Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spent some time with the assembled Ohio State beat on Wednesday following his weekly radio show. Day answered questions about Friday night’s upcoming game at Northwestern and also several questions about his personnel, including a perhaps increased role for Master Teague moving forward. Here are the highlights.
+ Is it possible for a team to be confident? Day talks to the team every day and wants his team showing up each day with something to prove. Always come into practice with something to prove, so overconfidence isn’t really an issue.
+ Road games, day or night, always has a unique atmosphere when Ohio State comes to town.
+ However high Northwestern’s grass is will be fine because both teams have to play in it.
+ The White Belt Mentality means that the white belt is the first step to a black belt. You have to prove yourself every day and as time goes on, you can let your ego get in the way.
+ MSU and Northwestern have similar defenses, both sound and physical, so you explain to the team what they are up against. But this is what they expect from every defense in the conference. They explain that to the scout teams as well, they want them emulating the style of that team too. You have to coach it up and drill it.
+ There were some surprising tendencies for his team, be it different alignments, formations, and tendencies. You want to make sure you’re doing the things you do well, but you don’t want to get predictable.
+ Northwestern’s defense is really sound in the run game. They have extra guys in the box constantly. Their guys up front are strong and powerful. Their linebackers are experienced and see things well. They know the answers to all of the issues. They don’t give up a ton of big plays, then as you get into the red zone it gets even tougher. “They make you earn it.” You have to pick your spots and can’t be overaggressive. You have to pick your spots. “Very typical of Pat’s defenses.”
+ This is the only grass surface they’ll play on this season. They practiced on the grass fields this week. They will have proper cleats and talked about it a little bit, but not much.
+ Master Teague has had a good first six games. He is on the trajectory they hoped he would be on. He likes the way his role is working right now.