The Clemson Observer
One question that is always asked of coaches as bowl games are announced is how much of their upcoming opponent have they watched.
It’s a way to get an off-the-cuff answer, but more importantly it shows whether or not that team has been on the coach’s radar.
For Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, thanks to some early kickoffs on FOX, he’s seen the Buckeyes a handful of times already this season.
“I have seen them several times, actually,” Swinney said this week. “I think they played a lot of noon games this year. I have had a chance to see them several times with the way our schedule has been. And it’s just impressive. I mean, impressive.”
What has impressed Swinney most?
“Just built in the trenches. They’re good up front on both sides,” he said. “They’ve got as good of players as there is in college football coming off the edge. Their quarterback has been amazing. They’ve got great skill outside and great backs that can run the ball. So this is a very complete team, very well-coached. And it’s going to be a challenge.”
The Buckeyes’ Schedule Moving Forward
The last time Ohio State and Clemson played, the Buckeyes had five weeks off between games.
They failed to make the Big Ten Championship Game in 2016, so they went from the Michigan game on November 26 to the Fiesta Bowl against the Tigers on December 31.
That’s a long time between games, and it’s an issue that Ryan Day doesn’t have to worry about this time around.
The problem now is that the Buckeyes only have three weeks to work on Clemson while also traveling for recruiting and the awards circuit.
While the coaches are going to be working night and day, for the players, it should be pretty close to business as usual.
The Buckeyes will be arriving in Phoenix on the 22nd and be hitting the practice field shortly after in preparation for a game just six days later.
“The only thing that’s different is that we’re going to let them go home for a couple days,” Day said of these next three weeks. “So we’ll have a game-week preparation, we’ll let them go home for a few days and then we’ll meet them at the bowl site, and then we’ll redo that game week. So that will be the plan.
“But this is very unique. It’s only three weeks, so we’ll kind of treat the first one like a bye week. The second one will be a typical game week. We’ll let them go home for a few days, and then we’ll have the game week. That will be the plan. I think it’s the best move, and I think we’ll have them fresh and ready to roll.”
A Game of Inches
When Ryan Day arrived at Ohio State as the quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2017, one of the first things he brought to the Buckeyes was the practice of “one-inching a defender.”
To “one inch” a defender means dropping the football right over the top of the outstretched hand of an underneath defender.
Here’s an example of the drill from back in 2017.
This week, Day was asked if punter Drue Chrisman had practiced this drill prior to the fake punt call last Saturday against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.
“Not one inch, but he’s good,” Day smiled. “We actually had him throw about a year ago in preseason when we weren’t sure when we had Chugs coming in and we were short on numbers. He was taking snaps for us. He’s played quarterback in his career, so we knew he could throw it. And plus, that stage isn’t too big for Drue, so to make that throw, that wasn’t an easy one, by the way. It wasn’t wide open like we thought it would be, so it was well-executed.”
As you can see in the video below, Chrisman didn’t need to one inch the defender, but it was still a quality throw.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 8, 2019