Three weeks before Ohio State's annual spring game, the Buckeyes went head-to-head for the first scrimmage of their offseason practice schedule Saturday.
Along with a laundry list of high-profile visitors in attendance to take in the sights and sounds at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, media members were welcome to watch the action, although photos and videos were not permitted during the event.
Following 20 periods of practice, in which the Buckeye offense edged out the defense with a total competition score of 102-100 across a number of different drills and situational scrimmage sets, Ryan Day held a quick scrum with reporters to break down his thoughts on the afternoon.
We took notes on everything Day said during his interview session below.
- Day says the Buckeyes were trying to compete as much as possible and that "the guys were into it." Day says "we'll look at the film and see about the execution, but I thought overall the effort was there and the competitive nature was there."
- On the offensive line: "I gotta look to see." Day says the defensive line "kind of got after them" on Saturday. Day says "I don't think we've quite found all five just quite yet" on the offensive line.
- On Carson Hinzman emerging at center: "There's been good progress there, I think you can see it. When you don't notice a center, that's a good thing." Day says "he's been a bright spot so far" for the Buckeyes.
- On Carnell Tate and Davison Igbinosun losing their black stripes after practice: "Competitiveness. Both of those guys have competed, they've shown up in practice right from the first play."
- Day says the Buckeyes were "trying to create somewhat of an atmosphere that is competitive, because when you're in here and there's nobody inside and it's quiet, that's a whole different experience" than a gameday at the Shoe. Day wanted to see how Ohio State's young players would respond to a "chaotic" atmosphere and "almost get them numb to it."
- In terms of quarterback play, Day says "you could come to a conclusion real easy" if you only paid attention to one drive, but that "it's hard to tell until you stack these days" over a longer period of time. Day says the Buckeye staff will "grade every single snap" on Saturday. "One practice is one practice. Can you learn and grow from it?"
- Day says "there was a lot of failure on this field today. So who can grow from that and build? We'll see."
- Day says Kyle McCord played "better in the second half, especially when we got that ball to midfield. Early on it was just OK I think. But again, it's hard to tell, we got to look at the film. But he certainly flashed there at the end." Day says the whole offense was feeding off of McCord's energy by the end of the scrimmage.
- On Kenyatta Jackson: "He would go a lot against Paris (Johnson Jr.), especially in practice. And they would sit over there on the bench for hours." Day says "you're starting to see that come of age" and that "it looked like he was in the backfield a lot" on Saturday.
- Asked who else flashed during the scrimmage, Day says the whole Ohio State defensive line, citing the play of Tyleik Williams and Mike Hall "even late in the scrimmage." Day says "I thought those guys grinded."
- Day says "overall I think the secondary has definitely challenged more of the throws, and so that has been encouraging."
- On Jayden Ballard, who caught a long touchdown pass: "I think he has to (make an impact this year). This is it for JB, he knows that. This is his time. Came in with some really talented guys, but he's talented too. You can see his speed, you can see his change of direction. He has the ability and hopefully if he continues making plays like he did today, then he can start producing for us."
- Asked about continuing to try to step back and see the whole team rather than focusing solely on the offense, Day says "it's new to me" but that "I like the way our coaches are coaching."