Ohio State Postgame: Ryan Day, Justin Fields, Buckeyes Talk 52-24 Loss to Alabama in National Championship

COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, quarterback Justin Fields, and a number of other players met with the media virtually following the Buckeyes’ 52-24 loss to Alabama in the National Championship game Monday night.

Ryan Day

+ “Tough night. But I’m proud of this team, proud of the seniors, and the year that we’ve had, but that was a tough night.” It was a lot to unravel there.

+ He is proud of the legacy that the seniors left behind.

+ Alabama played really well tonight.

+ “This season has been crazy, disruptive, all of the above.” They tried not to build in excuses, but just push forward.

+ They needed to play their best game against Alabama and they didn’t.

+ On where they go from here, they need a break and they need to get away. “The kids need to see their families and we all just need a break.” This has been a long, long road. They need time to “rest and reflect.”

+ Alabama is good schematically and they have really good personnel. “It’s one thing to have a play, it’s another to execute it.” His team didn’t do that on either side of the ball in this game.

+ On the second half, Day said it was several things. They didn’t convert, finish drives, and Alabama continued to make big plays.

+ On Justin Fields, “Justin has been unbelievable.” He was not 100 percent tonight, he was working through it, made some gutsy throws and kept them in the game for a while. He’s going to miss him.

+ On the defense, they had to change it up because Alabama was just going to pick them apart. There were too many big plays and then on offense they couldn’t go score for score with them. But they competed and played all the way to the end. “They are a special group of men.” But they tried to change things up and still do what got them to this point, but it wasn’t good enough.

+ On DeVonta Smith, he plays stronger than he looks. “His play strength is significant and he eats up ground on the field.” He is a great player and deserved the Heisman Trophy.

+ It’s tough having the pressure of having to score every drive.

+ The margin for error was tiny.

+ The execution was an issue.

+ “Clearly we didn’t hold up well enough in the passing game.”

+ On kicking the field goal, Day said if it was closer he would go for it but the percentages past 4th-and-4 are very low. “Let’s take the three points and move on.”

+ They learned a lot about themselves and the culture of the program this year.

+ The guys coming back have something to motivate them in the off-season.

+ Wyatt Davis re-injured that knee. He is sore and in pain.

+ It was hard to get into a rhythm.

Justin Fields

+ He could have been healthier but he was healthy enough to be out there.

+ On his two years at Ohio State, Fields said he has a lot of brothers. He wanted a different outcome, but he will miss everybody.

+ On losing Trey Sermon, Fields said they have a mentality of compete excellence and when one man goes down the next has to step up. “With or without him we still gotta execute.”

+ On how to coach the younger players moving forward, Fields said he is going to tell the team that they have years left and to never let it happen to them again. “Remember this feeling.”

Shaun Wade

+ On Alabama getting the ball out in space, Wade said DeVonta Smith made plays. They had a great scheme and he is a great player. “They just came out and outplayed us today.”

+ On his decision to come back, Wade said it was still worth it. He grew as a man. He is happy he came back and glad they got here. They accomplished some big things as a team. He is proud of everybody.

+ He wants the team to be remembered for how much they fought. They stayed focused and fought every day.

+ He really can’t say what he is going to do in the future. He does want to come back because he does want to win a National Championship. But he is going to talk to his parents.

Jonathon Cooper

+ They didn’t tackle as well as they needed to.

+ He feels sorry he couldn’t do more.

+ On how the team will respond, “I think they will respond the same way they did to the Clemson game last year.”

[Photo courtesy of Ohio State Football Twitter.]

9 Responses

  1. This is why I think Ohio State has some of the worst fans in the land. They play without 2 of their best interior defensive linemen, a secondary player playing out of position, a quarterback playing hurt, our best running back out after one play, the offensive line shifting around because of injury, playing against a true powerhouse team, and still expect the Buckeyes to win by multiple touchdowns.

    Enjoy the season, and lets hope Kevin Warren doesn’t screw up 2021 the way he did 2020.

    1. Here’s what gets me.

      On offense, we lost Sermon. Do we stop rushing? No. They put in Teague and they keep going.

      On defense, we lost a key DT and one out of a rotation of DEs, and we decide to play a formation we never play. We do a 4-4 which leaves a LB to at times cover not just any old WR, but THE best player in college football. Now, I get the theory behind this, but when it didn’t work in the first half, why do it again in the 2nd half?

  2. I agree with Edward. I believe if you took a team with all the best college players in the United States and played Alabama this year, I don’t think they could beat them. That Alabama team was so good. And guess what, they will be right back there next year. Saban has built a dynasty there that will be greater than the great Bear Bryant! In fact, this year’s National Championship team put Saban 1 ahead of Bryant.i But the Buckeyes will be great again next year, you can count on that!

  3. The best offense I’ve seen was LSU’S with in 2019 season.

  4. Did he talk about leaving his offensive game plan in New Orleans with Clemson? I have never see a more scared/conservative approach to attacking Alabama. It was everything the Clemson game wasn’t! We also need to hire a defensive coordinator, one that actually covers a Heisman Trophy winner. Wade also has no business in the NFL!

      1. Come on dude, they came to play. They just got beat by a great team! Don’t fault the players or the coaches. They played hard! Alabama had one of the best offenses I’ve ever seen! GO BUCKS!!!

        1. Losing to Alabama is not the problem. Every team does that and I was actually expecting OSU to lose to them and even Clemson. Sorry I love our Bucks and wanted more than anything to be wrong, but I did not see 45 minutes let alone 60 minutes from our team all year of good football during the regular season in any game.

          Losing Sermon first play of course hurt us as did not having 72 and 11 on the d line.

          I just wish we could have given them a game like Florida and Mississippi did.

          I am just disappointed in how we played. Just did not get the feel energy or that our Bucks ever thought they had a chance to win this game and they played like that to me.

          I know everyone tried their best but I just did not understand our defensive game plan and especially not playing an aggressive zone in the red zone.

          We crushed Clemson in the first half going to the tight ends but I do not think we threw a pass to the tight ends in the second half and I just remember one target to our tight ends against Alabama. Am I remembering that correctly?

          I wish Justin Fields well and we will be fine at QB next year without him, but for his sake I wish he would come back as Pros are not patient and I think he will benefit from another year of college ball. I would like to see the Bucks have a pro bowl QB in the pros and not more flameouts like Haskins, Pryor, Smith.

          I also think that OSU should switch conferences to SEC as COVID will be with us they say forever and I want our players to have the best chance to play every year and play against the best and play with at least 15,000 fans/students in the stands.

          Go Bucks!

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