Ryan day addressed a number of topics in a fast interview session with reporters today.
Running Game: Day was pleased with the status of the running game, particularly the performance of Master Teague.
“I think the way he ran Saturday is his style. He’s a downhill runner that turns three yard gains into five or six. That allows us to control the game. He’s a big back who runs downhill.”
Day is not looking for Teague to suddenly develop a shake-and-bake game, simply because it just isn’t his thing. But Day definitely his happy with what OSU got out of Teague and Sermon as well against Penn State.
Old Experience vs. New Experience: Game day always presents the decision of whether to get a lot of snaps for your experienced players because you know that you can depend on them vs. getting snaps for younger players so they can become more experienced and develop.
“It’s different this year because we had no lead up to the season, “said Day. “Guys have to play, so you have to play your top guys and win the game. Still, we have a need to develop depth.”
According do Day addressing the depth issue is more a matter of opportunity than plan. Game situation may dictate that the skills that a younger player has might be valuable in certain situations, so if that player is deemed game-ready he will play. Other obvious factors also intervene like injury or game-situation.
Fields to Olave: The passing combination of Justin Fields to Chris Olave is developing into one the most dynamic passing combination in college football. Day says that is no accident.
“I think you are seeing two very hungry players,” said Day. “They are very motivated by the way that last season ended. It bothered both of them and now they have their eyes on the prize. They’re off to a good start.”
Head Scratcher: Senior linebacker Justin Hilliard was not allowed to play last week due to a false Covid test. Holding a player out for a false test seems a little extreme. Day explained that the false test was a result of an antigen test. The test that proved the antigen test false is what is knows as a PCR test that does not test for antigens, but rather actual genetic material from the virus. According to Day, the PCR test is not available at all Big 10 schools, so the league will not allow it to be used to disprove the antigen test.
In other words, Hilliard was required to sit out despite proof of the false antigen test because some other schools in the Big 10 do not have the PCR test to verify or disprove positives with the antigen test. The fact that OSU did have the test makes no difference.
I suppose that makes sense to someone somewhere.