Ryan Day Radio Show: Ryan Day Previews Historic Matchup With Notre Dame, Expects Experienced Roster to Play With Competitive Excellence Against Irish

By Chase Brown and Griffin Strom on September 1, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Ohio State will face Notre Dame in a top-five matchup this Saturday. Ryan Day took to the radio waves and met with the media in a lightning round to preview the matchup.

Here are some of the highlights from The Ryan Day Radio Show on 97.1 The Fan:

Ryan Day

On adding gameplans for Notre Dame while working on fundamentals

  • "We need to be ready for this game."
  • "We have always been inserting stuff throughout the preseason, but the last two weeks we've moved into Notre Dame."
  • "The goal is to play really fast, violent, tough and physical."

On how to prepare for Notre Dame when practicing against teammates

  • "We do some good-on-good work."
  • "You have to keep your edge."
  • Day said Ohio State's players are tired of practicing against each other and are ready to play Notre Dame on Saturday. "They kind of get annoyed (with each other) at this point."

On how to coach his players without game film on Notre Dame

  • "Tommy Rees does an excellent job with their offense."
  • Day said Tyler Buchner will be a threat or Ohio State's defense as he can use his arm or his legs to move the chains. "Very athletic. Very talented quarterback."
  • "Marcus does an excellent job with their defense, but Al Golden is there now, too."
  • "There will be a lot of in-game adjustments (on Saturday)."

On how he wants his players to view the season opener

  • "What a great opportunity for all of us."
  • Day said he wants his players to take in the entire environment of Ohio Stadium this weekend.
  • With the 100th anniversary of the Horseshoe, to College GameDay, to the 2002 national championship team, he said it will a one-of-a-kind experience for his players.

On the competition for playing time

  • "It's been great to have almost the entire team (from last year) back."
  • "You look at that Rose Bowl team, and we almost have everyone back."
  • Day looks forward to having an experienced roster this season and what they'll do against Notre Dame and other opponents.

On C.J. Stroud

  • Last year, he proved that 'You can really count on me.'"
  • Day said Stroud doesn't care about statistics or breaking records while playing quarterback for Ohio State. "His goal is to win football games."
  • "You can really see his growth as a leader."

On Ohio State's wide receiver room

  • "It was really good to see the Rose Bowl for those guys."
  • Day said losing Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson will require an adjustment. "You don't just replace two first-rounders like that... These guys will have to prove it."
  • "Chris and Garrett, they were clutch. Those guys will need to be, too."
  • Day said he has been proud of Brian Hartline's work with the Ohio State wide receivers. He thinks Hartline teaches them to be NFL-ready after their Buckeye careers and has trained them to play at a high level in college.

On the Dallan Hayden, the Ohio State running back room

  • Day praised Dallan Hayden for his hard work since Evan Pryor went down with an injury. "He'll be our third running back going into the game."
  • Day said Chip Trayanum has been working at running back in practice and understands what Ohio State wants from the position. "If a bomb ever went off, Chip Trayanum would actually be our fourth running back."

On finding balance in the running game

  • "We've spent an inordinate amount of time running the football (in practice)."
  • "We want to be around 250 (passing) and 250 (running) in our offense."
  • Day said the offensive lineman have been generating solid push up front to create running lanes for the Ohio State running backs.

On Notre Dame defensive lineman Isaiah Foskey

  • "He's a first-rounder legitimately, but the other guys are talented too."
  • Day said Ohio State can't become too focused on Foskey and said the Irish have plenty of talent to worry about defensively. "He's not the only one, because they have some really good players on defense."

On Ohio Stadium's new turf

  • "It's a new track. It's a fast track."
  • "The good thing was that they replaced our indoor facility. It's the same one over in the stadium... We were able to get our footing there."
  • Day said Ohio Stadium's turf is smoother and his players have really enjoyed having a new playing surface for gamedays.

On his players attending class before practice in the fall

  • "The timing of it worked out well."
  • Day said his players need to find a routine while balancing classes and practice. He feels thankful to have his players spend a week in the classroom before facing Notre Dame as it has allowed them to find that routine.
  • "We keep them busy."

On having a night game against Notre Dame

  • "We wake up in the morning, have breakfast, then championship walk."
  • Day said his players come over to the Woody and receive any medical attention they need. They return to the Blackwell to get off their feet before walking over to the stadium."
  • Day said the team will walk over to the Shoe but will stop at the Skull Session first.

On Jim Knowles and his defense

  • "It's been exciting. Our guys are really into it. They're playing fast... I'm excited to see this defense play on Saturday night."
  • Day said Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer is a hybrid weapon that can hurt the Buckeyes in the running game and the passing game. "We have to have a plan for him."
  • Day said you can't quantify the experience Ohio State brings back defensively this season. "How do you supplement experience? You can't... When you look at this defense coming back, there are a lot of guys who have played."

On having leadership defensively

  • "The leadership has to be strong."
  • Day said his team has great depth on the defensive line and each of them to contribute against Notre Dame. "It starts with the defensive line."
  • Day said Tyler Friday has been a phenomenal leader during fall camp. "It's great to have him back."

On linebacker Steele Chambers and his growth

  • "He stepped right in and did a really good job last season."
  • "He has a Rolodex of plays under his belt now."
  • Day said Chambers

On tight end Cade Stover finding a edge

  • "I've been really impressed with Cade. He's had a really good offseason, summer and preseason."
  • Day said Stover has an edge and wants him to play with one at tight end. "He's been doing that... He has and he is ready to have a big year."
  • "He has versatility."

On the special teams

  • "Special teams are a third of the game. It's huge."
  • "I feel really good about our return guys."
  • Day said having solid special teams will make Ohio State an elite team. He also looks forward to having some younger players step forward and make a name for themselves on the unit.

On Notre Dame

  • "They're a veteran team."
  • "They've played a lot of football. They will be a team that understands what it's like to play in this environment."
  • "We're gonna get their best shot."

On Notre Dame defensive coordinator Al Golden

  • Day said he coached with Al Golden at Temple as a wide receivers coach.
  • "He does a great job with his players."
  • "His team will be well-organized and well-coached."

On having recruits in town this weekend

  • "Mark Pantoni and his staff have their hands full this weekend."
  • Day looks forward to those recruits seeing Ohio Stadium and that environment this weekend. "That's the excitement about coming to Ohio State – it's playing in environments like this."
  • "I'm not good at compartmentalizing... We need to win this game, so that's the priority."

On using Nike footballs in practice and in games

  • Day said it was unfamiliar at first to use a different football but ultimately liked them enough to use them. "It was a big decision."
  • Day said he likes the Nike football. "They're very, very similar to the balls we've used in the past. Almost identical."
  • "It made a lot of sense to use them moving forward. The guys really liked them."

On the growing NIL space for his players

  • "They're doing as good of a job as anyone in the country (in NIL)."
  • "It's not going away."
  • Day said he wishes there were guidelines to NIL that would allow some clarity to deals. He wants his players to be smart about deals they take during the season and be aware of how to manage their time effectively.

Corey Dennis

On the Ohio State quarterback position over time

  • Dennis talked about Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields and C.J. Stroud all learning from each other. “It’s really cool the transition of Ohio State quarterbacks.”
  • Dennis said Kyle McCord and Devin Brown now have the same opportunity to learn from Stroud as he goes against the Buckeyes’ opponents.

On Stroud picking things up in his second year

  • “If you take away one guy, then somebody else usually opens up.”
  • “C.J. has done a good job developing and going through his progressions in fall camp.”

On the offense and defense improving each other in practice

  • “That is Ohio State. It’s iron sharpens iron. It’s been that way for a long time here.”
  • “We are excited to get out there on Saturday and having something to show for it.”

On the magnitude of the Notre Dame game

  • “This is the reason you come to Ohio State. It’s for games like this.”
  • Dennis said the players are itching to play Notre Dame this weekend and want to face an opponent that’s not their teammates.

Ryan Day's Thursday Press Conference

  • "It's gonna be a battle for both sides of the ball. It's gonna be a battle on the perimeter. ... We have to be the tougher team." Day says "any game is won and lost up front."
  • Day says "you have to try to have a contingency plan in place for what's going on," and the Buckeyes have to gameplan to fit the skill set of the 2022 roster this year.
  • On C.J. Stroud giving the entire team money for suits, Day says "I've just been impressed with his approach and his maturity." Day says no one asked or expected Stroud to do that, and that it speaks to how close the team is this year.
  • Day says "there are a lot of those guys in that sophomore class that are playing for us." Day says "for a lot of those guys that came in mid-year and now have been in the program for a full year, there's been a lot of improvement across the board."
  • On the Buckeye defense: "It's been great to see in the scrimmages how they've operated." Day says "time will tell, it's gonna be a long game on Saturday night and it's gonna be a long season."
  • Day says there's "no expectation in terms of yardage" in the run game, and that it's just about winning the game on Saturday. Day says the Buckeyes want to control the clock and the game. "The chances of winning go way up." Day says "I like the plan we have going in."
  • Day says there's "no update" on Parker Lewis's eligibility situation.
  • "We need to do a great job of understanding this is a big game and playing with emotion and not letting emotion play us."
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