Thursday Bullet Points: Returning From a Bye Week, What Makes a Road Game Different, and Freshmen Expectations Going Forward

By Kevin Harrish on October 21, 2021 at 1:02 pm

After an off week, Ohio State returns to action on Saturday night with a primetime road showdown against Indiana.

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.

Here are some of the highlights.

Ryan Day Radio Show

Ryan Day

On the bye week
  • Day say Ohio State was able to get some rest but still had a good week of practice.
  • "We really haven't had many guys who've been through a bye week before except the older guys."
On playing so many players getting in the game
  • "I think any time you get out there and put it on the field and put it on film it's way different than practice."
  • Day notes that this team has experience that it didn't have at the beginning of the year."
  • "It's big."
On players returning from injury and wanting to get back
  • "When you look at this last run we're going to make, it's going to be a big run."
  • Day said he knows some of the older guys are wanting to get on the field.
  • Day says he tells players "don't wait till the last game" to take in this experience.
On being the No. 1 offense in the country
  • "I thought the last couple of games we had some good rhythm going."
  • "We've got to bring it every week."
  • "Indiana's got a very good defense," Day said. "They come at you in different ways."
  • "The big plays are going to come on both sides of the ball, it's the fundamentals you have to work on."
On an away game
  • "There's a lot to be gained from going on the road."
  • Day said the road game gets a lot of distractions out of the way.
  • "Just you and the guys."
  • "We're going to get big crowds."
  • "We're going to get their best shot."
  • "Going into Bloomington is a challenge for us. It always has been."
On solidifying rotations
  • "We had so many guys who hadn't done it before."
  • Day said he feels guys are settling into roles now and getting some reps under their belt.
  • "We've moved some guys around, but we're starting to get a rhythm going."
  • "It takes a lot of stress off when you know what to expect."
On Larry Johnson's rotations
  • "He has a plan going in (to each game)."
  • "Sometimes it gets a little chaotic."
  • Day said the rotations will help keep the defensive line fresh at the end of the year.
On whether he watches the opposing team's film
  • "Not much."
  • Day said he does see the offense in crossover games often, however.
  • "Most of my focus goes on the offense."
On the Indiana defense
  • "They're very veteran."
  • "These guys have got a million reps under their belt."
  • "Very impressed at the back end and how they're coached."
On C.J. Stroud
  • "The preparation's been solid; he can take the meeting to the field really well."
  • "These games are going to get tougher."
  • Day notes he'll have to deal with close games, bad weather and other things.
On TreVeyon Henderson itching for carries
  • "He's been getting stronger and better."
  • "When you play six games, you're not a freshman anymore."
  • Day notes he hasn't had a ton of carries, so he's "got plenty of tread on the tire."
On the freshmen class
  • Day notes that Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson didn't do a whole lot their freshman seasons until the end of the season, and there's a chance we see even more freshmen emerge.
  • Day said there are some other guys "laying in the weeds" who could see the field in the second half of the season.
  • "They're time's going to come soon."
On game-planning the offense
  • "I think everyone on offense enjoys game planning.
  • "We have a lot of fun with it."
  • Day notes it's also not always easy with that many opinions.
  • Day said the hardest work comes in practice, though.
  • "We see so many different types of defense in college."
  • "Every week is a different style of defense."
On potentially moving the hash marks in, like the NFL
  • Ryan Day said he would absolutely advocate for moving the hash marks in, like the NFL.
  • Day said he's considered suggesting that rule change in the offseason.
  • "It would open the game wide open."
  • "I think the hash marks in college are antiquated."
  • Day said the game has changed and players are more athletic, so the field should change to reflect that.
  • "That's something I'd really be a fan of."
On working on clock-management situations
  • Day said Ohio State doesn't practice it all that much.
  • Day said they talk about it and watch games together, but they primarily work on situations on Sunday.
  • Day said some special situations they look at on Friday.
On balancing class schedules
  • Day said it's helped that guys got in a rhythm and routine.
  • "I also think once you get in a routine you have to stay disciplined."
  • "The newness has also worn off."
  • Day said when the newness wears off, you can get into some bad habits."
On Indiana's offense
  • Day notes that they lost Michael Penix, but that he recruited Jack Tuttle out of high school.
  • "They have a good system."
  • "These are veteran guys. It's a very veteran team."
  • Day remembers Indiana played really well offensively last year.
  • Day notes that all of Indiana's losses came against top-10 teams.
On defending the tight end
  • Day said the bullet position is big for defending tight ends.
  • "He's a hybrid safety/linebakcer."
  • "That's usually the matchup we're looking for in man-to-man"
On recruiting Chris Olave
  • Day remembers going to Califronia to scout Jack Tuttle and the coach raving about Olave.
  • Day revealed that Olave actually silently decommitted from Ohio State at one point, but ultimately stuck with the Buckeyes.
  • Day said Olave played four sports in high school.
On the running backs room
  • Day mentions that Ohio State does have Miyan Williams back.
  • Day says Evan Pryor will get more opportunities going forward.
  • "You can't play them all at once."

Kerry Coombs

On the bullet position
  • Coombs said the position is versatile and helps cover athletic tight ends.
  • Coombs said the position is really just "an old-school strong safety."
  • Coombs notes that Ronnie Hickman has "had a great season" and is "plenty big enough" to play bullet at 205 pounds.
On going against the Ohio State wide receivers
  • Coombs says there's no better way to improve at man-to-man defense than going against Ohio State's receivers.
  • "These are the best receivers we've ever had."
  • Coombs says he can see Denzel Burke get more comfortable every day after playing offense in high school.

Ryan Day's Thursday Press Conference

  • Day says the team started using binders to prepare for games instead of solely using iPads because “it felt like it was the right thing to do.” Day says it helped for the coaches as well, and that writing things down helps with memorization.
  • “I thought we’ve had a good week of practice, good energy this week.”
  • On the linebackers, Day says the group is “kind of studying themselves” and that every time they play, they get better.
  • On opposing blitzes, Day says a team will only really bring anywhere from four to six rushers, but that it can be high-risk, high-reward.
  • “We just didn’t do a very good job of finishing the game.” Day on last year’s 42-35 win against Indiana. “We’ve never really been in a game with Indiana where we haven’t had to play for four quarters.”
  • Day says there’s a “bunch of guys who have been practicing very well,” and mentions Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., Jordan Hancock, Mike Hall among them.
  • Day says everybody on the Ohio State roster is vaccinated, with the exception of “a player of two” that has sought out an exemption.
  • Day says “we haven’t switched everything up, we have changed some things, for sure” on defense.
  • Day says he’s never done a bed check in which he was missing a player.
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