Ohio State coach Ryan Day wasn't able to discuss the specifics of why Chase Young is currently suspended and how long he expects Young to be suspended after the Buckeyes' 73-14 win over Maryland on Saturday, but he was able to show his support for his star defensive end.
“We're supporting him, and he's supporting us,” Day said after Saturday's game. “And we're going to get through it together and he knows we have his back. And that's important.”
While Young is currently being held out of action as Ohio State and the NCAA investigate a potential NCAA violation that stemmed from Young accepting a loan from a family friend last year, he continued to practice with the Buckeyes this week and will continue to practice with the team next week, Day said Saturday.
Day acknowledged that it was challenging for Young to be unable to play in Saturday's game, but expressed that he was pleased with the way Young is dealing with the situation.
“He's taking it day-to-day and he knows that he has the support of his teammates,” Day said. “He's going through a tough time. But again, adversity reveals character. And I can tell you right now, he's a special young man that's handling his business the right way, and we're all proud of him.”
Asked whether he was confident that Young would be able to play for the Buckeyes again this season, Day said Saturday that he could not discuss that. Ohio State spokesperson Jerry Emig addressed the media before Day's postgame press conference, and said that Ohio State doesn't “have any expectations right now regarding numbers of games that will be missed.” Emig said a Saturday morning report by ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit that Ohio State expects Young to be suspended for four games is “incorrect.”
“The process is ongoing,” Emig said. “And we are hopeful for a resolution in the near future.”
Day said the Buckeyes were surprised when they learned that Young was facing an NCAA violation, but as evidenced by the final score, they didn't allow that to affect their preparation for this week's game.
“We were all just obviously surprised by it all, and just tried to communicate to the team the best we could when it was appropriate,” Day said. “And then set the plan for the week. And we're just going to take it day by day.”
“he's a special young man that's handling his business the right way, and we're all proud of him.”– Ryan Day on Chase Young
As Day acknowledged, the Buckeyes have been through adversity before – like last year, when former head coach Urban Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the season – so they knew how to handle it, and Day believes they have handled it as well as they could.
“Adversity reveals character and our character was at the forefront of this game,” Day said. “I thought we came out and showed that we’re made of something special here.”
“A lot of guys on this team have been through adversity with our coaching staff, with me as the head coach. And so this isn't anything new,“ Day added. “Our guys didn't flinch. And there's a part of, there's a bunch of guys on our team like ‘OK, got some adversity, let's go, let's pull this thing together. Let's show everybody how tight this team is and what we're really made of and show our character.’ And I thought that came through today during the game.”
After Day made the decision to call timeouts late in the first half of Saturday's game for an attempt to block a punt, the Fox broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt insinuated that Day might have done that – as well as onside kicking the ball after Ohio State's second touchdown of the game – as a way of getting back at Maryland, giving credence to theories that someone from Maryland's football program might have been involved in bringing Young's NCAA violation to light. Day firmly denied that, though, when asked about it after the game.
“No, nothing like that at all,” Day said. “Nope. That wasn't anything, other than just, we're always going to be aggressive in the first half.”
Saturday's game wasn't the first time this year that the Buckeyes called timeouts in the final minute of the first half to get the ball back for another chance to score before halftime – they did the same thing against Northwestern, which led to a 55-yard Blake Haubeil field goal in a game Ohio State already led 28-3.
“I feel like when you're playing the first half of any game, anything could happen in the second half,” Day said. “So you do the best you can to be aggressive. And then if it gets out of hand in the second half, you're smart about tempo. You're smart about maybe taking shots, especially in the fourth quarter, and you want to run the ball and show respect. And I thought we did that (on Saturday against Maryland). I thought we ran the ball and kind of played slow in the second half. By no means would I ever try to run up the score at all. It's just we're letting our guys play. No, that would be completely out of line.”