Ohio State returns to action this week after its second bye week of the season as the Buckeyes play host to Maryland at noon.
Ryan Day made his final weekly media appearances on Thursday, joining 97.1 The Fan for his weekly radio show immediately followed by his typical brief afternoon media availability in the team room.
You can read updates from Day's radio appearance and his media availability below, along with Matt Barnes, who joined him for his radio appearance.
Ryan Day Show on 97.1 The Fan
On the bye week
- Going to a Saturday game, not a Friday game. So they practiced on Monday.
- Day said the practices were "mostly good on good," meaning first-team vs. first team.
- Day said they didn't practice a lot, but "it was sharp."
On the stretch run
- "This is where we wanted to be at this point."
- "November's very different," Day said, noting that the games start to mean more and the weather gets a little more difficult to play with.
- "Any Big Ten team you play, it's going to be hard at this time of the year. Especially when you have a bullseye on your test."
- Day said the goal was to be "relevant in November" and they've done that.
How could Chase Young win the Heisman?
- Day said individual accolades are natural when the team is playing this well.
- Day notes that J.T. Barrett was always in the conversation and Dwayne Haskins was last week.
- "I think that the trophy should go to the best player in college football."
- "I think our guys will all tell you that the better we do as a team, the more awards there will be to go around."
- Day said the primary goal is to "try to get a ring."
On other players emerging opposite of Chase Young
- "Tyreke (Smith) is certainly talented and he wants to take that next step."
- Day mentions Javonte Jean-Baptise, Jonathon Cooper, Tyler Friday and Zach Harrison all as guys who can contribute outside as well.
- "It's going to be by committee, but we've got some real good weapons there."
- "On offense, they're dangerous. They have a lot of weapons."
- "McFarland is someone we all know well. He's fresh on our minds."
- "They have a lot of skill guys and they try to get ball in space."
- Day said that they probably played their best defensive game of the season last week, holding Michigan to just over 300 yards.
- "I think they're one of the best tackling teams in the country" noting they're No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation in terms of fewest number of missed tackles.
On Keandre Jones
- Keandre Jones transferred from Ohio State after last season
- "Oh I thought he was playing hard," Day said of seeing his film.
- "You can see Keandre is doing a lot of communication there."
- "He seems like he's one of the leaders out there."
- Day said his play and his leadership "jumps off the film."
On the team's performance
- Day said at this time of year, everyone has to play their best.
- "Your really good players have to play really good and your great players have to play great."
On Justin Fields
- "I think the more you get around just in the more you learn how tough he is."
- Day said he's still just scratching the surface.
- "He just got here in January."
- "He's gotta step up his game because now there's things on film."
- Day said teams now have ways to gameplan for him, and he's got to be sharp enough to counter it.
Is there a preference regarding cold vs. hot conditions
- "I don't think (the players) would prefer to be cold."
- "The extremes are never fun."
- "Both teams have to play in them, and if you consider yourself tough that can be an advantage over your opponent."
- Day said whatever it is, "you have to handle it better than your opponent."
- Day reminisced about some conditions that "make you reconsider whether you want to play football or not."
On recruiting during the bye week
- "Recruiting is No. 1 in terms of the whole program and how we build the program."
- Day said the bye week is a good time to be able to get to know the players they're recruiting a little bit better and do some visits.
On how he stands with Ohio State's No. 1 ranking
- "I don't stand anywhere. It's out there, but that doesn't mean anything to us at all."
- "The only thing I'd say is maybe our bullseye is getting bigger and bigger every week."
- As you get older, you start to realize these opportunities.
- "This team will never be together again after this year."
- Day doesn't want his team to have any regrets following this season.
On playing Georgia in 2030 and 2031
- "I guess I'll be 50 years old by then," Day said. "That's hard to even think about."
- "All I know is it's a long time from now, and we've got a lot of other teams to worry about," Day laughed.
- "It will be great for the future."
- Day said he was "absolutely" part of setting that up.
On Ohio State's basketball win over Cincinnati
- "Chris Holtmann has become a great friend."
- "I think he's one of the better basketball coaches in the entire country."
- Day said he loves and follow basketball, and grew up playing it.
On long snapper Liam McCullough
- "He is mature beyond his years. He is a grown man."
- "What you see from him on Saturday is just a byproduct of how Liam lives his life."
- Barnes called him an "unbelievable student" who goes "above and beyond" in terms of extracurricular activities and internships and such.
On Blake Haubeil
- Matt Barnes notes that kicking is not easy in the elements and he's delivered.
- "I've been very pleased with Blake rising to the occasion in some critical situations."
On Garrett Wilson at punt returner
- "He really is dynamic."
- "Punt return is just a great opportunity to catch the ball and do what he does."
- "Absolutely look for him to go and make some plays for us."
On returning to Maryland
- "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to seeing some of those guys."
- Barnes said when you're with players for as long as he was, those relationships develop.
- "They went out and they played really hard for us last season."
On recruiting at Ohio State
- "That block O helps, let me tell you."
- "Recruiting is the lifeblood of our program."
- "It can be a grind, but you have to embrace it and love it."
Day's press conference with local media
- Day says first downs is arguably the most important stat to look at. "If you get more first downs, you're tilting the field in your advantage." He also mentions red-zone offense as an important statistic.
- When asked I think the thing that keeps you up is making sure that our guys and our team understands the opportunity that they have." He says that as you get older, you realize that "time waits for no one." This isn't normal, he says, which the Buckeyes need to understand.
- Day says yesterday's practice was the best he has seen in a long time.
- He says it's more difficult to get recruits in from out-of-state for noon games, but it isn't an issue for Ohio prospects.
- "I do enjoy the noon game." He enjoys getting a chance to go home and watch other college football games after his team plays.
- Day says the goal was to be undefeated at this point, "and we are now." So they had some discussions during the bye week about what the month of November means in regard to the postseason.
- Day called Ohio State getting its punt blocked by Wisconsin "completely unacceptable." He continued: "Certainly that is not going to win us any games." He says they were embarrassed about it and that it won't happen again.
- On the communication throughout Ohio State's entire coaching staff: "We have a lot of bright people, a lot of people who have a lot of stuff invested here, and it's a group effort."
- Day reiterated that he doesn't view one game as being bigger than another: "If you lose one of them, they all mean the same. Every game counts the same."
- "We've only just scratched the potential of what this offense can be."
- Day says there wasn't much time to build much of a relationship with Justin Fields. They had to both take a bit of a "leap of faith," he says.
- He says he called Chris Ash when Jonah Jackson entered the transfer portal. Watching Jackson's film, talking to Buckeyes who played against him and the discussion with Ash sold Ohio State on him. Day says Jackson was one of the better players they had gone against.
- Day says Jonathon Cooper hasn't gotten on the field as much as he'd like to, but he's been a consummate teammate and captain.