Although the Buckeyes are off this weekend, Ryan Day still held his weekly radio show to discuss Ohio State's undefeated start to the season and where the team can improve the rest of the year.
After Day appeared on the show, Jim Knowles commented on Ohio State's defensive performance against Notre Dame. In the final segment, Ohio State men's basketball head coach Chris Holtmann reviewed the men's basketball team's offseason and how the Buckeyes hope to bounce back after a season in which the program recorded a 16-19 record (5-15 Big Ten) and missed the NCAA Tournament.
Here are some notes from The Ryan Day Radio Show on 97.1 The Fan:
On Ohio State's win over Notre Dame
- "There was a lot of emotion... What a great environment."
- "It says a lot about our leadership. It says a lot about our team."
- "We have a lot of football ahead of us, but hopefully (the win) can catapult us into the middle of the season."
On Ohio State's second-to-last defensive drive
- "When JT (Tuimoloau) got the TFL there, we regrouped. Then we got the screen incompletion, which is huge because I was probably gonna have to use a timeout. ... We had the timeout (for the final possession), which turned out to be a huge deal."
- Day said he was proud of his players' ability to overcome adversity and defeat a top-10 opponent on the road. "I thought we worked hard to get into those situations at that point. I think our team was ready."
On Marvin Harrison Jr.
- Day said Harrison's toughness to battle back from his ankle injury and keep playing was a significant factor in Ohio State beating Notre Dame. "Marvin coming back in the game was huge."
- "Him being on the field had an impact. We felt him not being in the game last year (against Georgia)."
On Chip Trayanum, his game-winning TD
- "With one yard left, we had to punch that in."
- Day said Trayanum did a great job to keep his legs airborne so that the ball didn't stop short of the goal line. He added that Ohio State's running backs frequently practice that kind of movement.
- Day said Trayanum is "a guy who has become an important part of our offense."
On the aftermath of Ohio State's top-10 win
- "Waking up on Sunday was great."
- "To see the reaction of Buckeye Nation and the people, it was great."
- Day said Ohio State deserves to celebrate its win over Notre Dame. However, he said the Buckeyes can't live in that moment for too long because the season will move on. "The message was, 'Congratulations,' but that game is behind us. We have to continue to grow."
On Kyle McCord
- "He has a lot of poise – he does. He has a lot of trust in his teammates."
- "You have to give him a lot of credit... Very clutch."
- Day said he gave the game ball to McCord, but it took him some time to reach the Ohio State quarterback because of how excited the Buckeyes were after the win. "The locker room was chaotic. It was one of my favorite locker rooms that I have been in in my life."
On TreVeyon Henderson
- "He is a home-run hitter."
- "As coaches, we have to keep figuring out ways to get him in space."
- "It's great to see him back healthy."
On Cade Stover
- "What a great leader. What a great captain. He symbolizes everything we stand for on this team."
- "His overall leadership was tremendous (against Notre Dame). It has been tremendous."
- "Cade Stover is an excellent Buckeye. He is a real leader of this team."
On how Ohio State will handle the off week
- Day said Ohio State will balance rest and preparation during the bye week. He wants the team to recover from any bumps and bruises, but he knows the season has more tests that lie ahead. "There's a ton of football ahead of us. A ton of football."
- "We want to get our guys healthy."
On Ohio State's execution in short-yardage situations
- "We have to execute better in short-yardage situations."
- "It makes me sick to watch the film (of missed opportunities)."
- "If we finish off our drives, it's a totally different game. We have to learn from those mistakes."
On Ohio State's defense
- "Our guys did a nice job up front. Tyleik Williams played excellent. The guys up front did a great job."
- "There are certainly things we want to watch the film on and get better at. That's exciting."
- "I think about the plays we made and the plays we didn't make. ... It's exciting to know we can win a game on defense."
On Ohio State's win over Notre Dame
- "That was a challenging game. Notre Dame's offense is a good offense."
- "We made the plays when we had to. That's the sign of a good defense."
On Cody Simon
- Knowles said it "worked out for us" to start Simon at linebacker because of how often Notre Dame runs two-tight packages and heavier formations to run the ball.
- "Cody Simon is really a guy who has practiced well, who is accountable, who is dependable. We have to find ways to get him more snaps. That was one way to do it."
On Tommy Eichenberg
- "Tommy has become the quarterback of the defense."
- "He is starting to think like I do. I am training him to make checks on the field."
- "Our guys understand things, communicate on the sidelines. (That's) a great thing."
On Denzel Burke, Lathan Ransom
- Knowles said Burke has been one of Ohio State's most consistent defensive players this season. "He's taken a real step forward this year."
- "Lathan, he'll hit you. He is one of those safeties that really enjoys contact. ... He's become better with his eyes. ... He's locked in on his keys and making more plays because of it."
On Ohio State running fewer blitzes this season
- "I am probably blitzing less than I ever have in my career, but it's working."
- Knowles said the decision to not blitz has led to fewer explosive plays allowed for Ohio State's defense to this point in the season.
On Ohio State football's win over Notre Dame
- "How about that game? What an unbelievable game."
- "It's fun to relive moments like that."
- "We did a team getaway for a couple of days down in Hocking Hills. ... We spent about 36 hours together. We were able to have some really good moments. We had Clark Kellogg speak to the team via Zoom. ... One of the highlights was that Saturday night (watching the football game)."
On Ohio State's first practice, its 2023-24 schedule
- "Great. One practice. Everybody is good on day one, right?"
- Holtmann said Ohio State has an excellent schedule this season that includes great nonconference and conference opponents. "We have the best schedule we've had since we've been here. ... We have an unbelievable slate of Big Ten opponents."
On Bruce Thornton
- "Bruce leads the way at the point guard spot."
- Holtmann on Thornton, Felix Okpara and Roddy Gayle Jr.: "Those three guys we expect to make a solid leap for us. Bruce is gonna lead the way there."
- Holtmann with more on Gayle: "He had a great Big Ten Tournament." Holtmann said Ohio State needs to see "consistent effort and performance from him" as he enters his sophomore season and moves up the scouting report of the Buckeyes' 2023-24 opponents.
On whether Thornton, Okpara or Gayle will have the most impact
- "It remains to be seen."
- Holtmann said Okpara experienced one of the best physical transformations of any Buckeyes in the offseason. "Physically, he will look the most different to our fans."
- "Bruce is in the best shape of his life... Roddy is too."
- "The challenge is to take the next step. Those three have to become next-level players."
On Ohio State's exhibition with Dayton on Oct. 22
- "It's a game around mental health... We jumped on board."
- "We are excited to play in that game and raise (awareness) and money for mental health."