Coming off of one of Ohio State's most lopsided wins of the season yet, a 73-14 thumping of Maryland, and with another game that's expected to be a blowout coming up this week at Rutgers, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day took a few minutes out of his schedule for his weekly Monday night appearance on the Buckeye Roundtable show on the Ohio State IMG Sports Network.
Day talked about how the Buckeyes overcame the absence of Chase Young, how he works together with the other offensive coaches to call plays during the game, the “huge” impact that Justin Fields has made on the team this year and how the linebackers and cornerbacks have performed. Here's a quick recap of what he had to say:
- On overcoming off-field adversity and keeping the team focused: "It's one of those things where I think adversity isn't a bad thing, especially this time of year, to kind of figure out where you're at, what you're made of and your character ... I thought our staff challenged the team during the week, and it was good to see them respond that way."
- Day said the Buckeyes' decision to go for an onside kick against Maryland was in part because of how good Terrapins returner Javon Leake is, and in part because they wanted to be aggressive. He was proud of the execution of the surprise play: “You got one shot, one kill on that one, and they both (Blake Haubeil and Chris Olave) executed at a high level.”
- On offensive play calling, Day said the Buckeyes' coaches discuss their scripts in between series and then within the drive, the headset is usually quiet for the most part, with Day and Kevin Wilson doing the most talking between each other between plays. "We play at a pretty fast clip, so most of the conversation gets done between series."
- Day said Justin Fields' impact to the team this season has been “huge.” Day said that there's no replacing experience for a quarterback, and he thinks Fields is getting better each week.
- Day said he thought the linebackers played well against Maryland. Specifically, he thought Malik Harrison showed great range with his pass breakups and he thought Tuf Borland had a good game. He said Pete Werner has been a versatile player for the Buckeyes' defense all season.
- On the cornerbacks, Day said, ”I think they're playing with confidence. I think they've really taken to Jeff's teaching and technique, and they enjoy the scheme. I think they know how they fit into the scheme pretty well.” He thinks Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette, Shaun Wade and Jordan Fuller all played well in the secondary.