B1G Teleconference Recap: Ohio State's Ryan Day Talks About Depth At Tight End, What Makes Nick Bosa So Good And A "Two-Headed Monster" In The Backfield

By Derrick Webb on September 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm
Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day talks to Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (1) during the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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After the Buckeyes' 77-31 throttling of Oregon State in Week 1, Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day is in a weird position.

Head coach Urban Meyer has returned to practice but won't be on the sidelines in Week 2 or Week 3 thanks to his three-game suspension. So, with Meyer running practices, Day gets game day responsibilities and talks to the media during the week.

That was the case Tuesday morning as Ohio State continues to prepare for Rutgers, who visits Columbus this Saturday. For a second consecutive week, Day joined the weekly B1G coaches teleconference call and was asked about junior defensive end Nick Bosa's play and what makes No. 97 so dominant.

"He's very gifted. Power, speed, strength," Day said. "Then you combine that with (defensive line coach) Larry Johnson, who's one of the best coaches in America at developing pass rushers. When you put those things together, that's what you get. (Bosa) is playing a high level right now."

Day was also asked about whether or not he foresees running backs Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins both rushing for 1,000 yards this season. Day has commonly referred to the duo as a "two-headed monster."

"Both guys definitely have the ability to rush for 1,000 yards," Day said.

So far, so good for Weber and Dobbins. Weber started the season with 186 rushing yards on 20 carries while Dobbins went for 74 yards on 15 carries.

Here's what remains from Day's appearance on the weekly teleconference.

Ryan Day, Ohio State
  • Opening statement: "Very pleased with the start we came out with last week. Our focus is now on Rutgers. They have a veteran defense and had a good start last week. We're working hard and planning for those guys."
  • Commented on offensive line play, saying "The offensive line was solid. We were able to play a lot of guys on a hot day. I thought, overall, they handled it pretty well. It was a good start for them.
  • Was asked about defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and Rutgers offensive coordinator John McNulty's close ties to each program and said, "I think that anytime you have some similarities with the other side, you consider it an advantage ... that's anytime you go up against somebody you're familiar with. It's common for guys to be familiar with each other. I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary."
  • "Our defense wants to focus on causing turnovers and limiting the big plays."
  • Was asked about the wide receiver group and whether or not he'd like to see one player step up and be the leader of the unit: "I think it's a unique situation because we have so many guys there. You're talking about 8-10 guys who you really feel good about putting in the game. There's no telling who can have 6-8 catches and sometimes, you don't get a ball. We have an unselfish group."
  • Said he was proud of senior receiver Terry McLaurin after his 121-yard performance Saturday. "There were games where he didn't get a lot (of attention). I'm so proud of Terry."
  • Commented on team's two-tight end sets and why he uses them: "It presents a different look to the defense. When we are playing 88 plays, we're rolling guys and we have a little bit more depth at tight end this year. It gives us more options and it presents a different way to attack. We just try to create more conflict for the defense and give them more to prepare for."

The entire Big Ten Conference will be in action Saturday with kickoffs scheduled throughout the day.

At noon, Purdue hosts Eastern Michigan, Northwestern welcomes in Duke, No. 14 Michigan plays Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, and No. 4 Wisconsin takes on New Mexico. Nebraska hosts Colorado at 3:30 on ABC while the No. 5 Buckeyes play their first Big Ten contest this season, welcoming Rutgers on the Big Ten Network.

Iowa State travels to Iowa with a 5 p.m. kickoff scheduled on FOX, and an hour later, Maryland pays a visit to Bowling Green.

Three games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. — Fresno State at Minnesota, Virginia at Indiana, and Western Illinois at Illinois — while No. 10 Penn State travels to Pittsburgh for an 8 p.m. kickoff on ABC.

Closing the day's action is No. 11 Michigan State at Arizona State, scheduled to air at 10:45 p.m. on ESPN.

Here's some of the highlights from the rest of the B1G's head coaches during Tuesday's teleconference call.

Chris Ash, Rutgers
  • "Feels good to be 1-0. It was great to get a victory. We have a huge challenge this week. Our football team is eager to improve and go out and see where we measure up against a great football team."
  • "I do feel like we're a much improved football team than we have been in recent years. Ohio State is one of the top football teams in the country. It's going to take our best effort to have a chance to win. We're just eager to go out and measure our improvement. It will be a good measuring stick."
  • On quarterback Artur Sitkowski: "Anytime you play a freshman, there's a lot of challenges. He wasn't perfect (against Texas State). We're going to go to one of the biggest and loudest stadiums in the country. There's a lot of unknowns about our freshman quarterback. I can't sit here and tell you how he's going to handle it. But I do have confidence that he'll be ready to go."
  • On any possible advantage without Urban Meyer on the sidelines in Columbus: "Considering that he wasn't on the sideline Saturday and they put up 77 points, no I don't see that being an advantage. It's not about him being there or not being there. It's about the players going out and executing on the field. It takes a lot more than one person to execute at a high level. They were able to do that last Saturday and I expect them to do that this Saturday."
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
  • On responding after losing first season opener since 2015: "We're up and at it and on it. We're going to need to be. This is our first home game this week and watching the tape, (Western Michigan) is an extremely good football team. We're on it."
  • Commented on Saturday's loss to Notre Dame, saying "As a team, we understand what we need to do. Back on the practice field yesterday and back on it today. It hurts to lose but we're all accountable to what we did or didn't do (against Notre Dame). Strong desire to learn from it. I sense that from the entire team."
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
  • Was asked just one question but made opening statement saying, "It was good to get the season going Friday night. Certainly looking forward to our second game against New Mexico."
Scott Frost, Nebraska
  • On first game against Akron being postponed: "Everybody was disappointed. The kids have put in a lot of work to play. But I will say I was proud of the kids for how they handled the situation. It was great to see how bad they wanted to play. We'll make the best of it."
  • Commented on team's inability to make improvements from Week 1 to Week 2, due to the cancellation: "I think you can improve on execution more than anything. You get out there for the first time, we're going to be playing a lot of young players, so it's just getting their feet wet. We're going to have to live through it. I don't think it will be a problem."
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
  • Was asked about playing in weather conditions on the west coast: "It's 90 degrees and humid over the next couple of days so we'll have that to train in. I know it's a different type of heat and it's going to be a challenge, but we'll be ready for it."
  • On quarterback Brian Lewerke returning to hometown: "I think he's learned the college game. There's no question about that. He's improved his quarterback knowledge as anybody would. I know he's going to be very excited. It'll be an exciting opportunity. Every game is a stepping stone for him to continue to build his foundation. His personality is pretty laid back. He's pretty calm and collected."
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  • "We were very pleased to get the victory Saturday against Northern Illinois. Both teams played hard. Probably a lot of first game errors on both sides of the ball, for both teams. I thought we gained some traction in the second half and it was good to get one under our belts."
  • Was asked how he celebrated his 144th career win, becoming Iowa's all-time winningest coach and said, "I had a big bowl of salad and a sausage. I was out of gas. That was it. Really nothing too crazy."
P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
  • Was asked about what questions his team answered in Week 1: "There's a lot of questions when you have 30 freshmen. I think the biggest question we had was how all those young guys would handle the moment they were in. I loved how hard they played. We made a lot of mistakes and we have a lot to get better at. But I really liked how our older guys led the way."
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
  • On questions his team answered in its win against Purdue: "I think every time you go into the opener, you don't know how your team is going to react to adverse situations. I think our guys handled it pretty well and we found a way to get a win against a Big Ten West opponent."
  • Three keys to get a win against Duke: "Uh ... none of your business, second key is none of your business and none of your business. To be totally transparent," Fitzgerald said laughing.
Lovie Smith, Illinois
  • "Excited about getting the opening win. When you start a football season, that first half, when you don't do a whole lot of scrimmaging, you never know what you're going to get. We made adjustments at the half and I really like how our guys finished. Hopefully we start this week how we finished last week."
  • On this week's game against Western Illinois and playing an FCS opponent within the state: "I think every opponent is dangerous. I believe in football in the state of Illinois. There are a lot of good colleges here. As far as we're concerned, we show up and play whoever's on our schedule."
Matt Canada, Maryland
  • "Excited to come off a very good win against a very good football team in Texas. Our kids found a way to win. Really happy for our players and, really, everybody in our program. We're certainly excited about playing Bowling Green on Saturday night. They're a very good football team."
  • Was asked what type of environment he expected Saturday's to be like: "The MAC is a tremendous league. I spent a lot of time in Northern Illinois. I know how exciting it is. I'm sure it'll be an electric environment and we expect to get (Bowling Green's) best shot."
Jeff Brohm, Purdue
  • "Obviously, our team is looking forward to getting back on the field after last week's loss. Without question, there's a lot of areas to improve and we've seen that on the film. We've got some guys that need to gain experience fast and we have to make sure we get them there."
  • On what he's looking for in quarterback Elijah Sindelar: "I think the obvious is taking care of the ball. I feel bad for Elijah because he did have three turnovers in the first half. Unfortunately, if you take away those three plays, he played well. He realizes that can't happen and he feels bad about it. He's going to work hard to get better."
James Franklin, Penn State
  • On playing Pittsburgh: "They've only played one game and they didn't show a whole lot. They have a bunch of returners on defense and a decent amount of turnover on offense. It's hard to determine (if they're a much different team). They've had one game and that was against Albany."
  • Was asked about Saturday's overtime win over Appalachian State and said, "Whenever you can overcome adversity as a team, you learn from that and you grow from that. For us, when (quarterback) Trace McSorley has the ball in his hands at the end of the game, you feel confident. Obviously, you want to correct the mistakes that put you in that situation. But at the end of the year, they don't say 'That was an ugly win and that was a pretty one.' They just say 'That was a win.'"
  • Commented on use of tempo inside the Big Ten: "I don't get into scheme a whole lot in my answers. But I think tempo is a problem for everybody. You spend a lot of time talking about it during the week. We talk about it weekly and daily."
Tom Allen, Indiana
  • Was asked two questions and talked about true freshmen and special teams play. Also commented on team's season-opening win over FIU and how good it was to see some of his players being able to play a game in their home state.
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