Interim Coach Larry Johnson: "It's Going To Be A Group Effort"

Johnson said he is going to lean heavily on the experience that the Buckeye coaches have collectively as he guides the team in an important game at Michigan State on Saturday.
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While Ohio State head coach Ryan Day recovers from his CoVID-19 diagnosis, defensive line coach and associate head coach Larry Johnson will assume the role on an interim basis this weekend.

One of the most well-respected coaches in the country, Larry Johnson is ready to lead the Buckeyes this weekend against Michigan State - but he was quick to point out this afternoon that it's going to be a group effort.

Johnson joined the tail end of the Ryan Day Radio Show on Thursday on 97.1 The Fan. Here are a few highlights from his conversation with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey.

Larry Johnson

"It's gonna be a great time on Saturday for our players and everybody involved."

"That was the mindset from the beginning - it wasn't going to be just me ... it will be collective decisions for us." He raved about the experience of the coaching staff, namely Kevin Wilson, Kerry Coombs and Greg Mattison. "It will be all of us trying to get a win in East Lansing."

He thinks Michigan State has a good deep ball threat offensively, he likes their running game and he thinks the three returning starters on the offensive line have been very good and will present a good challenge.

Commenting on the defensive line play this year: "I think the group is really growing, they've come together so fast in a limited number of games ... I love what the inside guys are doing, they're really strong ... our ends our playing well ... we want to get more sacks, but they're applying a lot of pressure ... we're affecting the throw, but you'll affect it more if you hit the quarterback more."

Ryan Day Confirms Ohio State is Practicing, Plans to Play Michigan State on Saturday

He also expressed how happy he's been with Jonathon Cooper's production this season and the way he leads the team. "When he needs to get after guys he will, but he's easy to be around."

Johnson spoke about how challenging it has been to work with guys over Zoom before the season began because coaching defensive line is so hands-on, but he said they've adjusted to it okay.


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