Football

Ohio State Postgame: Ryan Day, C.J. Stroud, Kevin Wilson Talk 77-21 Win vs Toledo

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, quarterback C.J. Stroud, and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson met with the media immediately following the 77-21 win vs Toledo.

Here are the highlights of what was said.

Ryan Day

+ The crowd was unbelievable. They wanted to make sure they played well in this game because of that.

+ On C.J. Stroud’s performance and his ability of reading defenses, Day said Stroud had a great week of practice. It was a tough and physical week of practice, they felt they needed to do that and he took it on. He fed off of having Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming back in the rotation. He prepared really well.

+ On Stroud having NFL-caliber throws, Day said he’s very talented. They talked about not having any three-and-outs and he was impressed with Stroud’s game in the red zone, “that’s where you make your money as a quarterback.”

+ On wanting a dominating performance, Day said this was what he wanted but it wasn’t without flaws and things they need to keep building on. It was good to get two turnovers on defense but Toledo’s quarterback was athletic and made a lot of plays. They have to contain the quarterback better going into conference play. “But looking at the scoreboard, we’re proud of what we did.”

+ On Tanner McCalister, Josh Proctor, and Mike Hall not playing, Day said they were all available but coming out of warmups, but they felt it was best to hold them out. Day does not think TreVeyon Henderson will be out long-term. But there were a lot of cases where they took players out of the game early just out of caution.

+ On the I formation, Day said on the 100th year anniversary of The Shoe they felt it was the right thing to do, to line up in the I formation and get a fullback touchdown. But he is proud of Mitch Rossi and Day said it’s exciting.

+ On the red zone offense, Day said “we want to be creative as best we can down there.” Day added they have players with a lot of different skill sets.

+ On taking the ball on the coin toss, Day said he talked to the team and said they wanted to start fast in this game. They wanted to get juice early on and he thought first touchdown built momentum for the day.

+ It was great seeing Julian Fleming coming back. He stayed positive through the nagging injuries, did a great job taking care of business, and it was great to see him get rewarded in this game.

+ On Dallan Hayden showing up, Day said he has practiced well and has taken care of the football. The same can be said of TC Caffey.

QB C.J. Stroud

+ “I definitely had a blessed night.” They were clicking offensively and the message all week was to start early. They punched it in and got things rolling. Starting early was a great thing that they wanted to accomplish.

+ On threading the needle on some passes, Stroud said they practice throws like that over defenders. The coaches feed that to him every week which has built his confidence there. “That wasn’t by accident.”

+ Marvin Harrison Jr. did a great job going up and getting some of his throws.

+ He enjoys watching film. It’s therapeutic to him. It’s his way away from the outside world to lock in. He feels like God gave him the talent but he has to put it to work.

+ On Dallan Hayden, Stroud said he gave him early confidence before the game. He also forced him to take a deep breath in the backfield to relax. Stroud added that Hayden is a hard worker and does a lot of film work.

+ On developing poise when scrambling, Stroud said it felt good to run a little bit. Day helps him on scramble drills and advises him to be smart and be a team player.

+ On Cade Stover’s performance, Stroud said “that’s just Cade, man.” When Stroud missed him in the back, that was killing him but Stover was great about it. He just wishes he hit that touchdown for him. But Stover played a great game. He’s very versatile and Stroud is happy to see his hard work pay off. He looks up to Stover. His work on the farm shows up in his work ethic.

+ On Julian Fleming adding to the offense, Stroud said he showed everybody what he could do, in just a small glimpse. “He’s quick to remind people.” He impacted the game quick with a “hell of a catch on the sideline.” He has a lot more football ahead of him. He took this offseason very serious.

+  “Once we get momentum going, it’s hard to stop us.”

OC Kevin Wilson

+ On the I formation in the red zone, Wilson said Mitch Rossi is the lead back there and they have that as an option. They’ve had it in since the first week and it was nice to get Rossi a touch there and get a touchdown. Day has gotten comfortable playing to the strengths of the tight ends and that makes their team more complete, complimenting the receivers.

+ On finishing drives in the red zone, Wilson said they really emphasized getting the run game going in the off season. They have always had plans to throw in the red zone but they wanted to be a little bit better in the run game there. “Yes we do need to score touchdowns, but can we run the ball in tough situations?” They are not where they need to be but they are getting better.

+ Stroud is one of the best quarterbacks he’s seen when it comes to processing information. He has a quick mind, he sees things clearly, and processes quickly. “He sees the game, for a young kid, as well as I’ve ever seen in a quarterback.”

+ On Cade Stover, Wilson said he’s a real leader because he leads by actions. His work ethic, durability, and his consistency show up. His ability to consistently practice earns him great respect from his teammates. He’s a much better athlete than people giving him credit for. “Our team loves him, I love him.”

+ On the depth of the running back room, Wilson said the top two guys are really special but he didn’t realize how quick and instinctive Dallan Hayden was early on. He is also really happy TC Caffey is at Ohio State. Both of them are instinctive when they make cuts, they still go forward when they make a guy miss. “We’ll need those guys.”

+ On being ready for Big Ten play, Wilson said Big Ten play is more physical up front. It’s a line of scrimmage game against Big Ten opponents.

+ On Stroud’s ability to move and extend plays, Wilson said last year their worst pass play was scrambles. The defense forced them to work on that in the offseason. He is teaching Stroud “when to throw it away and when to throw it and make a play.”

Photo via Ohio State Buckeyes. 

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  7. Not a bad defensive effort considering they held three starters out of the game.

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