Notre Dame week has arrived.
Ryan Day's first public comments of the week on 97.1 The Fan’s Buckeye Roundtable reflected the urgency and focus within the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center with the matchup with the Fighting Irish just five days away.
“This is what it's all about. Top-10 matchup on the road, really excited to get to work tomorrow,” Day said. “Our guys had a lot of energy, they were in the building today even. Fired up this week.”
Day discussed the differences between this year’s matchup and last year’s matchup with Notre Dame and what he saw from his defense against Western Kentucky among a variety of topics on Monday night’s show.
- On staying focused on Western Kentucky last week with this game lying ahead: "We wanted to build momentum going into this week, we had a good week of work. We knew it was important to do that. ... We always say, 'It's always about us.' Our opponents are faceless and nameless."
- Day likes the turnovers the defense created against Western Kentucky, adding that Ohio State's defense isn't a "bend-but-don't break group" and wants to stay aggressive. There is a balance, though, between that mentality and preventing big plays, he stated.
- Luke Montgomery has done a good job coming in as an extra blocker during his freshman season, similar to the role current starting left guard Donovan Jackson played during his freshman year, per Day. "Just gives you a little bit more power there, gives you a little bit more movement." Day said Montgomery is athletic enough that he can even run routes from the jumbo tight end role.
- On Devin Brown’s touchdown pass to Carnell Tate: "It really was a heck of a throw. It was on the money, the timing was excellent. ... Even though the game is out of hand, we're still competing out there."
- Day praised the football instincts and play of Notre Dame's linebackers and said its defense as a whole does a good job preventing big plays. "They're very well-coached. ... They're strong at the line of scrimmage."
- On James Laurinaitas: "James has been unbelievable for us, he really has. He's done a great job mentoring the linebackers. ... He's walked in their shoes before. That's the thing you can't simulate if you haven't played at Ohio State."
- Playing four weeks into the season as opposed to opening weekend and new key players on each side serve to create a different feeling for this year's contest with Notre Dame as opposed to last year, Day said, along with it being on the road. "Different team, different scenario, but still two really good teams and it's going to be a hell of a game."