Skull Session: Ryan Day's Offense is About Players Not Plays, Joel Klatt Likes Ohio State's National Title Chances and Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave Are Off to Hot Starts in the NFL

By Chase Brown on September 28, 2022 at 5:00 am
Ryan Day

A common theme in today's Skull Session is about keeping things simple.

Keep reading, and you'll see what I mean.

Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?

 PLAYERS NOT PLAYS. Ohio State's offense ranks as one of the best in the nation through the first four weeks of action, with the second-best total offense (558.8 ypg) and third-best scoring offense (48.8 ppg) in the FBS.

When Ryan Day was asked how his role in calling plays factors into the explosive nature of Ohio State's offense, he made a few different remarks as part of an 80-second answer at his Tuesday press conference.

Unlike someone I will name later in the Skull Session, Day keeps it simple when he calls plays. He gets the football in the hands of his best players.


Luckily for Day, every time Ohio State snaps the ball, the quarterback who receives the snaps is one of the best in the business in C.J. Stroud. Then, Stroud can either hand the ball off to TreVeyon Henderson or Miyan Williams on run plays. If the Buckeyes pass, Stroud can connect with either Jaxon Smith-Njigba (when healthy), Emeka Ebguka, Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming or Cade Stover.

With talent like that in his offense, Day doesn't need to overcomplicate things. He can dial up whatever he wants, knowing full well that the Buckeyes will come out on top. And whenever Day wants to flex his playcalling, he can dial up the formations and fits that Ohio State has worked on for weeks in practice.

Something like this from last season comes to my mind:

 OHIO STATE → CFP TITLE? One thing to know about me is that I am a Joel Klatt truther. He's probably my favorite college football analyst, and his color commentary alongside Gus Johnson on FOX creates, in my opinion, the best television broadcast the sport has to offer.

Aside from his work in the booth during games, Klatt also has a podcast with FOX called "The Joel Klatt Show," where he breaks down games and storylines during the college football season. In this week's episode, he discussed Ohio State's 52-21 win over Wisconsin and the legitimacy of the Buckeyes' chances to win the College Football Playoff.

"To win a national championship, you need to have a requisite defense," Klatt said in the video. "We know Jim Knowles is starting to fix (Ohio State's) defense. I know with their offense, if the defense continues to stay at those points of 18th in total defense and 21st in scoring defense – pay attention to those – because if they stay there, this is a national championship team waiting to happen."

Andy Vance has gone on record saying that Ohio State's defense needs to suck 30 percent less than it did last season to win a national championship, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. The Buckeyes have an excellent chance to accomplish that feat, which offers me great confidence in their ability to win it all.

The loyal Skull Session commenters have reminded me that Ohio State needs to take it one game at a time before considering a national championship, which I also agree with. Ryan Day and his coaching staff would probably like that sentiment, too. So, for now, these comments can be something to chew on after the first four weeks of the season.

 KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. Many moons ago, NFL analyst Chris Simms did not – in the words of Dwight Schrute from "The Office" – keep it simple stupid when ranking his top five wide receivers in the 2022 NFL draft.

Simms' top-five receivers were Jameson Wiliams, Christian Watson, Alec Pierce, Traylon Burks and Drake London. In March, the football world ridiculed him for the take, especially for leaving former Buckeyes Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave – the eventual 10th and 11th picks in last year's draft – off his list.

Six months later, Simms' rankings look even worse, as Wilson and Olave have had fantastic starts to their respective NFL careers with the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints. The Ohio State products are among the top rookie receivers in production in the early going, with both appearing in the top three for receiving yards through the first three games.

Olave's 268 yards are perhaps more impressive when you look at the lack of execution from Saints quarterback Jameis Winston.

In the first three weeks, Winston has targeted Olave 29 times but only connected with him on 17 of those passes, which means the former Buckeyes' hot start could have been even better. Still, Olave's 89 yards per contest put him on pace to record 1,513 yards in his first NFL season – a remarkable amount of production from a first-year pro that would surpass 2021 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase's output of 1,455 yards from last season.

Wilson has been a sparkplug for the Jets offense through three games, catching 18 of his 32 targets for 214 yards and two scores. He single-handedly destroyed my precious Cleveland Browns and secured the game-winning touchdown to complete an improbable 13-point comeback in Week 2.

All this goes to say that Simms didn't need to think outside the box with his rankings of the best wide receivers prospects for last year's draft. Everyone tried to tell him he was wrong then, and now there are results to prove it.

Next time, keep it simple stupid, Chris.

 THANK YOU. The staff at Eleven Warriors would like to thank everyone who attended the Eleven Dubgate before Ohio State played Wisconsin on Saturday or donated money toward Special Olympics Olentangy.

It is our privilege to contribute funds for the wonderful people in the program, which aims to provide year-round sports training and competition in various Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This fall, the group has participated in soccer and flag football.

Special Olympics Olentangy
The Special Olympics Olentangy flag football team played games on Sept. 26 at Olentangy Orange High School, where volunteers and participants were presented with a check from donations received at the Eleven Dubgate event.

Once again, thank you for making the Eleven Dubgate a fantastic event for all of us here at Eleven Warriors. Here's to many more events like this in the future!

 SONG OF THE DAY. "It Gets Better" by Rex Orange County.

 CUT TO THE CHASE. NCAA puts Memphis on probation but no tourney ban... Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett released from hospital after scary crash... That one NASA rocket I keep updating on now won't launch until November... UConn football could have a 300-pound DT taking carries on offense... VHS tape returned to Kansas library after 19 years.

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