Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Says Cam Brown, Haskell Garrett Will Be Back Against Indiana, Al Washington Opens Up on K'Vaughan Pope, Dallas Gant

By Griffin Strom on October 19, 2021 at 1:10 pm

Fresh off a bye week, game preparations begin anew for the Buckeyes ahead of their road matchup with Indiana on Saturday.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day took the podium at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Tuesday to discuss the forthcoming contest and a number of other topics. Following Day, linebackers coach Al Washington and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa both addressed the media as well.

Here's a rundown of everything the Buckeye coaches said Tuesday.

Ryan Day

  • Day says some of the freshmen and younger guys are among those he didn't expect to be playing as much as they are. Day says it's "good to see Mitch Rossi doing what he's doing." Day says Steele Chambers has been a "pleasant surprise" and expects his role to continue to increase this season.
  • Day says the Buckeyes were "just hanging on" at the end of last year's Indiana game, and says that Ohio State had questionable decision-making in that game.
  • Day says "it's gonna be a little while" before Quinn Ewers is ready to play for Ohio State. Says he has to get "more accustomed to the day-to-day grind." Day says Ewers might be more ready to play around bowl practice time.
  • On the offensive line, Day says the Buckeyes have played some depth because of the emergence of a guy like Matt Jones.
  • Day says getting rest and working on fundamentals were both key for the Buckeyes over the bye week.
  • "I think we're in a lot better place than we were at the beginning of the season." Day says the Buckeyes have to take things one game at a time the rest of the way.
  • On C.J. Stroud and the Heisman Trophy: "When someone gives criticism or praise, you have to treat it the same way ... you can't ride that rollercoaster."
  • Day says Stroud communicates well, and the better he plays the more energy he has. "I'm encouraged with what I see in terms of leadership."
  • Day says Matt Jones has played well, and that "we'll always try to put the best players in there." Day says part of the bye week is identifying the best personnel over the last several weeks.
  • On figuring out if Dawand Jones truly loved football during his recruiting process, Day says "he told me, and I believed him." Day says Jones is a "skill player in a big man's body." Day says if he continues to "embrace the grind" on a daily basis, "his ceiling is very high."
  • Day says the Buckeyes' prep the last two weeks was "excellent" and that the team has been looking to keep things the same since figuring out what the best routine has been.
  • "You have to pay four quarters against Indiana, so we're planning on doing that."
  • Day says the Buckeyes are "starting to believe in themselves" and that they have to continue practicing well.
  • Day says "the only times we get ourselves out of wack" is when the Buckeyes start losing focus on fundamentals.
  • Day says the Buckeyes "can't splinter" if they go down early in a game, which they have a few teams this season.
  • Day says Indiana has dealt with injuries but should be getting some guys back this week. Day says Indiana is "much better than their record indicates."
  • Day says Ohio State is "still a work in progress" and needs to focus on the task at hand in beating Indiana.
  • "I'm very encouraged just across the board" with players talking football in the locker room.
  • Day says he expects Cam Brown and Haskell Garrett to be back for Ohio State against Indiana.
  • Day says a team has to be smart about the amount of guys it takes that are somewhat raw but might have very high upside. Day says the first priority is recruiting guys that "want to be at Ohio State."

Al Washington

  • "The No. 1 thing that has helped is just time." Washington says the Buckeye linebackers "have their cleats under them a little bit" now.
  • Washington says he knew what the caliber of player was in his position room in the preseason. "They can get it done, and I expect them to get it done."
  • On Craig Young: "His role has been where you've seen him, in that bullet role." Washington says he's "very close" with Craig, and that his role is evolving every week.
  • On Palaie Gaoteote, Washington says the Buckeyes couldn't get him a whole lot of reps in the preseason because he didn't know what his future would be, and that he had an early "hiccup" in terms of getting his body adjusted. Washington says a bigger role will be expected from Gaoteote in the second half of the season.
  • Washington says Ronnie Hickman is a leader on the Buckeye defense.
  • "Every rep he's out there, he's getting better." Washington says Steele Chambers is "gonna be a very, very good player."
  • "I've got nothing but love for those kids." Washington says he supports Dallas Gant and K'Vaughan Pope in all of their future endeavors. Washington says he "completely understands their frustration."
  • Washington says Teradja Mitchell has been a key in the Ohio State linebacker room staying focused despite some distractions this year.
  • On how the group responded to losing Gant and Pope, Washington says their was a conversation about what the position room needed to do and what it could control in the moment. 
  • On only having two linebacker spots to split up snaps due to the bullet position, Washington says it depends on what the opponent is doing, and that it doesn't change all that much about his approach to his job.
  • Washington says he reflected on things after the Pope situation, and asked "what led up to this?" Washington says he still has a relationship with Pope to this day.
  • Washington says he's not concerned or worried about depth or injury issues among the Buckeye linebackers.
  • On if Reid Carrico could see an increase in playing time this season: "It's really hard to say right now for Reid."
  • "There's been moments that have been very challenging." Washington says there have been "unusual" occurrences this season, but that the Buckeyes are "still in it" right now.
  • Washington says Matt Barnes has "done a phenomenal job" and says "the dynamic hasn't changed much" on the Ohio State defensive coaching staff.
  • On Chambers, Washington says he's "working really hard off the field." Washington says he's "got the right approach." Washington says "athletically, he flashes" and that he feels good about the direction Chambers is going in.
  • Washington says there's a collaborative process on the Buckeye defense. Washington says he "hopes we have Ryan's respect, as we know we do."

Greg Studrawa

  • Studrawa says he missed four days when he was out with his back surgery, and that his assistants did a great job in stepping up in his absence.
  • Studrawa says the team only made the decision to go with Harry Miller instead of Luke Wypler 10 days before the season opener, but that he felt comfortable playing either one of them.
  • Studrawa says Matt Jones is the backup center for the Buckeyes right now, and that "he's in the mix" to be among the best five players on the offensive line. Studrawa says "he deserves to play."
  • Studrawa says Nicholas Petit-Frere was the one that had the idea to move back to right tackle for a few plays when Dawand Jones was "feeling ill" at halftime.
  • Studrawa jokes that only felt like Dawand Jones was truly committed to football "about a year after he was here." Says it took until the spring for him to be truly convinced that he loves football. "He's different because of basketball." 
  • "There's reps in practice that (Matt Jones) has to take at center." Stud says the Buckeyes don't skip a beat if somebody goes down because they have so much versatility on the line.
  • Studrawa says it's very rare for Luke Wypler to have to work ethic he has as such a young guy.
  • Right after surgery, Studrawa says he was on Zoom watching practice film. Studrawa says it gave his team comfort. Studrawa says "it was torture" watching the Tulsa game from the recovery room, and jokes that he had to "take some more pills to calm down."
  • Harry Miller has to be back practicing consistently before he will be back in the rotation, and Studrawa says this process has been "very frustrating" for Miller.
  • Studrawa says he had a shooting pain in his back during the Minnesota game, and said it was an L4 and L5 disk issue. 
  • "Can't imagine" how much switching rotations on the offensive line last year due to COVID-19 helped the group prepare for being able to switch and step up this year.
  • Studrawa says he was "a little bit nervous" about his group's pass protection going into the Maryland game, but that it impressed him and is playing with confidence.
  • Studrawa says he put a "hard emphasis" on pass protection this year because of having a freshman quarterback this season. Says last year the pocket would tend to "shrink" sometimes, but that it wasn't much of an issue with Justin Fields.
  • Studrawa says Toby Wilson has "earned where he is" and "will continue to grow and get better."
  • Studrawa says getting Matt Jones into the game at center is "kind of a touchy situation" because there's no reason for him to be injured late in a game just to get reps at center.
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