Presser Bullets: Ryan Day, Haskell Garrett, Josh Myers, Garrett Wilson Discuss Ohio State's Season-Opening Win And Upcoming Penn State Game

By Colin Hass-Hill on October 27, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Penn State week has commenced.

On Tuesday, Ryan Day jumped onto a Zoom press conference with local media to discuss the upcoming showdown with the Nittany Lions and go over what happened on the season-opening 52-17 win against Nebraska. Haskell Garrett, Garrett Wilson and Josh Myers also spoke to reporters shortly thereafter.

A bullet-point rundown of what Day said:

Ryan Day

  • He says "everybody gets a lot of credit" for Haskell Garrett recovering, including the medical personnel, training staff and coaches. "And ultimately it's a great job by Haskell."
  • On what Ohio State would do if Chris Olave can't play on Saturday: "We'd just move some things around just like we always do. That's where depth comes into play. We'll see how it goes as the week goes on."
  • Day says he thought the freshmen "competed" and did what they do in practice. He says it was a good "starting point."
  • On the running backs: "I thought they were solid. I thought as the game went on, they played better." He says early in the game, the run game was "just OK." He expects the backs to continue to improve.
  • On not playing Penn State with the whiteout: "It's (usually) loud. It's hard to communicate. It'll be different."
  • Says Steele Chambers "ran with good pad level." He continues: "I thought he flashed a little bit."
  • It's important for Ohio State to have "as few distractions as possible" on the road, he says.
  • Whether Justin Fields did or didn't run too much: "I thought he did a great job. Most of those runs were scrambles." He says "the game for Justin" is keeping plays alive. "For every sack, you're going to get two or three extended plays."
  • He says he was pleased with the pass protection. Had some long-developing route combinations. "If we can just keep building from there, we'll be in a good place."
  • On seeing plays like Jaxon Smith-Njigba's touchdown catch in practice: "Not like that, but we see that very often in practice. Just amazing catches."
  • Asked if rotating running backs doesn't allow tailbacks to get into a rhythm, Day says he "doesn't really think that comes into play."
  • Day says he thought defending the quarterback run was "solid overall." On Adrian Martinez's long run, a defensive tackle didn't run the right stunt, he says.
  • He says recruiting at a high level is the most important part of staying at the top of college football. "The second thing is everyone's swinging for you." He says they emphasize bringing it every single week.
  • Day says having expectations is sometimes hard to deal with. Even after a win like this one, some players were walking around the locker room wondering what had happened, he says. "52-17. It's a pretty good day, boys."
  • Special Teams Player of the Week Chris Booker – a walk-on – is an "unbelievable story." He says he asked Booker in the team meeting how many stars he had, and Booker replied, "Zero."
  • Day says there are "a lot of walk-ons" contributing right now.
  • He says he was "really impressed" with the way Garrett played. "While I wasn't surprised in his ability on the field, it was pretty impressive to see that quick turnaround."
  • On Penn State's motivation: "They're always going to be hungry when they play us, but certainly when you lose a game like that, everybody gets more hungry."
  • Day says it's taken until the last play of the game to win the Ohio State-Penn State games recently.
  • Garrett Wilson has a lot of versatility in his game, Day says. "He's got great timing down the field. He's got quite a skillset." He says Ohio State has "a lot of weapons" and they have to figure out how best to use them, which is up to coaching.
  • Day says they focus on how to attack a team then plug guys in to show their strengths.
  • He says there's a lot of "hidden yardage" that Fields picks up. There's a "give and take" with when Fields should scramble or throw it away.
  • He says he's not sure whether home-field advantage will be neutralized or not.
  • Day says he thought Penn State looked "excellent" in all three phases of the game in the opener versus Indiana. "You've got to earn wins against these guys."
  • On Micah Parsons and Journey Brown not playing: "Those are two very, very good players. Very unfortunate that America and the Big Ten aren't able to see those guys play."
  • Day says he sometimes takes Fields away from the other quarterbacks to work, in part because he doesn't want him to be around the other quarterbacks all the time.
  • He says tight end Pat Freiermuth can be a "mismatch" both in the pass and run game.
  • Day says playing actual football games is most important for development, including quarterbacks. "I think 7-on-7 sometimes hurts quarterbacks."
  • On the backup quarterbacks: "It's an ongoing deal." He says they'll "keep it going" and go "week to week."
  • Day says Chambers is "capable of getting in the game."
  • He says Penn State's defensive ends are "excellent." He says they combine keeping it in front of you and being aggressive with blitzing.
  • On Marcus Hooker: "He's grown a lot, maturity-wise for sure." Says he was "solid" after the first drive on Saturday and will only grow with more experience.
  • Day says he wasn't around for Malik Hooker, but listening to Kerry Coombs and Mickey Marotti, it's true that Marcus and Malik are similar: "I'm hoping they have a lot of things in common. We'll see as the year goes on."

Haskell Garrett

  • "I'm just focusing on the game and getting back to play, being as helpful to the team." He says he got "great medical attention" from all the doctors at the Wexner Medical Center.
  • He says he's "blessed to play another down, another day."
  • "It was everybody. It was Buckeye Nation, my coaches, my friends and, most importantly, my family." 
  • He says he doesn't think most people realize what does into a play. He's thankful he was in the right place at the right time for the sack.
  • "Not really. I was just focused on that moment at that time." He says he knew "there was a greater purpose." Wanted to make sure when he was cleared 
  • On if he'd talk about the night he got shot: "I'd really not like to get into it. I'd really just like to focus on our next opponent, Penn State, and moving forward."
  • Garrett says he was back meeting with Larry Johnson by the Friday 
  • On if he's still dealing with pain: "I'm 100 percent good to go."
  • Garrett said he had to have multiple surgeries on his mouth, including a bone graft, after the shooting. He's 100% good to go now, though.
  • On playing on Saturday: "It felt awesome. It felt great being out there and playing with my brothers."
  • Garrett says he's missing five teeth. "I'm on a liquid diet and I eat some solids."
  • "I was very happy the second I got cleared." He calls himself a "leader in the unit." Says getting cleared and played was "very emotional."
  • He had some doubt about getting medically cleared, but he says he was well prepared physically. "It was depending whether or not I was fully healed."
  • Garrett says he doesn't mind who starts. He thinks it's more important to just play and contribute.
  • He says containing the quarterback will be important. "There's a lot to clean up, but I believe we'll get that contained as far as getting the QB run contained."

Josh Myers

  • He says he'd be lying if he said pass protection went perfect. He attributes it most to being the first game in 10 months.
  • "It was just a weird game." He says it felt that way last year when they played Florida Atlantic. "I think there will be a lot of improvement from this past week to the next one."
  • Communication up front is mainly on his shoulders, Myers says.
  • He says it was "particularly special" for him and Harry Miller to start together because Miller is his "little brother" in the program. "I think he played solid."
  • Myers says he and Wyatt Davis became "so close over the years." Every season since their freshman year, they've been "right next to each other the entire time."
  • He says there will be "plenty" of holes that he and Davis blow open this year. "When you have a player like that next to you, you know it."
  • Myers says Haskell Garrett was "so happy and excited to be back" on his first day returning to the field. "The way he came off the ball was different."
  • Chamber has developed "really well," he says. "To be honest with you, our running back room is very deep."
  • He says he would rather running back carry the ball because he'd like Justin Fields to get hit "negative times" per game.
  • Once they start getting into the season, he says, it gets easier to block out the noise. He, personally, plays Penn State, has class and has an internship to deal with this week, so there's not much time to think.
  • He says he was "terrified" about Garrett's injury. "I love Haskell. Our entire team loves Haskell."
  • Myers says when Fields pulls the ball and runs, the linemen will get to him as soon as possible to protect him.
  • He says he's not worried about his own personal expectations and if the unit lives up to expectations, he'll live up to his own, too.
  • Myers says by the end of last season, he could see Nicholas Petit-Frere turn a corner as a player. Says he played "really well" against Nebraska.
  • He says the linemen are "sure as hell" going to be aware of anything happening under the pile to Fields. "There were certain points last season where it did happen."

Garrett Wilson

  • He says over the extended offseason, they could work on various different routes a bunch. "Justin doesn't miss much, and when he's on target, I've just got to do my job."
  • Wilson thinks the coaches did a good job mimicking the game environment.
  • Day emphasizes "making the routine plays routine."
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba making his touchdown catch was "super awesome." Says they "all knew he could do it."
  • Wilson says the four freshmen have continued to steadily grow over the past few months.
  • He says he's working to get better in the slot "ever week." He was "excited" to make the move primarily to the slot. Thinks he can get some "favorable matchups" in the slot.
  • Wilson says he thinks Chris Olave will be ready to play on Saturday. “I talked to Chris, and he seemed good.”
  • He says the key to his game is being versatile and lining up both inside and outside.
  • Wilson calls his tipped-pass reception a "lucky catch."
  • He didn't realize how fast Julian Fleming is when he first arrived.
  • Wilson says he enjoys playing in the slot more than on the outside right now, but the ability to play both is something he wants to be able to do.
  • He thinks a lot of the receiver skills translate to football well.
  • Wilson on if he'll take credit for teaching Jaxon Smith-Njigba how to make his touchdown catch: "I don't want to take credit for that. The state of Texas can do that."
  • He says he puts a "big emphasis" on being able to be versatile. He wants to be able to play similarly to NFL wideout Davante Adams.
  • He never talks to Fields about when to make a throw or run it, trusting him.
  • "Seeing the competition that you do down in Texas, that's something that translates to the next level." He points to the ability to play year-round.
  • Wilson says seeing Jeff Okudah succeed at Ohio State wasn't huge in his recruitment, but now there are some roots in the state.
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