Mr. Washington Goes to…Boston?
Every year at a successful program, a head coach has to prepare himself to lose talented assistant coaches.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day didn’t anticipate losing Jeff Hafley after one year, but that’s the situation he finds himself in currently. With Hafley taking the Boston College job, the football program is in a bit of a flux as it deals with the situation.
And when assistant coaches leave one place to take over at another, it isn’t uncommon for some coaches or staffers to follow. Over the past few weeks, OSU linebackers coach Al Washington had also been attached to Boston College, which is where he played his college ball and also cut his teeth as an assistant coach.
When asked this week if Washington could possibly be headed to Boston College with Hafley, Day seemed surprised by the suggestion.
“If that’s what he would want to do, I’d be very, very surprised. Be shocked, to be honest with you,” Day said.
“If that’s what he wanted to do, I’d support him. I don’t see that happening at all. I’d be surprised if any of that stuff happens. I think we’re in pretty good shape, pretty solid. I’ve not heard of anything otherwise.”
Chasing Chase Young
Chase Young had his 11-game sack streak — dating back to last season — snapped in the Michigan game a few weeks back.
The Wolverines threw everything they had at him. Double teams and triple teams. Chips, chops, chaps, and chups.
All of it.
And it worked. Assuming a 56-27 loss is considered “working.”
Then against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, Young again was held without a sack.
This was the same Badger offensive line that had given up four sacks to him earlier in the season.
Young has now been “handled” two games in a row and a bit of a blueprint may have emerged regarding how to keep him in check.
What exactly have teams been doing to limit Young’s contact with the quarterback?
“I think there’s all kinds of different things you can do,” Ryan Day said. “But at the end of the day, if they really want to slide, chip, put three guys on him, it’s going to be hard. That’s where the other guys have to step up.”
Those other guys have had some issues in each of the first halves of their last two games. Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson had time to throw the ball for 250 yards over the first and second quarters, and Badger running back Jonathan Taylor rushed for 135 yards in the first half of the Big Ten Championship Game.
The second halves of those games ended up much differently, however, as the Buckeye defense made its adjustments.
“Again, any time they decide to do something like that, put extra resources into stopping Chase, they’re giving up something else,” Day said. “Our defensive staff will be looking at that, try to figure out how we can get a schematic advantage.”
Day is also quick to credit the opponents, who were both very, very good on the offensive line.
“It’s a combination of two things,” he said. “They had a year’s worth of film. I think they did a good job scheming it. Those are good teams, they’re top-10 teams with good players. I think it’s a combination of two of those things.”
Joe Burrow’s Real Heisman Moment
As Joe Burrow accepted the Heisman Trophy last Saturday and thanked his offensive line, family, coaches — both at LSU and Ohio State — and failed to hold back tears, the nation saw why he is still so revered in the OSU community.
Then Burrow talked about being a kid from Southeast Ohio where so many families rely on food pantries to stay fed and brought a light to a subject that few people talk about.
Thanks to his speech, the Athens County Food Pantry has received around a half-million dollars in donations, making this his true Heisman moment.
Buckeye head coach Ryan Day was there in the crowd, and even shared a hug with Burrow as the quarterback sought out his former mentor.
“To be there and experience that was one of those things I’ll remember till I’m 80 years old,” Day said this week. “That was as cool a night and moment as I’ve ever been around. Although he thought that out, that was just him being himself. For him to go through what he’s been through, play the way he’s played, see the emotion of what this has meant to him and his family, unbelievable. Talk about class. There’s not a classier guy out there.
“I was just, you know, humbled to be in the room, to be part of his journey.”