Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took part in his weekly radio show on Thursday. He looked back a bit on last weekend’s Wisconsin game, but also answered plenty of questions about the current state of his team and many of his players. It may be a bye week, but there is still plenty to talk about. Here are the highlights.
+ JK Dobbins wanted to have a big game against the Wisconsin Badgers. Everybody knows about their running game and running back. Day thinks Dobbins is the best back in the country.
+ Moving Chase Young around makes it harder for offenses to gear things toward stopping him. They don’t want him lining up at one play over and over and becoming predictable.
+ The decision has been made to play Dawand Jones and Harry Miller because they will need them next year. There are so many senior linemen leaving after this year that they want to have some young guys with experience ready to step up.
+ It was great to see Justin Hilliard out there last week. He was put in a big spot and he made some big plays. He has given a lot to this program. He’s a great person, but earned respect from the team with his performances on special teams. Everybody has their own journey.
+ They have talked since January about avoiding slip ups. “All it takes is one loss.” They approach this as March Madness right now. You have to be disciplined enough to approach each game the same way.
+ This bye week has been a little different than the last one because there is no Friday game coming up. Practices were good this week and they’re getting a bit of a look ahead on Maryland, but they have been more focused on fundamentals.
+ Assistant coaches are all out recruiting right now. Day will be out tomorrow recruiting.
+ They try to visit as many high schools as they can during an off week. There are different philosophies. Some coaches just want to hit as many schools as they can, but Day wants to spend quality time with the schools he visits.
+ Justin Fields needs every practice rep he can get with the ones, so the backup quarterbacks don’t work much with the ones. So those guys have to visualize themselves with the ones, but that’s part of being a backup quarterback.
+ Gunnar Hoak is picking up the offense better every week. “It’s becoming more second nature than it was early on.”
+ Day knows what he will get from his backup quarterbacks now, so it lessens his concerns about putting them in games. He knows their strengths and weaknesses.
+ Damon Arnette is playing his best football. He is playing tough in the run game. Jeff Okudah is playing tough as well. “They’re taking their technique very serious.” There are times when they will assign a guy to a particular receiver, especially on third down. Not every week, but sometimes.
+ Every once in a while, Day thinks back to last year’s Maryland game. It was a wild game. Back and forth. Had to win it in the 2-minute drill, ten had a fourth and one. Came down to the 2-point conversion and will be on their minds this week.
+ On a weekly basis, players get “tip sheets” or scouting reports or bits of information they need to be aware of situationally. “Different reminders.” When he does bed checks on Friday night, the players all have their tip sheets in front of them.
+ They really worked on self-evaluation two weeks ago. Good teams have tendencies, but you still try to stay ahead of the competition.
+ Chase Young is still playing hungry. He puts himself out there in front of the team and drives them, so he has to produce. You can’t just say it and then not produce.
+ When you can rotate defensive linemen as Ohio State does, it keeps them fresh and then allows them to dominate in the second half and fourth quarter.
+ Day’s favorite candy is peanut butter based. He doesn’t need them chilled. He’ll confiscate those types of candies from his kids tonight.
+ After a game in the rain last week, Day goes home, takes a hot shower, sat on the coach, ordered in, and watched football and hung out with the family. “It’s just the best feeling in the world.” He had to change portions of his clothes at halftime. His feet were soaked because he was wearing his superstitious sneakers. He could have worn waterproof shoes, but went with the old faithfuls.
+ Skull Session is one of his favorite things. It gets things going the right way.
+ On the World Series, he watched it here and there, but if the Red Sawks aren’t in it, he kind of loses interest.