COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, offensive coordinator and tight end coach Kevin Wilson met with the media on Tuesday to preview the Buckeyes’ game against Purdue this Saturday.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ They have to be smart with taking shots down the field. They can’t force them down the field. “I think we’ve thrown the ball down the field more aggressive than anyone in the country.”
+ Quinn Ewers has been making progress and getting better. He is picking up the offense, that’s taking some time, but he was thrown into it without spring and a pre-season. He’s more comfortable on the team now.
+ Jack Miller III’s suspension is indefinite, until they get more information. He is not with the team right now. They need more information before making any decisions moving forward.
+ On Garrett Wilson, Day said he is looking forward to a good week of practice with him. They missed having him last week.
+ On TreVeyon Henderson running hard and hitting contact, Day said he needs to continue to run hard. Sometimes he can make them miss and sometimes he has to fight for yards. Day has been impressed with him handling the amount of carries. The run game is something they will continue to work on this week to make sure they are efficient. They need 4+ yards on every run to keep them on schedule offensively.
+ On people saying C.J. Stroud should be running the ball more, Day said it’s hard to tell somebody what to do in those situations because they are never the same. “You have to trust your instincts and he’s doing a good job of that.” That’s feeling the game. He can run and get some yards, but also he does a good job of keeping his eyes down field. But keeping on schedule offensively is a big focus this week. The more he plays the better he feels in those spots.
+ On seeing less of Teradja Mitchell and Haskell Garrett last week, Day said they are hoping to get them healthy moving forward.
+ It was great to get Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming out there against Penn State. “They both have really bright futures here.” They are starting to show what they can do.
+ Parker Fleming does an excellent job in the special teams meetings. They are very professional, sharp, and they have a lot of pride. It shows. When special teams can be an advantage to them, it’s huge. It doesn’t always make the highlight reel but it does when they watch film at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as a team.
+ On Purdue beating two Top 5 teams, Day said during the bye week they looked ahead to this stretch. They know it just takes one game to be out. If they keep winning, good things will happen. There are a lot of things they can clean up and play better, but they just have to win games. “They’re [Purdue] playing for a chance to go to Indy.”
+ Day thinks they have to do a better job of staying on schedule. Negative runs and penalties are getting them off schedule. They have to avoid those things. “We can do a better job of execution and communication.” He doesn’t think it’s one thing across the board, just one guy is a little off here, and one guy is a little off there. The players and coaches all took accountability.
+ On a test for the pass defense this week with David Bell, Day said Purdue has a great passing offense. Bell is a talented receiver, he attacks in different ways. They are creative with schematics. The defense has been playing well but they haven’t gone against a style of offense like this.
+ The number one goal is to win. They have a standard but the goal is to win. It matters how you win, but they can’t get caught up in that.
+ “If we have to apologize for winning by nine points against a really good Nebraska team on the road, then that’s a good situation to be in.”
+ On an argument for being in the Top 4, Day said it doesn’t matter right now because they have to win this week for it to matter at the end of the season. It will be the same thing next week. “Win and move on.”
+ “It’s great to be relevant in November, the players are excited about that.”
+ He loves multiple sport players. He looks at it a lot when recruiting.
+ On the offensive line adjusting to RPOs, Day said they have a very athletic offensive line. It helps with the extra guy in the box.
+ On why Noah Ruggles is so good and if Day says anything to him before he kicks, Day said he stays away from him when he goes on the field. He’s a professional. He’s low maintenance and takes care of himself. The specialists know they have a job to do.
+ The selflessness of the receivers are a huge part of being a winning team. “You don’t always see that.” Day is proud that they take that approach.
+ On Tyreke Smith’s return making a difference, Day said his production has made a difference. Veterans have to produce, especially in November, and he is. Smith is showing up. His presence is being felt.
OC/TE Coach Kevin Wilson
+ On preparing for Purdue who is known for trick plays and gimmicks, Wilson said it still comes down to fundamentals and discipline. That’s a part of what they do but they’re winning games because they’re a good team who executes.
+ On Stroud running the ball, Wilson said he doesn’t talk too much to Stroud about that, it comes from Corey Dennis and Day. Stroud has kept his eyes down field and has options, he is capable of running but they were also trying to minimize hits to his shoulder and contact. “Risk and reward.” The plays they are calling are not emphasizing quarterback running, but they are not telling him not to run.
+ On movement up front with the offensive line, Wilson said they would like to do better at displacing people. There’s a lot of movement laterally but are not getting the vertical push. That will be a challenge this week and they have to do a better job with play calling and scheme to get more vertical push.
+ “We have to come off the ball better, across the board.”
+ On the rough stretch with the offensive line, Wilson said they didn’t stay on track with penalties against Penn State. They were better last week. He is not concerned with their ability to stay patient and be aggressive when they need to be. They are getting what they want out of certain plays. They need to run the ball better, they have to run the ball better. “It’s there, just clean it up.”
+ “You have to win ugly every once in a while and fight through it.”
+ “We need to run the ball well down the stretch to be the team that we need to.”
+ Jeremy Ruckert’s performance in the fourth quarter against Penn State was the best quarter of football he has played in his Ohio State career.