Ryan Day and the Buckeye coaching staff expected a four-quarter battle in Happy Valley entering the weekend.
Ohio State got exactly that on Saturday, trailing 21-16 in the final frame before turning things around to finish with a 44-31 victory – the program's sixth straight against Penn State. Day reviewed the contest during a brief appearance on 97.1 The Fan's Buckeye Roundtable show Monday night, and said Ohio State was tested against the Nittany Lions.
"Nothing goes easy, nothing goes exactly the way you want it when you're in matchup games. You have to fight through everything," Day said. "Just about every game we've played at Penn State, and certainly against them just in general, it's gonna be four quarters. We talked about that going into the game, that we wanted to play really well early in the game, but we knew that it was gonna take four quarters to win. And it didn't matter how. The expectation was to win a game. It wasn't about trying to get style points. When you go into State College to get a win, you just have to find a way to win."
Day lauded Ohio State's defensive performance, particularly that of J.T. Tuimoloau, and said "no one works harder" than Buckeye wideout Marvin Harrison Jr., who also had a career day against the Nittany Lions.
Day also looked ahead to next weekend's road matchup against Northwestern, and said Ohio State will have to play well to get the job done even in a game it's favored to win by a wide margin.
We took notes on everything Day said during his radio appearance below:
- On J.T.'s performance: "Not much he didn't do. We were gonna let him drive the bus home, but we had a flight back." Day says J.T. is a "perfectionist" and was "looking for a breakout game."
- "Nothing goes easy. Nothing goes exactly the way you want it." Day says the Buckeyes knew it would be a four-quarter affair against Penn State. "It wasn't about trying to get style points. You just have to find a way to win." Day says it was a "great team win" and Ohio State played well in the fourth quarter.
- Day says Saturday's game "builds confidence across the board. ... We got tested and we knew that was going to happen."
- "When you're playing in a silent cadence, there's a lot of things that can come into play. ... But overall I thought we handled the environment very well."
- Day says "it's always a great play if it works. If it doesn't work, it's just an awful play call. I've learned that over the years."
- On Marvin Harrison Jr.: "No one works harder than Marvin."
- On Northwestern: "Gotta go to Chicago and play well. Fitz always does a good job." Day says the Wildcats' record isn't what they want it to be, but that surprises are common in college football.