Thursday Bullet Points: Ryan Day Talks Ohio State's Dominant Running Game, Damon Arnette's Big Game, and the Matchup With Miami

By Kevin Harrish and Colin Hass-Hill on September 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The Buckeyes are 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten after a blowout road win over Indiana. Ohio State will play host to another in-state foe this week when Miami comes to Columbus.

Ryan Day made his final weekly media appearances on Thursday, joining 97.1 The Fan for his weekly radio show immediately followed by his brief afternoon media availability in the team room.

You can see what Day had to say in person in the video above, and you can read comments from both his press conference and radio appearance – for which he was also joined by offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson – below.

Ryan Day Radio Show on 97.1 The Fan

Ryan Day

On the running game against Indiana
  • "Winning the line of scrimmage was important."
  • Day said they felt they had some momentum going against Cincinnati
  • "J.K. ran hard again and then Master showed up and really ran hard."
On play action
  • "You're getting a lot of the guys in the box."
  • Day said now that their running game is established, more teams are loading the box.
  • "Every defense wants to start off by saying they want to stop the run."
Who's the strongest player and is there too much weight to lift?
  • Josh Myers has a bench press in the upper 400s.
  • Day said lifting too much weight is a concern, especially during the season.
  • They're careful not to do too many weight reps or too heavy of weight.
  • "We want it to be more functional stuff."
On J.K. Dobbins recent success
  • "When you split time with someone, you look for the home run. You're looking for an impact.
  • Dobbins isn't so concerned about getting the home run because he knows his chances will come.
  • Day said Master Teague helps them wear them down a bit as a one-two punch.
On Justin Fields' mobility
  • "I think he gives the x-factor, which is his legs."
  • "As good as Dwayne was throwing it, he didn't really have that element."
  • Day said it was harder to run the game last year because of Dwayne's lack of mobility.
  • Because Justin has the threat to run, it makes the running game better.
On changing looks
  • "If we teach concepts, we can install something that looks completely different to the defense."
  • Day said teaching concepts instead of plays allows them to do the same thing in a different way.
On the defensive line
  • "Chase is going to get a lot of attention over there," Day said. "The other guys have to take advantage of that."
  • "When it's just a one-man show, that's not good."
  • Day said a lot of the sacks have to do with coverage, because there's nowhere to go with the ball."
On Miami
  • "They've played in some big environments."
  • "They're not going to come in here intimidated at all. They're going to come in looking to make a name for themselves."
  • Day mentions they've got a lot of hungry Ohio guys ready to play in the 'Shoe.
  • "They had a whole bunch of sacks against Cincinnati."
On a 3:30 start instead of a noon start
  • "It changes things."
  • Ryan Day said they'll let them stay up a little later and wake up a little later.
  • Day said they always eat a big meal four hours before the start of the game.
On stopping penalties
  • "We can live with certain effort penalties," Day said of pass interference or holding
  • The procedure stuff "drives you crazy," mentioning offside, too many men, etc.
  • Day understands that when guys are playing fast, some penalties happen.
On Damon Arnette
  • "Damon's been through a lot," Day said, praising his hard work this offseason.
  • "The work he put in with Jeff Hafley – there's a lot of confidence in that."
  • Day said even if you put in a lot of work, there's no guarantee you see it on the field with a big play, but he was happy Damon Arnette got a big play.
On what he does after a game
  • "You have to enjoy wins."
  • Day said after a noon game, he likes to go home, spend some time with the family and watch college football on television.
  • Day likes noon games for that reason.
  • "Three weeks in a row, it's been really fun."
On Justin Hilliard
  • "It was awesome to see him run down on kickoff."
  • "He wanted to play a bunch in that game, and it was my decision to only play him three plays," Day said. "And he made some plays."
  • "We don't want to just throw him to the wolves," Day said. "But he's ready to go."
  • Day said he loves his mentality to want to get back, but they're going to put him back in slowly.
On academics
  • Day said on Thursdays, they go through the academic side.
  • "We go through every single kid, every single class," Day said, acknowledging that it's a lot of work.
  • "In order to stay on these guys, you have to be on these guys on a weekly basis."
  • Day said they work to make sure they have everything they need in terms of tutors and such, and make sure they're all doing well in class and have the support they need.

Kevin Wilson

On Miami
  • Spent much of the 90s at Miami.
  • Said he had two kids born there and he met his wife there.
  • "It's a great school, a beautiful campus, and a great tradition with the cradle of coaches."
On the running game
  • "It's not pretty, but we're playing hard."
  • "If you don't shoot the gun, you're not going to hit anything."
  • Wilson said the running backs are flying around and trying to make plays.
  • On not looking for home runs: "There aren't as many dollars on the field as there are pennies and nickels."
On play action passing
  • "You're going to get some one-on-one shots."
  • If you don't get one-on-one shots, the running game will be open.
  • Mentions some of the key blocks come from tight ends and running backs.

Press Conference With Local Media

  • Day wore a t-shirt that says "Mac Strong" to honor his former coach at the University of New Hampshire, Sean McDonnell, who is currently battling cancer.
  • Day says he has kept the practice schedule pretty much the same as in past years, though they have had more 11-on-11 sessions or team-oriented periods in practice.
  • He says Jaelen Gill is “getting an opportunity in practice” to impress. He says Gill is somebody who has to step up given this opportunity to play. Gill has to practice to the point where the coaches trust him.
  • Austin Mack is playing a bit of H-back.
  • Day says his family loved Ohio State and was tired of moving around before he was named head coach. “At the same time, this is where we wanted to be all along.” He also says he felt like he was “really building something on offense” and didn’t want to abandon what he had helped develop.
  • He says being an assistant coach or a coordinator at Ohio State is better than being a head coach at some programs.
  • On Jordan Fuller: “He does everything the way you’d want your son to do.” He says he’s the type of person you’d want your daughter to marry.
  • Day says Tyreke Smith’s injury is different from his groin injury.
  • On balancing toughness with the program's emphasis on addressing mental health issues: “It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK if you’re struggling.” 
  • Day says “there’s still a lot to clean up” with the offensive line, as there is with other position groups, though he’s been pleased with the group.
  • He says Ohio State has its base plays and some “game plan plays.”
  • “I think there’s belief in what Jeff (Hafley) is teaching.” He says he wants to get a “whole body of work” throughout the season before fully evaluating the cornerbacks.
  • Day says Justin Fields was “thirsty” to play, which led to him transferring. “We have to evolve with the times.”
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