Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Doesn't Commit to Kyle McCord Long-Term at Quarterback, Expects A Lot of Roster Turnover in the Transfer Portal, Talks Cotton Bowl

By Andy Anders on December 3, 2023 at 3:38 pm

With Ohio State missing the College Football Playoff, the focus is now on a mix of both the short- and long-term outlook for the Buckeyes.

Amid discussion of Ohio State's matchup with Missouri in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Day also fielded a great many questions about the future of the team's quarterback position, transfer portal strategy and coaching staff.

Day didn't commit to Kyle McCord as the team's quarterback long-term or eliminate the possibility that Devin Brown could challenge him in bowl practice. In the portal he feels Ohio State will have plenty of players both leaving and coming in.

  • On whether he's had conversations with any players about opting out: "We have a team meeting tonight, we're going to go through the schedule. I think our guys are excited to play in this game, we'll talk through all that. ... Guys know that they want to have something to show for the season."
  • There's a balance between using the Cotton Bowl to finish off this season and prepare for next season, Day said. "A little bit of both. ... Bowl practice is an opportunity to get some of the younger guys out there ... but we'll finish things the right way."
  • On his initial reaction to the matchup with Missouri in the Cotton Bowl: "I think they've had a really good season ... it should be a good matchup, they're a good team. ... We know we have a great opponent and a great venue."
  • "A lot of our guys were certainly disappointed last week. ... There's a lot of prideful guys on our team, so they're going to use this opportunity to either finish things out the right way or build momentum for next year."
  • Day is aware that defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is involved in Duke's head coaching search, and while he feels Knowles is "happy here" his communications with Knowles are ongoing. "I know he's in the mix there ... but that's part of it this time of year. ... We know our guys are going to be sought after, we have great coaches here."
  • Coaching staff changes haven't been discussed at length yet, but it is something Day will look at. "Every year you're going to look at that, and whether it's guys having opportunities to go other places or making changes."
  • On how he'll approach the bowl in terms of setting the best lineups vs. preparing for the future: "We want to win the game. Certainly the reps in practice leading up to the game will be spread around."
  • Day feels playoff expansion will incentivize coaches to schedule tougher games in the nonconference. "Those games are going to matter, but at the same time you can build up your team by challenging them with tough nonconference opponents."
  • Ohio State lost its game against Michigan due to a few plays here or there, Day said. "We talked about it last year that it can come down to a couple of plays, the last possession or two."
  • On the scars of losing another rivalry game and how that impacts the team: "No one's going to feel sorry for us. We've got to push forward, that's life."
  • Day indicated that there will be a lot of roster turnover due to the transfer portal this offseason, both in terms of additions and losses. "You have to construct your roster on a yearly basis and that's what we're going to do."
  • On when you start to take count of "Part of it is numbers, other part of it is where we feel like we are depth-wise. ... I totally get (guys leaving). Our guys are competitive, they want an opportunity. ... There's going to be guys that decide that maybe there's a better option out there for them."
  • On whether the team's quarterback play was what it needed to achieve its goals: "When you come up short, you've got to look at everything, because you didn't get it done ... and we will look at everything."
  • Day wouldn't commit to whether or not Kyle McCord will be the team's starting quarterback next season, right now he's just focused on bowl preparation, he said. "That's a long way away right now. ... We've got to get back to work right now."
  • Day also isn't ready to say exactly how he'll deploy the team's quarterbacks in the Cotton Bowl. "Just not there yet."
  • Evaluating McCord from this season: "I think there were a lot of really good things this year. ... As time went on, Kyle got better as the season went on. ... So I think there was growth there for sure and I think he's a good quarterback, I do. After every year you evaluate everything and try to figure out what's next."
  • Looking back on his own performance from the Michigan game, Day felt the team was prepared and locked in, but he does question certain calls like the team's 52-yard field goal the team missed on a 4th-and-2 near halftime. "Probably different than I did the year before. I think we had a really good plan leading up to the game, really good vibe around the team. ... But when you don't get it done, you've got to do a better job."
  • "There will be more movement this year than there has in the past, just because it seems there's more every year."
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