Thursday Bullet Points: Ohio State's Inexperience, TreVeyon Henderson's Rise to Stardom, and Young Players Emerging

By Kevin Harrish on September 23, 2021 at 12:57 pm
Ryan Day

The Buckeyes haven't quite put together a dominant performance yet this season, but they'll have another chance on Saturday as Ohio State hosts Akron in its first home night game of the season.

Ahead of Saturday's game, Buckeye head coach Ryan Day took to his final weekly media availabilities on Thursday afternoon, joining his weekly radio show on 97.1 The Fan and briefly meeting with the media to offer some final updates.

Day was joined by special teams coordinator Parker Fleming for the final portion of the show.

Here are some of the highlights.

Ryan Day Radio Show

Ryan Day

On TreVeyon Henderson's game
  • “I thought the o-line, tight ends and everybody involved did a great job.”
  • "I think that's the thing that makes him different – once he gets to the second level he can hit a home run."
  • "A tremendous performance for his third game."
  • "A lot of football ahead of him."
On Ohio State's inexperience
  • "It really hit me this week how inexperienced we are across the board."
  • Day notes that there are a lot of guys with no starts, and even those guys didn't even play last year.
  • Day thinks they still have a chance to be a great player.
On Thayer Munford's injury
  • "He played well."
  • Day notes that he's a guy that could have demanded to play more.
  • Day praised his patience and mentality.
On Greg Studrawa
  • Day notes that offensive line coach Greg Studrawa has been out with back surgery on Friday and missed Saturday's game, but was back on Wednesday.
  • "The guys played hard in his absence."
  • Day said he was breaking down film in a hospital bed, and drives around on a golf cart at practice.
On Garrett Wilson's play
  • Day praised Wilson for a play where he "gave everything he had" and blocked the safety to spring TreVeyon Henderson for a long touchdown.
  • "That's when you know you're taking your game to the next level."
On Cameron Martinez's transition from high school quarterback to cornerback
  • "He's a hard worker."
  • "He really had no background in DB when he got here."
  • "I think he has a high ceiling. He doesn't have a lot of experience playing the position, but a lot of potential."
  • Day notes that he has a lot of natural potential.
  • "We looked at him as a wide receiver, as well," Day said, but he has a higher ceiling at defensive back.
On Tyleik Williams
  • Day notes that Williams has his weight down.
  • Day said Willilams had never even been in the stadium until the spring game.
  • "He's learned the defense in a really short period of time."
On Zach Harrison
  • "Expect to see him play this game and get back on track.
On Denzel Burke
  • "He's just competed every day and hasn't backed down from our receivers."
  • "He has the respect of the entire team."
  • Day notes that Burke also didn't play cornerback in high school and is still learning the position.
  • "He has a lot of potential."
On the safety position
  • "I think Ronnie Hickman has really settled in a little bit."
  • "He's now put a couple of games under his belt."
  • "We now have a guy who we know can go and make a play."
  • Day notes that Bryson Shaw and Lathan Ransom are learning at the other safety position.
On the quarterback depth
  • Ohio State plans to rest C.J. Stroud against Akron.
  • Kyle McCord and Jack Miller will play in his place.
On going under center more often
  • "Everything's cyclical," Day notes of the offense going back to big packages.
  • Day notes that they like to be able to do that and to still spread teams out.
  • Day said they even had a fullback on the field against Tulsa.
On Miyan Williams
  • "He missed a day of practice last week and we moved some things around and Trey got a hot hand."
  • "When someone's got a hot hand, you have to go with them."
On Ohio State's defensive changes
  • Day notes they did make some small schematic changes.
  • Day said the plus side was that they were able to shut down the run game, but they still gave up a lot of yardage through the air.
  • "Still a lot to grow on in terms of execution, but we did stop the run."
On Palaie Gaoteote
  • Day notes that the Buckeyes call him "EA," because his name is difficult to pronounce.
  • "He has more game experience than most of the guys on our team," but he has to learn Ohio State's scheme.
  • Day said it was difficult to prepare for the season because they weren't sure whether or not he'd even be eligible, so he didn't get the number of reps that he should have.
On the quarterback situation
  • Day said sitting Stroud this week is "the plan right now."
  • "We shut him down the last couple of days and the other guys are getting the work."
  • "We've always felt like we're going to need several guys at that position, because it's a long road."
  • Day notes that the last time Ohio State won a national title, they needed three quarterbacks.
  • "This is not the first time that something like this has happened."

Parker Fleming

On replacing kickers and punters
  • "It's never fun to replace experience"
  • "Due and Blake are really hard to replace."
  • "That's what practice is for."
  • Fleming notes that Jesse Mirko was here for spring practice, and "without that it would have been very difficult.
On Noah Ruggles' practice routines
  • "We're really big on routine."
  • Fleming notes that 20-25 kicks is "way too much" for a day in practice.
  • He kicks fewer field goals in practice later in the week.
How to determine a kicker's range
  • "It's constantly evolving. Every day it could be different."
  • "We kind of have an idea of the max range he could hit on an indoor with no wind."
  • Fleming said then they add in the other factors.
On the returners
  • Fleming notes that Emeka Egbuka has taken over the kick return duties.
  • "For the most part, I want it to be aggressive."
  • "Every yard we get matters."

Ryan Day's Thursday Press Conference

  • On naming a starter for Saturday, Day says the Buckeyes will make a decision closer to game day. 
  • Day says Quinn Ewers “would be unavailable” for Saturday’s game.
  • “I have faith in both of those guys, I don’t think C.J.’s situation is serious, but we did feel like some rest would go a long way.”
  • Day says Denzel Burke got an interception in the first or second day of practice after getting on campus, and has had a professional approach. 
  • Day says starting Kyle McCord wouldn’t be much different than starting Stroud against Minnesota, because neither had thrown a pass in a game before that. “We knew going into the season that we would need the whole room.” Day cites the 2014 national championship year.
  • On the reps between McCord and Miller, Day says they’ve both gotten reps with the ones, they both “feel pretty good going into a Thursday practice.” Day says both are excited to get some reps under their belt.
  • Day says by tomorrow the team will probably let either McCord or Miller know they’re the starter Saturday.
  • “Over the last three, four weeks, there’s been improvement in that room.” Day says being a part of the meetings and games have added up to kelp McCord and Miller improve.
  • Will McCord and Miller rotate during the game? Day says they will pick one quarterback and probably give the other one “a drive” if the opportunity presents itself.
  • Day says that after talking with Stroud about his shoulder, he thought it would be best to shut him down. Day says Stroud said he had a “feeling he couldn’t shake,” and that rest might be the best thing for him.
  • Day says he went through a similar situation when he was a QB, had an injured shoulder, sat down for a week and felt better after some rest. “Do you work through it or do you rest it?” Day says he talked to doctors and Stroud himself in order to make the best decision.
  • “If he’s not able to play, that’ll be very, very hard for him. No competitor wants to sit there and watch their teammates play.”
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