COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters for the only time this week as the Buckeyes’ prepare for Saturday’s matchup with the Michigan Wolverines. He answered a number of questions about his team and their opponent. The highlights of all of it can be found below.
+ Michigan’s defense has gone to a lot more zone, “but they mix it up.” Don Brown does a great job of that. He mixes up a bunch of looks and they’ll see that on Saturday.
+ When Justin Fields went down, it wasn’t a good feeling. “We expect him to be fine.”
+ That amount of rushing attempts for Fields is going to happen in big games. They aren’t all designed, some of them are scrambles, some are reads. Penn State forced him to run the ball a bit and he was unbelievable aside from the fumbles.
+ Tuesday and Wednesday are the same as it was under Urban Meyer. As is the rest of the week.
+ Growing up the rivalries he followed were the Boston pro sports’ rivalries. Growing up that was your identity.
+ In recruiting, they make sure players know about the rivalry and how important it is. “We talk about it all the time.” The more the guys are in the program, the more they get it.
+ He and Don Brown coached together at Boston College. He played against Brown as a quarterback. “Nothing but respect for his background and what he’s done.”
+ He has so many memories of what this game means even before he arrived.
+ How did he get integrated into the rivalry? For about the first six month he and his son would watch the video in the front of the WHAC with highlights of the Michigan game from the year before.
+ If you’re working on the rivalry all year, then you’re prepared for it. Everybody understands what to expect and what it means. Then when you talk about the game itself, it goes back to executing and fundamentals.
+ “Nothing matters if we don’t win this game.”
+ Since halftime of the Penn State game, Michigan has really played good football. Shea Patterson has found a rhythm. “It will probably be our biggest challenge of the season.”
+ At the end of the day it comes down to players and Michigan probably won’t do anything that they haven’t seen. Maybe they will.
+ They compare their own recruiting to Michigan’s every day. They have Michigan’s class listed right next to theirs. “It’s a big challenge and that’s how we go at it every day.”
+ Michigan’s recruiting class being on OSU’s board has been here since before he was here. They rank their own class in relation to Michigan’s. It matters who you don’t get. Michigan’s board does influence some of their decision making in recruiting.
+ What happened last year against Michigan doesn’t play into this season much because Michigan is doing different things on defense and the personnel is different.
+ Not all of those plays last year against Michigan were against man-t0-man coverage.
+ Chris Olave outran Justin Fields’ arm on the first deep pass last week. The second one, Fields had to avoid some pressure.
+ He has no second-guessing the offensive approach last week because they won the game.
+ “I’m trying to do the best I can to make it like every week even though we all know it’s not.” If you start to overdo things, then you can get yourself jammed up. That’s why you do it ahead of time. “That’s why we live it 365.” On his first day on the job, he was thinking about this game. “If you take the job, you understand that.”
+ For Al Washington and Greg Mattison, he will lean on them for some insight “here and there,” but they have their own jobs to do. “That’s part of the job. You work through it.”
+ The most memorable thing for him about this game is JT Barrett getting hurt before the Michigan game two years ago.
+ It’s exciting, “but I don’t know if that’s the No. 1 emotion right now for me.”
+ People didn’t really know what Chris Olave was capable of until the Michigan game last year. His performance last year was “just unbelievable.” And he has picked up where he left off.
+ “Nobody gives more looks than Don Brown.” He puts his guys in a position to be successful.
+ To see what this game means to the people of Ohio strikes at his heart. “It runs deep in their blood.” It’s an unbelievable responsibility.
+ His college rivalry was with Maine. They fought for the Musket.
+ He remembers family members crying when the ball went between Bill Buckner’s legs in ’86.
+ The turnovers were inexcusable last week. Some of those were really good plays by the defense. But it’s not good enough on OSU’s part.
+ Michigan’s run defense was finding their way early in the season, but they’ve found their rhythm now. They’re good.
+ Day thinks he was 1-2 as a starter when playing for the Musket.
+ Running the ball is important in every game because if you control the ball, you control the clock, and you control the game. If you can throw the ball, that’s fine, but running the ball is more important.
+ Jonathon Cooper will play in another game this year, they just don’t know which one.
+ This is the most talented team the Buckeyes have faced this year.