With three weeks to go until the season opener against Florida Atlantic, Ohio State's offense and defense went head-to-head in a scrimmage on Saturday, the Buckeyes' eighth practice of preseason camp.
Following the scrimmage, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media to discuss the team's performance and answer other questions about the Buckeyes with more than one week of fall practice in the books.
A quick recap of what Day had to say:
- On Saturday's scrimmage: "Today was really the first day in pads that we've hit, that we've tackled to the ground." Said he wants to go back and look at the film, but he thought the defensive line performed well and Baron Browning showed he has made a lot of progress. Said there were two pick-sixes in Saturday's scrimmage by K'Vaughan Pope and Sevyn Banks.
- On Robert Landers speaking out about mental health: "First off, I'm proud that he did that ... I'm proud of BB for stepping up ... to have a voice like that, so people can hear that it's OK to ask for help." Day said he has talked to the team about mental health and about the mass shootings that took place last week.
- Day said he was "very disappointed" with the turnovers in today's scrimmage, but was impressed with the aggressiveness the team played with. He said there were a couple fumbles in addition to the interceptions.
- Day said the Buckeyes expect Austin Mack, who has missed practices this week with an undisclosed injury, to be back "in about a week or so."
- Baron Browning is playing mostly at middle linebacker, but moving around some to outside linebacker. "I think Al (Washington)'s doing a good job with him," Day said, in helping him learn the intricacies of the defense and playing the position.
- On the right tackle battle between Branden Bowen and Nicholas Petit-Frere: "I think right now, it's probably really close. It's probably neck-and-neck."
- Asked if he would seriously considering rotating offensive linemen in games, Day simply replied, "Yes."
- On the quarterback competition: "I thought after today I'd have a better feel. I didn't. Nobody went out there and won the job, for sure." The No. 2 running back competition also remains open. No one has seized that job yet.
- Day said Jameson Williams is doing a great job on special teams, which contributed him to losing his black stripe after just six practices. Day isn't sure exactly what Williams' role on special teams will be yet, but could see his role increasing as the season progresses since he is just a true freshman.
- Day said the targeting rule "certainly has helped the safety of the player ... I think the spirit of the rule was to protect players more, I think it's done that."
- Thayer Munford is on "volume control" after missing the entire spring due to injury, but Day likes what he's seen from his progress.