Ryan Day on ESPN's College GameDay: Peach Bowl Matchup Against Top-Seeded Georgia "The Way We Want It"

By Chase Brown on December 31, 2022 at 1:00 pm

It's been a long month for the Buckeyes.

After Ohio State's second consecutive loss to Michigan, head coach Ryan Day said the team felt as if its season was over. Then, a berth as the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff breathed new life into the program. He explained what that was like for the Buckeyes on Saturday's broadcast of ESPN's College GameDay.

"It was a week where we didn't have anything," Day said of the week following Ohio State's loss to Michigan. "When that gets taken away from you, it gives you a different perspective as you go back to work over the next month. We know we have a huge challenge in Georgia, but that's kind of the way we want it. In their backyard going down here. It's gonna be a hard game."

Ohio State arrived in Georgia's capital city late on Sunday and has practiced in Mercedes-Benz Stadium – the hosting venue of the Peach Bowl – since Monday. In that time, Day said he'd seen tremendous energy from his players, which offers him plenty of confidence heading into Saturday's matchup with Georgia.

As Day and his coaching staff conducted a bed check after Ohio State's curfew at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, he said the Orange Bowl between Tennessee and Clemson was in the opening minutes of the second quarter. That contest kicked off at 8 p.m., the same time the Buckeyes are set to face the Bulldogs in the CFP semifinal. With that said, Day understands his team is in for a long day before the game time.

To combat that, Day said Ohio State would have activities throughout the day to keep players on their feet and active rather than lounging around in the hotel. One of those activities was a morning stretch, which Day compared to "a shootaround" in basketball.

"It's going to be a long day here as we prepare to play this game," Day said. "We've been waiting for what feels like forever to play this game, but our guys are very excited. Great energy about them."

When Ohio State finally takes the field on Saturday, Day said his team will "swing as hard as (they) can" from the game's start to its end, using their month of preparation and motivation after the Buckeyes' loss to the Wolverines in their most recent performance. Still, Day claims Ohio State can't dwell on what happened in the past and must maintain all focus on what the Bulldogs will bring to the table in Atlanta.

"All that matters is what happens on the field (against Georgia). I know there are not a lot of people that are giving us a chance to win this game, but I can tell you the guys are really excited about playing in this one."

The battle between Ohio State and Georgia is set to begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Holly Rowe providing coverage of the contest.

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