COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and a handful of players met with the media immediately following the Buckeyes’ 66-17 win against Maryland.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On the aggression from the defense, Day said it’s a combination of play calling and a young team that is growing and building more confidence and energy.
+ On the receivers being open, Day said the personnel certainly helps. “The plays look a lot better when you have really good players out there.”
+ Emeka Egbuka and the kickoff return unit have put a lot of work in. “We got there today.” Egbuka’s approach everyday has been mature, not like a freshman. “It flips the field for us and it’s huge.”
+ On Stroud’s performance, Day said he is executing at a high level right now. His preparation has been excellent, he sees the field well, he’s making good decisions, it’s allowing them to run the offense and be efficient.
+ The more Stroud is playing the more he understands “you can’t ride the rollercoaster. You gotta put one foot in front of the other.”
+ Haskell Garrett is dealing with an injury. They hope to get him healed over the bye week.
+ Kerry Coombs got the game ball today. He has continued to show up and he’s a huge part of the defense. He is doing a great job of seeing it from the box, Matt Barnes is doing a great job of calling the defense. They are confident and strong.
+ On Stroud’s playmaking ability, Day said he has been good extending plays and using his legs a bit more. They will keep building on it. Staying hungry right now is going to be important.
+ On the locker room right now compared to a month ago, Day said there were a lot of players who didn’t have experience and there wasn’t a lot of confidence. Everything was new for everybody and it took a while to get reps and build confidence. They still have a long way to go but it’s a different team. “There’s a different walk and a different look in our eyes.”
+ Stroud handled the Zone well and read that well.
+ On the 17-play drive, Day said it felt like a 25-yard drive. But they kept grinding through it. It was ugly and they couldn’t get their feet going, they didn’t have rhythm, but they pushed through.
+ It gives Day a lot of confidence that Stroud handled things well when Maryland switched up coverages that they hadn’t prepared for.
+ On the linebackers, Day said they are understanding there they fit and they have experience now. That’s a huge uplift for the defense.
+ On the defensive ends, Day said they created a lot of havoc and it changed the picture. “We’re building.”
+ He is more comfortable out there and feels more relaxed. He is playing like himself. His teammates do a great job of helping him out. “We’re starting to roll.”
+ When asked about his favorite pass of the day, Stroud couldn’t pick one. But he wished he had the one Olave in the end zone that he overthrew.
+ He is rehabbing his shoulder every day still.
+ No turnovers on offense in two games is good. The coaches are trusting him more.
+ On taking hits, Stroud said he is not worried about it when he is out there. He is just playing the game. He is more inclined to run the ball more too. “We gotta keep building on that.”
+ On Maryland taking the run away, Stroud said being a great offense, “you can’t be one dimensional.” They don’t rely on the run game entirely.
+ On being the best offense in the country, we have a lot more work to do. “We’re putting up the numbers and doing the right things.” IT feels good to have it pay off and that’s something they can reach if they keep practicing well.
+ On the weapons in the passing game and spreading the ball around, Stroud said that’s the great thing about their offense, it is fun giving everybody the ball. “I’m definitely glad all my receivers ate today.”
+ He feels blessed to be in this program and in the first week he didn’t understand it as much. It took a few games to feel the love.
+ On breaking wide open, Olave said he isn’t surprised because Day is a great play caller. They run the game how they run practice.
+ On the ball being spread around, that’s the type of offense they want. Once they get the pass game going, the run game opens up.
+ On the offense finding its stride, Olave said “we’re still building with this offense.” They can be scary and unstoppable, they just have to keep getting better and keep building and have fun with it.
+ On the offensive improvement, they’ve cleaned up the little mistakes and have established more of a balance. They are spreading the ball around and showing everybody love.
+ On the touchdown that was well-defended, Olave said he just wanted to make a play for the team.
+ He feels like a return is coming where he takes it all the way but he thanks the blocks from his teammates. “I’m going to have to find a way to finish one off.”
+ On the key to a big kickoff return, Egbuka said he first has to secure the catch and then he hits it downhill full speed, trusts his blockers, and follows them through the holes.
+ As a team they are showing their toughness.
+ On playing the way he did today, Williamson said this means a lot to him and his family. To be able to show that on the field means the world to him.
+ They took one on the chin early in the season but they showed up and went to work everyday.
+ On the depth of the safety position, Williamson said the coaching staff teaches so well they are able to play a lot of great players. It helps them as a defense.
+ They are playing with a lot more energy and have a lot more trust in the system and in each other.
+ Being able to come back after a hard loss takes a lot of heart and they have that.
+ He is getting more comfortable on defense and he tries to make a difference every time he gets on the field. It has not felt as easy as it looks.
+ Everyone was pumped up when Kerry Coombs got the game ball.
+ The players are flying around and are having fun out there.
+ The love for each other is growing everyday and it shows on the field.
+ Football is all about adapting. Week two was rough but they knew they needed to change and they put everything into it.
+ On the offense, “you couldn’t ask for anything more.” They are electrifying and they are fun to watch on the sidelines.
+ On the game ball going to Kerry Coombs, Simon said he has been through a lot but he still comes in with the same energy ready to go.