Ohio State has officially arrived in New Orleans.
The Buckeyes touched down at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at 4:12 p.m. CT on Thursday afternoon, a little over 24 hours before Friday's College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl (8 p.m., ESPN) against Clemson, who arrived in New Orleans on Wednesday.
In the video at the top of the page, you can hear what Ryan Day had to say during a brief interview with ESPN's Maria Taylor upon the Buckeyes' arrival in New Orleans.
When asked whether Ohio State would have all of its starters back for Friday night's game, Day did not directly answer – instead, noting that players who have been cleared to make the trip might not necessarily be cleared to play yet because of the Big Ten's 17-day protocol – but did say “the plane's a little bit more full than it was a week ago.”
While the Buckeyes, who have completed their final round of pregame COVID-19 testing, won't be doing the sightseeing around New Orleans that they typically would during a trip to the Sugar Bowl – Ohio State is scheduled to go directly to its hotel after a walkthrough at the Superdome on Thursday evening, and remain there until it heads to the stadium on Friday evening – Day does want them to enjoy the experience to play in the CFP that they've earned.
“They have to enjoy it,” Day said. “They worked so hard to get back to this spot where they really wanted to be ... they're going to work really hard tonight, have great preparation ... but at the end of the day, it's going to come down to who executes better.”