Ohio State has reached the final quarter of its regular season slate.
With three games remaining before the postseason and Indiana next on tap as the Buckeyes return home this weekend, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day addressed questions from media members at his weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Tuesday.
Following Day, Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles stepped up to the podium to review this past Saturday's game and look ahead to Indiana.
We took notes on everything Day and Knowles said below:
- Day is "staying away from the updates" as far as injury issues.
- On the run game: "I think we all need to do better. Going back and watching the film, we gotta block better, we gotta run better, we gotta do a better job equating the numbers. ... We know we can do a better job."
- On playing in bad weather, Day says this past weekend's game was "one of the more unique things I've been around. ... There's bad weather and there's extreme weather. I thought that was pretty extreme."
- On Stroud running the ball Day says he's "embraced it" and "maybe we've found something there" in terms of a wrinkle on offense.
- Day says "right now we feel like we're playing the best five" on the offensive line despite Josh Fryar and Enokk Vimahi playing well in practice and in limited time during games.
- Day says it's "very important to recognize that if you keep winning, you keep moving on." However, Day says the Buckeyes will identify issues this week.
- Day says Ohio State is working on The Game "every day of the year."
- On toughness: "I think we've definitely shown it. ... That's something we've taken a lot of pride in this season."
- Day says if Ohio State continues to win, recruits will continue to want to jump on board. Says on defense, recruits "had to see it" with the new regime perhaps before opting to join the program.
- "Our guys believe we can get the game to the fourth quarter and win the game in the fourth quarter." Day says everything's not perfect, but "you're seeing a lot of great things out there."
- On uniforms, Day says "I'm more of a traditionalist and love the look that's been in college football for a long time, certainly at Ohio State."
- Day says the run game "isn't good enough" right now. "The bottom line is we gotta go out there and run the football."
- On Indiana: "They're gonna come in here and fight, they always have. ... We gotta come out and play a little better early on in the game."
- On getting off to a better start, Day says "let's get in a rhythm early on and get going."
- On pairing down the defensive line rotation: "We have a deep D-line. The goal is to be fresh, certainly at the end of games, but at the end of the season as well."
- Day says Ohio State's short-yardage run game was "at the top of the list" of things he was disappointed with about Saturday's game.
- On the difference in weather between the end-of-year games before the postseason and playing in warm weather or domes after that: "We've tried to make some adaptations" to account for that. Day says he thought about it a lot over the offseason.
- Day says Ohio State watched all the "wind games" in the NFL over the past few years to figure out "what do we do" in that type of situation.
- On not picking up 3rd-and-1 situations: "There could be 50 guys in the box. You got to go get it."
- On Matt Jones' injury issues: "We think he gives us our best chance to go be successful. He's like a lot of our guys that have bumps and bruises they're working through."
- Knowles says the Buckeyes have been doing "quite well" at bringing pressure with just four up front. "To me, that's what it's all about."
- "Everything is about habits that become a lifestyle. We want to stop every team on every possession of every game. I do not believe that you can somehow call it out of existence if you haven't done it over and over again when the time comes."
- Knowles says he was "not pleased" last game with how Ohio State defended short-yardage situations, and "did not have a good game with the quarterback run."
- "Best thing about it was that we were 4-for-4 on fourth downs, which is like four turnovers. That kind of thing wins you the game."
- Knowles gives his unit credit for holding Northwestern to only seven points despite having some other shortcomings in Saturday's game.
- Knowles says playing in the Big Ten has gone "smoothly enough."
- Knowles says "you can't really prepare" for a game like Saturday's and that you have to just "hunker down and fight."
- On Jordan Hancock not playing, Knowles says it was due to the wet field and not wanting him to re-injure himself on a field like that.
- Knowles says Ohio State is "on schedule because we're doing what we're supposed to do as a defense at Ohio State."
- Knowles says "the same work, the same habits, the same ideals" are what ultimately bring improvement and create more opportunities for the Ohio State defense.
- On Indiana's quarterbacks: "They're pretty similar. One guy may run around a little bit more, but I think your preparation is pretty much the same."
- On the D-line rotation: "I'm comfortable with anything Coach Johnson does."
- On Taron Vincent: "He has been absolutely consistent since I've been here. We joke all the time, he and I, about the number of double teams he has to take on. It's not very sexy. But he does that work, and is really consistent with it."
- Knowles says you could probably call holds on guys blocking J.T. Tuimoloau "on every other play."
- Depth "has grown" at linebacker. Knowles cites Cody Simon and Palaie Gaoteote as players who could see more time moving forward.