Presser Bullets: Ryan Day and C.J. Stroud Say Confidence is Growing For Buckeyes, Kourt Williams Says "Watch Out" for Ohio State

By Griffin Strom on October 23, 2021 at 11:52 pm
Ryan Day
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Following Saturday Night's 54-7 win over Indiana on the road, Ryan Day and several Buckeye players spoke with members of the media after the game.

Here's a rundown of everything Day, C.J. Stroud, Jeremy Ruckert and Kourt Williams said in the post-game press conference in Bloomington.

Ryan Day

  • "It's always been about us, and that's what we have to focus on." Day says the Buckeyes approached this game as if they had a 0-0 record. Day says the Buckeyes were not expecting rain tonight.
  • Day said it was "great to see" guys like Zach Harrison running around and having fun on a night in which they stepped up.
  • Day says the Buckeyes have been "really hard on ourselves" in preparation for games.
  • Day says Penn State is "the biggest challenge of the year."
  • Day says it was hard to pull Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and TreVeyon Henderson in most of the second half, but that he "couldn't live with himself" if one of them got injured playing late in a game like Saturday's.
  • "You're starting to see a bunch of guys get on the field, and that's what we're looking for."
  • On C.J. Stroud: "It starts with the protection, and it starts with the trust with the guys who catch it." Day says Stroud "made some nice throws tonight."
  • Day says when Ohio State gets the ball back at mid-field, the offense can play with the "ultimate" confidence. Day says that's kind of how things were in 2019.
  • Ryan Day says stopping the run is the first priority in Big Ten games.
  • "I just think it's a different team. When you practice well, you have confidence because you've done it. ... A lot of confidence in the defense now." Day says some players felt like they were on "an island on their own" early in the season.
  • "We have so many weapons, but guys have to be unselfish." Day says Jeremy Ruckert has been "doing the dirty work" when the ball hasn't come his way, but that "eventually it's gonna come back to you."
  • Day says Stroud is "gonna stay humble on this thing."

QB C.J. Stroud & TE Jeremy Ruckert

  • Stroud: "I think I'm just stepping into that role of not just being a leader of this football team but a leader of God." Stroud says today was Ruckert's "day to ball."
  • Ruckert: "I feel like more so now than ever we've come together as a team."
  • Ruckert says the Buckeyes have been able to rely on each other as of late, and that the team is "in sync right now."
  • Stroud says the offensive line had a great game, and that he felt like he only got touched one time.
  • Stroud says he watched Indiana film from as far back as the 2017 season in order to feel fully prepared for Saturday's game.
  • Stroud says he was "down in the dumps early in the season," but that the team has lifted him up and that Ohio State is "elevating" now.
  • Stroud says even though some fans are "really critical," he still loves Buckeye Nation.
  • Stroud says "I feel bad for (Marcus Crowley)," who was unavailable for Saturday's game.
  • Stroud says he tries to come into each new game with a "blank slate" and that Ohio State did not just "relax" over the bye week. Stroud says being around positive people helps "keep the momentum going."

S Kourt Williams

  • Williams says it's "nothing but a blessing" to be contributing to the team's success. Williams says Ohio State had some "sloppy mistakes" on the first defensive series of the game.
  • Williams says the team's confidence stems from its preparation as of late.
  • Williams says Matt Barnes is usually the one "on the boards telling us the adjustments" at halftime.
  • "It's just about getting reps." Williams says he felt good health wise at the beginning of the fall, but has had to get reps to feel comfortable.
  • Williams says "we're gonna be a problem. Unstoppable."
  • "I think it's big. We just take it one game at a time, and we just talk about stopping the run. That's the main job."
  • "We're communicating better," Kourt Williams says the defense has been meeting more as a whole rather than in individual units.
  • On pressure up front: "When they get it done in the trenches, that just makes our job easier."
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