ARLINGTON, Texas — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, defensive end Jack Sawyer, and freshman quarterback Lincoln Kienholz answered questions from reporters following the 14-3 loss to Missouri in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on Friday night.
Here are the highlights of what was said.
+ On wanting to gain optimism and clarity at quarterback, Day said he feels like Lincoln Kienholz got put in a tough spot and battled his tail off but they didn’t help him up front and didn’t run the ball well enough. “It’s hard to get much of an evaluation coming out of the game when you can’t get any balance. I just felt like we could have helped him in certain areas and we didn’t.”
+ On the offensive line play, Day said there was some zero pressure that came and they were aggressive on Kienholz. But they couldn’t run the ball well enough. The defense played their tail off and just ran out of gas a bit at the end. They played good enough to win.
+ On a freshman quarterback coming in for his first series on the 5-yard-line, Day said he was thrown into it. He gives Kienholz credit. “That was a tough ask right there but we needed to help more.”
+ On two losses to end the season, Day said he told the guys they played hard and that he could feel that players were fighting but they were put in a tough spot and didn’t help the young kid. Two losses, that’s not good enough at Ohio State and they know that. They wanted to finish this and build momentum for next year but that didn’t happen.
+ Devin Brown has a high ankle sprain.
+ On looking at a transfer quarterback, Day said they have to take a hard look at what’s best for the team right now in a lot of areas. They have to take a hard look at everything.
+ On the self-inflicted wounds on special teams, Day said they were flipping the field pretty well and getting good hang time on the punts but on the other end, their feet should be on the 8. The missed field goal was also a momentum swing.
+ Day thought Brown would would have nerves early on but that they’d be able to play through that and work through it. They had a lot of the game plan designed for him. Losing him was a bit of a scramble.
+ This game was very unique. Bottom line is that they didn’t reach their goals this year, the quarterback room is one of them but it’s everybody.
+ Brown wanted to play in this game more than anybody. He was fighting to get back in but he kept a great attitude. He is a great teammate.
+ They were not expecting this coming out of this game. He is disappointed they don’t have a game from Brown to evaluate moving forward.
+ On moving Matt Jones to center and playing Enokk Vimahi at right guard, Day said center Carson Hinzman was having a few issues the last few weeks, so they felt like it was the right thing to do at the time based on the last couple of weeks of play.
+ On Ohio State’s sack record and his decision moving forward, Sawyer said he’s not thinking about that. He wanted to send the seniors out the right way. They put in so much work and didn’t get the outcome they wanted.
+ Sawyer credits Kienholz for the way he came in and played and battled in this game.
+ On making decisions moving forward, Sawyer said a lot of players don’t want to end their careers on two tough losses. They love Day and the staff and this will play a factor in their decisions.
+ The game wasn’t that fast because of how he goes against the Ohio State defense but Missouri tried to give him zero looks. The biggest thing for him was that he needed to focus on his mechanics and trust his eyes.
+ It was an awesome experience playing in the Cotton Bowl. Being out there was hard but the experience of playing a lot and being out there throwing and running, it helps build his platform for the next 4-5 years.
Photo via College Football Playoff.