Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Avoids Answering Question About His Respect for Opposing Coaching Staff Just As Jim Harbaugh Did, Discusses Team's Preparedness for The Game

By Andy Anders on November 21, 2023 at 12:28 pm

One of Ryan Day's answers at his press conference on Tuesday mirrored Jim Harbaugh's first answer on Monday.

After Harbaugh avoided answering a question as to what his level of respect is for Day and his staff, Day did the same when asked about the respect he has for Harbaugh and his.

"We've just stayed away from all the distractions and focused on our team," Day said in response.

Clearly, there's a quiet intensity and tunnel vision from both Ohio State and Michigan.

Day also discussed how the Buckeyes plan to keep their composure on Saturday, how prepared Kyle McCord is to face the challenges he'll see in Ann Arbor and the importance of running the ball and winning situationally.

Knowles followed after Day's time and broke down the top threats that he sees in Michigan's offense and his journey after the defense gave up explosive plays against the Wolverines last year. 

Ryan Day

  • On his team keeping composure during The Game: "That's important. You have to play with emotion, you can't let your emotions play with you."
  • Day said that improvements in the running game have been a collective effort, though getting TreVeyon Henderson back has helped. "I feel like we've made some progress in different areas. Certainly, Trey coming back has made a big impact on that."
  • On the relationship and comparison between Kyle McCord and J.J. McCarthy: "What we've done all season in preparation for this game ... we've been preparing for this moment all year, and so now we need to focus on the things we've been focusing on ... it'll be the same for Kyle."
  • On when he truly grasped the magnitude of The Game: "Every year you understand more and more. ... You learn quickly when you're here, but every year you're here, you learn more, and it has a more significant impact on you as a person."
  • On what he looks for while recruiting quarterbacks. "It's not just one thing, but there's a lot that you look at. Leadership, competitiveness, toughness. ... There's not one thing, other than competitiveness."
  • On what he remembers about recruiting McCarthy: "J.J. was always great, he was very respectful. He was a very competitive player. ... All my interactions with he and his family were very classy."
  • Day said the only thing that matters is "this game, this team" in terms of tuning out distractions for Michigan.
  • The Notre Dame game provided McCord with invaluable big-game experience, Day said. "He's a very smart player who's good in situations, and when you've been in those situations before, it gives you something to grab on to."
  • On how you respect the rivalry: "The way you respect a rivalry is to work it every day."
  • On the importance of executing in the run game on Saturday: "There's a lot of things that are important, but that's certainly very high on the list."
  • Red zone execution will be a pivotal factor on Saturday, per Day. "That'll be another situation that will be huge in the game."
  • On whether he has respect for Jim Harbaugh and his staff: "We've just stayed away from all the distractions and focused on our team."
  • Ohio State has had talks about how to avoid confrontations in Michigan's tunnel. "We've had conversations already, folks have been talking about that here for a couple of weeks."
  • Day doesn't feel like the playoff expansion and potential for both teams to easily make it in will lessen the stakes of the rivalry. "I'm sure there will always be just as much on the line when these two teams play."
  • On how you ramp a team up to a game of this magnitude: "I think you look at the routine, that's something you grab onto in big weeks. ... It's a productive process for covering everything you need to cover in terms of preparation. ... This has been a great group to build with, a great group to coach, we're going to have another great week of practice and I can't wait to see them play on Saturday."
  • Some final words on motivations for The Game: "There's guys with scars. I'm one of them. It just drives you every day to work harder."

Jim Knowles

  • On defending Michigan's run game: "Their offensive line is talented, their running backs are talented. There's an exactness that our players need to understand, and that's my job."
  • Knowles wants his defenders to play confident and fast against Michigan. "Be at the right place at the right time playing fast with a bad attitude. ... Confidence spills over to the entire fanbase."
  • On the biggest threats Michigan presents offensively: "The running game is multiple because of all the different formations, they do a great job of hiding their formations and their intent. ... Not overcommitting to this "
  • Getting Mike Hall back, and generally the team's productive  "Mike's a great player, plays with great energy and great enthusiasm."
  • On his confidence in the secondary to avoid giving up big plays: "It started last spring, competing against our offense. ... Forget about the scheme, that's not their issue, that's my issue. But they played with a really competitive nature all spring, all camp. ... That makes me confident, but it really makes the rest of the team confident."
  • On the importance of Sonny Styles with Lathan Ransom being the only starter expected out on Saturday: "Sonny has got to be spread around in different locations, we think he can make a lot of plays."
  • On when he started to fully grasp the magnitude of the rivalry: "When you live through it and when you feel the disappointment and you take that personally ... not angry, but you don't want to let anybody down. ... You just want to do better."
  • Knowles said that there's a "balance" between run and pass defensive focus with Jordan Hancock. "Jordan is a skilled athlete ... he's not that big of a guy. And he's more than willing and capable."
  • On how McCarthy can threaten with his legs: "He's a competitor ... you just have to always be ready for it. And you have to understand the types of runs that he likes, the types of scrambles that he likes. He's a really good player."
  • On physicality: "If it's important to you and you've demonstrated that this has an effect on winning, this has an effect on your career ... it is a mindset."
  • On his journey after his defense allowed so many explosives against Michigan last year: "It's a long, arduous, grinding process to get here ... the job of a leader is to have a vision, learn from your mistakes, not have an ego. ... What happened? How do I fix it? Have a vision ... then you're selling it for 365 days and you're growing it and you're feeding it. ... Here are the things we're going to do, here are the specifics of how we do it. And you sell it to them. ... It's a long process, but it's extremely rewarding."
  • Knowles said that Tommy Eichenberg is the type of player Ohio State "wants on that wall." "Tommy will bring every ounce of his person to this game."
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