COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke with reporters following the Buckeyes’ 28-17 win over No. 8 Penn State on Saturday. He recapped what a hard-fought win Ohio State had and what it took to get it done. He answered a number of questions about his team and his players. Here are the highlights.
+ “There was a point in the game there where we were taking shots.” So he brought the entire team together and talked to them about not being afraid to take punches. The Buckeyes responded after they stopped giving the ball away. “We were reeling right there and we had to respond, and we did.”
+ This was about what he expected from beginning to end. Penn State battled. Proud of the way the Buckeyes fought and overcame.
+ The decision to throw the ball at the end on fourth down? Running the ball there doesn’t eat the clock. Justin Fields tried to make a play, but took a hit.
+ Got a bunch of false starts due to the fans and that was a factor for the Ohio State defense.
+ Going for the fourth downs in the first half, Day felt like they were rolling pretty well and those are the times to be aggressive. With this offense, they should pick those up.
+ Not gonna sit around and think about winning the Big Ten East too much, but it’s a tribute to the seniors.
+ “How about Justin Hilliard? He had the play of the game with that interception.”
+ Justin Fields is fine. “He’s a warrior, I’m telling you right now.” Fields knew he was going to be leaned on. “Whatever it takes, Coach.”
+ The adversity today will absolutely help this team down the road. It shows you that if they take care of the ball, who knows what this game could have looked like. “This is something that we have to learn from. That could have cost us the whole season.”
+ When you blow everybody out, you still know your team, but you don’t know how they’ll react when the season is on the line. He knows today how this team will react in those situations. “If you just keep swinging.”
+ “I just think Chase Young deserves to be in New York.” The impact he has on the game is unbelievable.
+ Michigan game? “We live it every day.” They will enjoy this one, but quickly they will transition to Michigan.
+ He tries not to second guess when he makes a call like going for it on fourth down.
+ Hadn’t really shown the QB draw in the empty set like they were today.
+ They ran the ball to eat up clock and get first downs. Things were getting hectic and there was a rhythm. The defense was playing well for the Buckeyes, so he didn’t want to get too risky.
+ Penn State has a very good run defense, so you have to run the quarterback to equate the numbers. For the most part, Fields was reading somebody and his read was to pull the ball.
+ KJ Hill and Chris Olave had huge plays for touchdowns. Justin Fields threw two good balls. Those were clutch throws and nice catches.
+ It’s hard to put into words what the fifth-year seniors have provided to this team. Look at Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell today. Unbelievable plays by both of those guys to stop drives.
+ You don’t have to worry about the fifth-year seniors. They are mature. “I love having those guys around.”
+ Will Levis is a stronger runner, but the PSU offense started feeing off of the mistakes by Ohio State.
+ Can’t give enough credit to the defensive staff. “The scheme is off the charts.”
+ What does a close game mean for the future. “I think you have their (the players’) attention now.”