COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Tuesday to recap the Buckeyes’ game against Maryland and provide other bye week updates on the team.
You can read the highlights from his press conference below.
+ On Harry Miller coming in at left guard against Maryland with the second team, Day said he is a swing guy who can do both which is good. He can play both center and guard.
+ Day said center Luke Wypler has been really good. “He has been solid across the board.”
+ On leaving Garrett Wilson in on punt returns, Day said kickoff returns and punt returns are very different. It’s harder to get punt returns going and he is a reliable guy. It’s important to have someone reliable back there. Kickoff return there’s a lot more momentum. They have thought really hard about picking spots.
+ The play calling and game planning on offense is everybody. “We have very very good players and that’s the first thing.” The players are executing at a high level.
+ If they want to continue to build they have to continue to practice better.
+ On Cameron Brown, Day said he is not sure if he will practice this week. He is day-to-day. Hopefully this is just a bump in the road because he is a big part of their defense. He hopes to get him back for the Indiana game but they will know more this week.
+ “We’re better than we were six weeks ago.” But he is looking for more consistency and production from the corners.
+ On the success of the Big Ten, Day said they have great coaches, universities, recruiting, and it’s exciting for the conference. ‘We have some big games coming up.”
+ “We still have a lot of football left, we haven’t done anything yet.” But there is confidence being built, players are settling into roles, and now they’re not doing everything for the first time. They are expecting a high level of execution so there’s a lot of confidence. But the competition will increase, they have conference night games and road games and it will get harder. “We still have a young team, that hasn’t changed.” But having six games under their belt is huge.
+ They are keeping the schedule as much like a game-week as they can. He wants to keep the momentum, continue to work on fundamentals but also give players some rest so they can continue to play at a high level. “We can’t stall and take a huge deep breath and not get better.” He enjoys the bye week and thinks it has come at the right time to reflect and pause but he does want to keep the momentum going.”
+ Tackling is huge for the defensive identity. They can’t get too caught up in the scheme. When they start going against better players they have to really focus on fundamentals.
+ On the type of practice this week, they will use some good-on-good practice with the 1s on 1s which they don’t do a ton of in-season. There will be a lot of teaching opportunities in these practices.
+ On adding things to the offense, Day said he always tries to stay a step ahead. If the defense takes something away, they have to attack in another way.
+ Day said he will be back on the road recruiting on Friday. They were out Monday as well. He thinks they are in pretty good shape with the recruiting classes.
+ On Stroud, Day said he has made good decisions, has prepared well, and has shown his toughness. The focus has to be on getting better every day and taking it one game at a time.
+ On sharing his story and mental health initiatives, Day said they got great feedback from the On Our Sleeves campaign at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. They have received a lot of donations which was great. Day has received a lot of messages and feedback. The whole idea was to bring attention to it to help people. He felt like the legacy of his father now can be felt and he feels better and hopes he helped someone along the way.
+ “You don’t get a second chance in the games.” In practice they can run plays back but they don’t have that opportunity in games.
+ On Dawand Jones’ jersey being the biggest that Nike has ever made, Day said “I’m sure it is.” If there’s a bigger one he would like to see it.
+ On seeing results form the defense, Day said the chemistry and confidence and so far the results have been trending in the right direction. But they have bigger challenges ahead.
+ Day said recalibrating and restructuring the defense was tough. He has a lot of respect for how the defensive staff has handled the past month but especially Kerry Coombs. They have gelled together. “You don’t act that selfishly without loving Buckeye Nation. It’s a great lesson for all of our players.”
+ They can’t be a “jack of all trades but a master of none.”
+ The linebackers are getting better every time they play. “Rep counts are adding up and that’s a good thing.”
+ On whether they have a run game and pass game coordinator, Day said they don’t have that but Larry Johnson and Al Washington have a lot of the run game conversations on the front end and Matt Barnes and Kerry Coombs have a good idea of coverages and the back end and they put it all together. They do a good job of putting it together and having one voice which is really helpful for the players.
+ The jet sweep has come into their game the last three or four years, it’s an opportunity for a player to get the ball at full speed and allows them to attack the perimeter. It forces the defense to defend the entire field.
+ On the defensive line and secondary improvement, Day said they have played a lot of players up front and that’s good for their future but they need the veteran guys to play well. They’ve created depth but they have an expectation with the defensive line. They are making progress, creating more sacks and disruption. In the backend, Day said they are better than they were last year but there’s a lot to improve on.
+ They are getting tougher.
+ On Emeka Egbuka’s ability on kickoff returns, Day said he has the strength, size, and courage to run.
+ The offensive line has done a good job of giving Stroud a clean pocket.