Booker is coming back from his injury, so how does he fit in. Justin Hilliard as well. “I don’t call it a problem. It’s a good situation to have.” They just need to make sure they get optimal performances out of everybody.
+ Rutgers on the upswing is good for the Big Ten and their location is key. It brings a great market with it when they are doing well. The more teams that are playing well, the better it makes everyone else.
+ Coaching against Rutgers is sentimental for Schiano, but it’s game week so you have to get Ohio State ready to win a game. But he is very proud that Rutgers is in the Big Ten because that was always his goal when he was there. “When you build something, you never forget about it. But now it’s our job to beat them.”
+ What they need to improve on defense is better tackling. Missed tackles are expected in the first game, but they also need to work on their angles. The pass interferences need to be fixed. Some of them are unavoidable, but they have to clean it up. They also gave up too many big plays. It’s okay if a guy misses a tackle, but there should be somebody else there to make the tackle about 15 yards or so.
+ “I thought Ryan did a great job.”
+ The screens and misdirections will continue against the OSU defense. They didn’t defend some of those plays as they intended. There was a little bit of making sure the players are on point with their details. There will be more opportunities this week as well because Rutgers screens a lot.
+ There shouldn’t have been as many mistakes as the defense made last week. “It all comes back to coaching.”
+ Jordan Fuller being out was tough, but they did a good job of adjustments. What Fuller gives you is a very good “sweeper” and “insurance policy.” “I like our odds with him. Certainly you miss a guy of that caliber when he’s not playing.”
+ “Nick and Dre’Mont played very, very well.” Their performance was off the charts. So much of defense now is defending option football and they need to clean up how they played. They need to stop with the offsides as well because it creates automatic deep shots from the offense.
+ The cornerbacks played solid. They didn’t have a lot of opportunities.
+ Pete Werner played well. “Very promising. Did he make mistakes? Sure he did.” He played fast and has a great future.
+ If a cornerback restricts a receiver he gives the ref an opportunity to throw the flag. Okudah on one had the receiver in an arm bar, which they don’t teach but cornerbacks sometimes do it naturally.
+ The cornerback rotation is working. Shaun Wade also played well. Marcus Williamson was banged up a little at camp. The rotation could grow if players continue to progress.