Despite putting up 54 points on Saturday, the Ohio State offense was far from perfect against Iowa.
The Buckeyes scored just one touchdown on their first 10 drives this past weekend, and many of those started in plus territory due to stellar play from Jim Knowles' Ohio State defense. In an appearance on 97.1 The Fan's Buckeye Roundtable segment Monday, Ryan Day said it took time for his staff to figure out what the Iowa defense had changed up to hamper the Ohio State offense early.
"They typically play a ton of quarters. Two high where they're gonna make their cloud checks and different things based on their splits. Saw a lot more pressure, saw a lot more single high, and then in the red zone and in the short-yardage situations, brought a good amount of zero pressure," Day said. "So, changed it up a little bit, and it took us a few drives to get it recognized. But once we did, I thought we recognized it decent and got us into the right stuff."
Day lauded the effort of Noah Ruggles, who hit four field goals on the day to earn Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors, and also praised Ohio State defensive ends Zach Harrison and J.T. Tuimoloau for their impact against the Hawkeyes.
But Day has already moved on to the next challenge, and said he's spent most of Monday game planning for this weekend's matchup with Penn State. Day said "we all know how difficult it is to go into State College," and that Ohio State plans to crank up the music in practice this week to simulate the hostile environment at Beaver Stadium.
Check out our bullet-point breakdown on everything Day said below:
- Day says Noah Ruggles "kept the momentum in the game" with his kicking accuracy. "You feel like sometimes you're losing four points, but these games get more and more difficult."
- On starting several drives in plus territory: "That was unique for sure. ... We didn't get into a rhythm early on." Day says "there was a couple things that got us off schedule. ... We gotta get that fixed."
- On what Iowa did against the OSU offense: "They typically play a ton of quarters ... saw a lot more pressure, saw a lot more single high." Day says "it took a few drives to get it recognized."
- Day says C.J. Stroud has the freedom to change the protection on offense, and that sometimes Stroud looks back at the coaching staff to make sure the Buckeyes aren't "running bad plays into bad looks."
- Day says the OSU defense was "excellent on third down, and really on fourth down as well." Day says turnovers were the story of the game.
- On long snapper Bradley Robinson's injury: "It was hard to see him go down." Day says "we're hoping to see him recover quickly."
- "When you're as tall and as long as (Zach Harrison) is, there's so many advantages." Day says J.T. Tuimoloau effected the Iowa offense as well.
- On Penn State: "We all know how difficult it is to go into State College." Day says not many Buckeyes have played at Beaver Stadium, but that everyone understands the task at hand. Day says he's been game planning all day on Monday.
- "We're gonna turn the music up loud" in practice this week because "you can't communicate with anybody" in an environment like Penn State.