Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Says Kyle McCord Showed "Resiliency" Against Wisconsin, Provides Updates on Key Injuries

By Andy Anders on October 31, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Resilience seems to be the word of the day for Ohio State.

In battling through a late injury and early mistakes, quarterback Kyle McCord showed "resilience" to Ryan Day. Many other starters went through similar aches and pains.

Day also discussed the offensive line's continued development, the health status of some key players and the challenges of facing Rutgers with the Ohio State media at his weekly press conference Tuesday.

Jim Knowles took to the lectern next to discuss how the Buckeyes' defense will adjust to not having Lathan Ransom, Jack Sawyer's play and why defenders are able to play hurt.

Ryan Day

  • Day opened his availability by discussing the offensive line. "I think we took a step this week. Where we go from here we'll see, but i thought we ran off the ball better, I thought we got good movement."
  • Day feels TreVeyon Henderson adds "versatility" and explosion to the run game. "Tre gives us the ability to hit home runs."
  • On Emeka Egbuka's status: "He was available for the game on Saturday, he just wasn't quite where we needed him to be. ... But he was ready (against Wisconsin). He's been working hard."
  • On Henderson's involvement in the passing game: "Ultimately, what you're trying to do is space it out in zone and win matchups versus man-to-man. ... All our guys do well out of the backfield, but with Tre, you can see his explosiveness when he's out there."
  • Kyle McCord was one of several Ohio State starters who dealt with an injury against Wisconsin, and Day praised his grit in working through that. "He showed his toughness in that."
  • On Devin Brown's status: "It's hard for me to talk specifics, but we're expecting Devin to practice today."
  • On how he grades McCord's performance: "He had some really good snaps ... the thing that's hard about a quarterback is that one play can ruin your whole day, and there were some critical plays that hurt us. And he knows that."
  • Asked a follow-up on McCord, Day said that people can't afford to have "bad days" at Ohio State with the expectations. "On your bad days, you've got to be average at least. ... On your average days you've got to be good and on your good days you've got to be great."
  • Despite some inconsistencies, Day was pleased with how McCord rallied the team down the stretch against the Badgers in a two-score win. "I thought that was good in terms of his resilience."
  • Cade Stover's lack of targets wasn't for a lack of trying from the staff, Day said, and he added that Stover was among those struggling with some injuries. "There were several plays that we designed trying to get the ball (to him)."
  • Ryan Day said he will not be manning the door for trick-or-treaters. "I'll be watching film of practice."
  • On whether he'll watch the College Football Playoff rankings show tonight: "I think it's great for the fans ... but we have to win out. We're just going to take it one week at a time and come up for air at the end of the season, because that's when the rankings matter."
  • On Rutgers: "They're going to challenge you in all three faces. ... We've got to go continue to take the next step as a team. ... Their talent has been upgraded ... they play complementary football."
  • "It's been such a great addition to our program having Davison here. Just his competitiveness ... we're awful glad that he joined us."
  • Ohio State is "still trying to figure out a timeline" for Lathan Ransom and will have more information later in the week, Day said.
  • Day will try to strike a balance between keeping McCord healthy and doing what needs to be done to win games after his apparent third-quarter injury against Wisconsin.
  • More on Rutgers: "They have a different scheme, very similar to what Minnesota did a few years back, the same coordinator. ... Then obviously very good on defense."
  • On the lack of targets for receivers outside Marvin Harrison Jr.: "Just try to continually find different ways to get guys open and keep pushing the envelope on it. ... We ran it a bunch as well ... maybe didn't have as many opportunities for those guys. ... But we're going to try to spread the ball around as much as we can."
  • On whether there's "enough" progress on the offensive line: "Every play you can look at and try to identify where the faults are, and there's enough to go around. There's some good things and some things we have to get better at. But I think, overall, the run blocking was better."
  • Miyan Williams will be "out for the year," Ryan Day said. "I feel really bad for Miyan. ... That's a big hit for that room and our team, but Tony's done a great job of building depth in that room."
  • Ohio State may turn to Lorenzo Styles Jr. in an emergency situation after he plays his fourth game, Day said, but overall the team is trying to preserve his redshirt. "The plan is for him to play in one more game and then go from there."
  • Xavier Johnson's end-arounds out of shotgun are plays that Day said he got from the San Francisco 49ers and how they use receiver Deebo Samuel. Said the key is finding the place to "cut up" and get downfield. "He's got a good knack for that."
  • On the run game: "We took a step in the right direction ... but that was one game. We know where it needs to be in order to have the balance to win a championship. ... We'll get back to work today."
  • McCord's timing and production are at their best when he has proper footwork, Day said. "You can be a second too slow, a second too fast, or even a half-second too fast on both ends. ... When his feet are underneath him, he's trusting his feet, he's trusting his eyes, that's when he plays his best football."

Jim Knowles

  • Should Ransom be out for multiple weeks, Knowles is confident in the ability of Sonny Styles and Jordan Hancock in working to replace him. "They've both proven themselves in a lot of different dimensions, so I don't have any concerns about it."
  • On what stood out about Davison Igbniosun in the transfer portal: "He's aggressive. He plays with confidence, gets his hands on people. He's not afraid to challenge people ... and he's a willing tackler in the run game."
  • On the team's run defense: "Our game is such a week-to-week thing and you're just trying to get better all the time. ... You spend all that time on a game plan and a lot of times it changes on Saturday. I think in the run game, we're able to make adjustments and it showed up."
  • On why Styles played deep safety even before Ransom's departure: "It was more of a nickel game in terms of the matchup on the slot. We felt like Jordan would be better with that. We wanted to find places to get Sonny into the game, and against a spread RPO team, playing Sonny worked."
  • Deep safety might be Styles' position long-term, Knowles said. "I think it's possible. He's now getting experience at both and he can really add a different dimension in terms of looking to the future and structuring things."
  • Knowles had high praise for Jack Sawyer's run defense: "When you watch it, you see that he is controlling things at the line of scrimmage and getting off blocks. ... Those (goal line) stops are huge as you look at the flow of the game. ... Maybe that doesn't show up in the sack statistics but it's vital to the defense."
  • On whether other corners like Jermaine Mathews could provide depth behind Hancock at nickel: "It changes (the rotation). I don't know that it would necessarily be Jermaine, he's a true freshman, so you don't want to necessarily overload him with responsibilities. But there's other guys at corner."
  • Ohio State's defense isn't resting on its laurels, but it's good to see upward trends. "There's no time for celebration. ...You're highlighting those things that you're doing well and you're fixing the things that you can get better at. It's just a constant process. But I think when you have more good things, it's better. It's 'Praise, praise, correct.'"
  • On what goes into a defensive player's mindset that would allow him to play through injury, as JT Tuimoloau did on Saturday: "There is a toughness, obviously, that goes along with our sport. ... Really it's like defending all that work, people don't even know, they put in so much work. ... I think the extra toughness for them comes from the brotherhood, and it's like, 'We put all this work in. Now it's our job to defend in.'"
  • Tommy Eichenberg's tackle of Braelon Allen to stop Wisconsin on a 3rd-and-goal shovel pass drew high praise from Knowles. "He was left one-on-one with that ... just really an amazing play. I think that epitomizes where we're at right now, toughness. That's not sexy, but that's what wins. That's what wins football games."
  • On how Ransom was playing prior to his injury: "Lathan's been much improved. His eyes, any issues he's had in the past (with) eye discipline ... I call it see a little, see a lot. ... So yeah, he had really been improved."
  • Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt can create opportunities, Knowles said. "Definitely a challenge, and they're a team that really likes to control the ball. So you've got to be very aware of that."
  • Cam Martinez remains an option for Ohio State's secondary when offenses put a lot of "speed" on the field, Knowles said. "It's all matchups, trying to get the right matchups. Cam's been a guy that hasn't been healthy, just trying to work him back in."
  • On Hero Kanu's short-yardage run stuff against Wisconsin: "We had been seeing that with Hero. Hero's been a guy that's been showing up in inside drill and he's been showing up in practice ... Beating the block and making the tackle, that's a big deal."
View 111 Comments