Ryan Day held court with the local media yesterday, ahead of Saturday night's clash with Toledo in Ohio Stadium, and he sounded like a man appreciative to be 2-0 but far from satisfied.
He spoke directly and very matter of fact with regard to where he needs to see improvement.
One item in particular causing angst is Ohio State's penchant for racking up penalties across the first two contests.
I wouldn't say I'm pleased.. We have to continue to have that edge.. We've got to prove ourselves every week. Areas of improvement, certainly the penalties is one thing. It's ridiculous.– Ohio State head coach Ryan Day
After racking up seven penalties for 75 yards in the season-opening win against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes upped that total versus Arkansas State, amassing nine accepted penalties for 85 yards.
Two of the nine last Saturday came against the offense with one, an illegal motion of Marvin Harrison, getting Ohio State off-schedule on a 1st-and-Goal that eventually contributed to the Buckeyes settling for a field goal and a 17-3 lead.
|2022 (2 G)||8.0||98|
Defense and special teams were flagged for seven infractions headlined by a Teradja Mitchell illegal attempted jump over the Red Wolves' punt protectors, combined with another flag, that wiped out a 78-yard punt return touchdown from Emeka Egbuka.
The defensive line saw four different players flagged for offsides, Denzel Burke was hit with a pass interference call and Taron Vincent picked up a personal foul on the way to the locker room at halftime.
For his part, Day is clearly frustrated with the team's undisciplined start.
That said, the reality is under Day's leadership, Ohio State has actually gotten worse each year in avoiding flags.
In Day's first season, Ohio State finished a somewhat respectable No. 50 in the country with 5.8 penalties per game but the number of flags per game has increased each season since. Yes, 2022 is a small sample size and there's plenty of time to course-correct but going from 5.8 per game to 6.1 to 6.5 and now 8.0 per game isn't an impressive trend.
Penalties don't figure to cost Ohio State a game anytime soon but when the competition steps up, the Buckeyes will need to get the penalties under control.