In a rather hurried and brief press conference after the game OSU Head Coach Ryan Day commented on OSU’s road win over Penn State (0-2) to move the Buckeyes to 2-0 on the season.
Day was very happy with the fast start the Buckeyes had. They scored on their first two possessions to make the score 14-0. OSU’s first play of the game was an end-around to Garrett Wilson that went for 62 yards and set up an OSU touchdown two plays later.
“The way we started overall was outstanding,” said Day. ”
The Buckeyes put 14 points on the board on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead and really controlled the game the rest of the way. Penn State had their moments, but the Buckeyes never really let up.
“As the game went on we continued to play physical and to play tough,” said Day. “It wasn’t clean with the penalties and all but we kept at it.”
There were plenty of big plays in the game. Day cited two that maybe weren’t as spectacular as some but in his eyes were difference makers in the outcome.
“The third down throw to Ruckert for the touchdown was a big play in the game,” said Day.
The play came after Penn State had scored to cut OSU’s lead to 31-19. The TD toss to Ruckert put OSU up 38-19 with 9:14 remaining and effectively put the game out of reach. The other play Day cited was a negative. Justin Fields took a big hit on a sack late in the game. Day said it was amazing that Fields did not fumble that football and called that a very big play in the game.
The first half ended on as bizarre a play as you will see. OSU had the ball 4th and six on their own 46-yard line with time running out. They elected to run the clock down to two seconds. On fourth down Fields took the snap, waited with the ball for what seemed like several seconds, then took a knee. OSU left the field thinking the half was over, but the officials ruled that time had not run out and gave Penn State the football with just under a second remaining in the half. The Lions kicked a field goal to cut OSU’s half time lead to 21-6.
“It was the most bizarre thing ever,” said Day. “Justin took a long knee. He took at least four seconds before taking the knee. I don’t know how anybody could think he took just one second off the clock. It’s extremely frustrating.”
OSU had success with deep balls to Olave and Fields against Penn State. Day said that was no easy feat because of how they play their defense.
“They play a safety in the middle of the field and they get a lot of depth in the secondary,” said Day.
OSU used several kickers in the game. Day explained that regular kicker Black Haubeil suffered an injury in warmups before the game.
“He told us he had a groin issue,” said Day, “so we decided to go with someone else.”
The Buckeyes missed two field goal attempts in the game, something that left Day anything but happy.
“You lose momentum when you miss field goals,” said Day. “You can feel it. You don’t always score touchdowns, but when you miss a field goal and don’t get any points you lose momentum.”
Day was asked if he was nervous when he called a pass play on fourth and one. Day said he was very nervous about it, but they had confidence in the call and the player’s ability to execute. Still, it had his share of angst over the call which did end up in a touchdown throw to Ruckert.
“I think I needed a drink after that call,” said Day.
Ohio State’s running game sputtered last week against Nebraska but looked a lot more effective this week, something that brought a smile to Day’s face.
“I thought Master (Teague) ran harder this week,” said Day.