COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media immediately following the Buckeyes’ 38-3 win at home on Saturday vs Michigan State. Quarterback Kyle McCord and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. also discussed the win after the game.
Here are the highlights from the press conferences.
+ On the hot start offensively and Marvin Harrison Jr., Day said it was great to have everybody back on the offense. Harrison Jr. made big time plays early on and got them going. “Marv is a special player and we’re always going to try to find ways to get him the ball. It isn’t always easy. There were a lot of doubles out there but he still found ways.”
+ On the defense and missing a handful of starters, Day said Tommy Eichenberg will be week-to-week, Lathan Ransom is more long term. They think they will get Josh Proctor back soon. It was great to see players step up.
+ On how creative they have to be to get Harrison Jr. involved, Day said sometimes they design plays for some people but the ball goes another way. They want to get everybody the ball. “You try to do everything you can to put the players in positions to make plays.” But they can’t start to target Harrison Jr. to bolster his stock, they try not to focus on that.
+ They are playing with more and more confidence and they are putting the pieces together. They’ve been knocking on the door but he felt like something like this was close after the Rutgers game, even though it was a bit clunky at times.
+ The offensive line is really starting to make strides.
+ On managing the second half, Day said they know what’s ahead of them. They’ve been on a run and it was good to get some of the starters out to get them some rest. But if this was a game in September, it probably wouldn’t have been the case. There were meaningful snaps for other players and that was great to see.
+ On Kyle McCord’s ball placement, Day said his feet moved better and he felt the rhythm of the game. The game is slowing down for him and Day can see that happening. “He threw some really nice balls tonight.”
+ Cade Stover had a good night, especially for one half of football. He is strong in the run game and makes a huge difference. He’s also a weapon in the pass game and McCord feels comfortable throwing to him, even when he’s covered. Stover is a big target. “When we’re working at full capacity, he’s a big part of it.”
+ It wasn’t hard to focus for this game at all. “Championships are won in November.”
+ He can’t quantify how impactful Marvin Harrison Jr. is to this offense. He does so much for the offense and if the Heisman Trophy is truly the award that goes to the best player, he has to be in contention for it. There’s not a one-on-one situation where he doesn’t like Harrison Jr. But when he’s doubled, it opens up other players.
+ On his footwork, McCord said he felt like it was better today, that was something they focused on this week. The offensive line also did a great job in pass protection in this game. He was able to step into throws the way he wanted to.
+ He was happy Cade Stover was back on the field. The whole offense benefits from him being on the field.
+ On taking the next step, McCord said they’ve been growing each week and there’s an urgency to start playing their best football now. This was a step in the right direction and it’s happening at the right time.
+ The game plan was super clear and they knew how they wanted to attack Michigan State. The offensive line and other players around him were performing. On third down, they were efficient and that kept things moving, so the points followed.
+ “I’m supported. You look on the field and every position has a dog. Defenses have to pick and choose how they want to stop us.” Now they can build on this.
Marvin Harrison Jr.
+ The rushing touchdown was his favorite touchdown. They called that play three times in his career and he came up short on the others. It was a special one as his first rushing touchdown.
+ On his growth in his versatility, Harrison Jr. said he has learned a lot. He played slot all of spring ball with Emeka Egbuka out and it has enhanced his game. Last year he was just an outside guy but now he is showcasing more of his ability.
+ On the Heisman Trophy, Harrison Jr. said it wasn’t in his head in the off season. He is thankful and blessed to be in the conversation but he wants to beat Michigan and win the Big Ten Championship. Those are his goals.
+ His connection with Kyle McCord is growing stronger and stronger each week. They are trying to be on the same page as much as possible. He loves playing with McCord again.
+ On his legacy and breaking records, Harrison Jr. said he gives all praise to God. “It’s crazy.” He has put in as much work as he can, but to be the first ever to do something in Ohio State history, especially as a receiver at Ohio State where so many greats have played, means a lot.
+ On starting fast offensively, Harrison Jr. said that’s exactly what they needed to do.
Photo via Ohio State Dept. of Athletics.