Ryan Day Talks Preparing for Michigan All Year, the Wolverines' Talent Level and Ohio State's Gritty Win Over Penn State

By Kevin Harrish on November 29, 2019 at 12:57 pm
Ryan Day is ready.

Inside of 24 hours ahead of The Game, we heard from Ryan Day a final time.

Day took to his weekly radio show on 97.1 The Fan on Friday to preview his first rivalry game as Ohio State's head coach. He was also joined by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and Ohio State director of communications Jerry Emig.

Here's a recap of what they had to say.

Ryan Day

On the rivalry
  • "It's hard to compare this to just about anything I've ever been a part of."
  • Day notes that he lived around the Yankees vs. Red Sox rivalry, and the Celtics vs. the Lakers, knowing what a rivalry can mean to an area.
  • "To see it firsthand and what it really means to the people here, it's a lot."
  • "The whole world is watching this game. It's not just Ohio State and Michigan. It's the whole world."
How do Ohio State works the rivalry year round
  • They have a countdown in two different places in the woody.
  • At least once or twice a week they do a "team up north period" where they do a certain number of reps for how many days there are until the The Game.
  • "It's a way of life."
  • Day said they make sure to address the rivalry even in recruiting.
  • "That's one of the reasons some of the guys come here – is to be part of the rivalry.
On facing Michigan
  • "We know they're going to give us their best shot."
  • "They probably have the most weapons of any team we've seen this year."
  • "It's not going to be easy."
On the crowd noise against Penn State
  • Day said it wasn't the loudest single peak that he's heard, but it was consistently the loudest crowd he's ever heard throughout the game. "As far as consistently throughout the game, it wasn't even close."
  • Day said the crowd gave them an advantage throughout the game, giving them penalties.
  • Day said now the roles are reversed and Ohio State is going to have to deal with Michigan's crowd noise.
On running the ball late in the game against Penn State
  • Day said he tried to run clock at the end of the game instead of play tempo.
  • "I knew if we just didn't turn the ball over from that point on, we were going to win the game."
On the game plan against Penn State, starting off run heavy
  • "I felt like in this game we had to run the ball and we had to stop the run."
  • "I think it was good to establish the run early on."
  • "I kind of just wanted to pound on them a little bit and take the stinger out of them."
  • Day said the game was playing out exactly how he wanted, and then the fumbles happened.
  • "If those two turnovers don't happen, I think we probably would have rolled pretty good."
  • "Sometimes I think this season has been a little too easy."
On seeing his team respond to Penn State's challenge
  • "A sign of a good team is teams who are resilient."
  • "We know it's not always going to play out the way that it's planned."
  • Day said after Justin Fields' fumble, he called the team together and challenged them, then the defense held them to three points and the offense went down the field and scored to close out the game.
On the turnovers against Penn State
  • Day notes that the turnovers weren't necessarily their fault, just a result of effort.
  • Day said it's hard to simulate what a turnover means in bigger games.
  • "We cannot let that happen again in this game or we're going to be in big trouble."
On Chase Young
  • "When you look at the amount of games he's actually played in the second half, there aren't many games he's been in there."
  • "He makes everybody on the field better."
  • "When he is on a one-on-one, the production's there."
  • Day said he's never seen someone seemingly get in the backfield every single time he's in a one-on-one.
  • On comparing Chase Young to the Bosas: "The production speaks for itself."

Kevin Wilson

On winning a close game against Penn State
  • "At the same time, we kind of left some points on the field."
  • Wilson said it could have been a 35-0 game heading into the fourth quarter.
  • But outside of the turnovers, he was proud of how the team played.
On seeing a variety of defenses this year
  • Seeing multiple defenses throughout the season helps Ohio State late in the season.
  • Wilson said every team does subtly different things to try to attack you in ways they've seen on film.
  • Wilson said that "by the time you've played 6, 7 or 8 games," you've seen almost everything
  • Wilson also said practice is basically a "blitz-a-thon," saying "when you can handle the junk, you can handle still."
On this rivalry compared to others
  • "It means a lot to everyone."
  • "You've got passionate fanbases who care so much about their state."
  • Wilson said he knows they feel the same way and that's what makes the game special.
On Rashod Berry
  • Wilson noted that Berry even plays on special teams sometimes, along with offense and defense.
  • "I have a lot of respect for him because he's talented, but he's also sacrificing to do what's best for the team.

Jerry Emig

On credential requests
  • Jerry said the Ohio State vs. Michigan game is always busy with credential requests.
  • Jerry said they do have to turn down quite a few requests from freelance photographers.
  • "There were at least 20 or 30 that were like 'mybrothersuncle.com.'"
  • "We can't credential everybody."
On media availabilities this week
  • Jerry said they did not do any special media availabilities this week for anybody.
  • Jerry said it's sometimes hard to turn down ESPN or Fox for interview requests.
  • "And they're good at asking and re-asking."
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