COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters Thursday afternoon for his final media availability of the week. He answered a flurry of questions prior to Saturday’s matchup against the Maryland Terrapins. Here are the highlights of everything the Buckeye head coach had to say.
+ The most important stat other than points, Day likes first downs. There’s not just one great stat, but first downs are important in the Plan to Win.
+ The thing that keeps him up on Friday nights is making sure the players understand the opportunity that they have. Only a few times in your life can you have this presented to you. What allows him to sleep on Fridays is the leadership on the team and the way that they practice. Yesterday’s practice was as good as they’ve had in a long time.
+ Playing so many noon games creates some issues with bringing in out-of-state recruits if they don’t have bye weeks, but he likes noon games because you can get right to it and then he likes relaxing on a Saturday night after a game.
+ The bye week allows them to stop and take a picture of where the team is and where they’re headed.
+ The punt protection was completely unacceptable against Wisconsin. Several people were at fault. “We’re not going to let that happen again.” That will be fixed. “That was something that we were very embarrassed about.” They addressed it in the bye week.
+ It’s not easy to convince players that every game is bigger than the last, but if you lose one they all mean the same. They are all big. “You’ve got 12 games in the regular season and they all count the same.” They have done a good job of staying focused on that this season.
+ The offense hasn’t played close to its potential yet. “We can do so much better in so many areas.” They have only scratched the potential of how good they can be.
+ Justin Fields is smart and can handle a lot of information. He does a good job of putting the class room on the field. But now they’re going against defensive coordinators who have a lot of film on him.
+ Day called Chris Ash when Jonah Jackson appeared in the transfer portal. Ash couldn’t say enough good things, and that was enough of a recommendation for them. He’s a pro. He also talked to the defensive line at OSU about him and they all spoke highly of him.
+ This season has a long way to go, but there is a seriousness to the team. “There’s no time for silliness right now.” The games have too many consequences.
+ Jonathon Cooper is a special young man. He’s a really good captain, even though the year hasn’t gone as he expected. They look forward to eventually getting him back on the field.