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Ohio State's Ryan Day Discusses Minnesota’s Rushing Attack, Sevyn Banks And Luke Wypler

The Buckeyes’ defense was tested by Mohamed Ibrahim, the Big Ten’s returning leading rusher.

Ohio State broke in seven new starters on defense in its season-opening win over Minnesota on Thursday night, which is why head coach Ryan Day wasn’t exactly surprised that the Buckeyes gave up 31 points or 408 yards of total offense.

“We learned a lot from this experience,” Day said after the game. “To say I’m surprised with the way it played out, I’m not. We played a lot of young guys on the road, conference game, first time playing with fans in a long time.”

The Golden Gophers controlled the tempo of the game and held a significant advantage in time of possession behind a strong ground attack led by fifth-year senior running back Mohamed Ibrahim, who rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns before he left the game in the third quarter with a reported Achilles injury.

“It’s hard when the time of possession goes the other way with Minnesota,” Day said. “They do a great job and they play complementary football. There was a point there where we couldn’t seem to get the ball back, couldn’t get off the field on defense.

“Minnesota is a very good team. (Head coach) P.J. (Fleck) does an excellent job. That’s a very well-coached and hard-playing team. Going on the road, it’s not easy in this conference to get wins.”

In the end, the Buckeyes clamped down defensively and got the stops necessary to win the game late, as redshirt freshman safety Lathan Ransom delivered the final blow with a forced fumble that was recovered by sophomore linebacker Tommy Eichenberg.

“The way we rallied and played – especially in that second half – we have a lot to build on here,” Day said. “(I’m) very excited coming out of that locker room.”

Buckeyes Without Both Starting Cornerbacks

Senior cornerback Sevyn Banks was an unexpected last-minute holdout, which – coupled with junior Cam Brown’s unavailability – meant the Buckeyes started redshirt freshman Ryan Watts and true freshman Denzel Burke during Thursday night’s game.

There was no reason given for either player’s absence, though Brown is presumably continuing to work his way back from an Achilles injury that cost him most of last season. But Day is hopeful both Banks and Brown will be back for the game against Oregon on Sept. 11.

“I hope so,” Day said. “We had Sevyn ready in kind of an emergency role, and we’re looking forward to getting those guys healthy to play next week.”

Wypler Steps Up At Center In Miller’s Absence

Junior Harry Miller was also unavailable for Thursday’s game, which meant redshirt freshman Luke Wypler made his first career start at center.

“I thought he did an excellent job, you know, stepping in in a big way,” Day said. “There’s another young guy that has very, very little experience. (He) handled the weather, handled the calls, handled the environment, the fans. We’ll see how he grades out, but I thought he handled everything really, really well.”

The former four-star prospect from Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional played just 15 snaps last fall but seemingly secured the backup role with a strong spring practice and fall camp. Miller, meanwhile, is considered day-to-day for an undisclosed reason.

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