Even though the Buckeyes have the week off, Ryan Day, Kerry Coombs and Chris Olave all still met with the media on Tuesday afternoon during their customary 12 p.m. Eastern Time news conference.
Day is clearly happy about the progress the team is making over these last four months, but he's also steadfast in saying they have a long way to go before they are able to wind up where they'd like to be.
Here are my major takeaways from Day's comments on Tuesday afternoon:
Updates on Miyan Williams, Cam Brown, Haskell Garrett and Tyreke Smith
The Buckeyes have largely stayed healthy over the last couple weeks, which is certainly an encouraging sign. Day doesn't go into specifics on most guys when it comes to injuries or absences, but he said that the team is optimistic that Miyan Williams and Haskell Garrett could play against Indiana. Day said the Tyreke Smith was a bit more in wait-and-see mode.
"We've played some young guys up front, and that's been a really good thing for our future." Day said of the defensive line in particular. " ... We're better than we were, but we've still got a ways to go."
Day also said that he's not sure if Cam Brown will practice this week after Brown left Saturday's game with an injury. The Buckeyes are taking that decision on a day-by-day basis and are waiting for him to feel better after taking a pretty tough hit last week.
Day also noted that he's looking for more consistency and production from his defensive backs, but they're progressing.
Harry Miller Role On O-Line
Harry Miller was the team's starting left guard last year and was projected to be the starting center this season. But as he's also dealt with an inability to get on the field, Miller has seen Luke Wypler occupy that center position regularly (and do a nice job).
As he works his way back into the rotation, Ryan Day said that Miller can be more of a swing guy moving forward. "He's probably more of a swing guy now," Day said.
Resting Up vs. Staying in Rhythm
This is Ohio State's only scheduled week off during the season. It happens to fall right smack dab in the middle of the calendar, with six games played and six still scheduled. Day said the team is embracing the chance to give their bodies a chance to heal a bit, but they're also focused on not losing the rhythm they've been building.
When they're on the practice field, it's still with an intention to get better. They're going to try to keep things as game-like as they can, but they're going to be smart about making sure they take advantage of giving themselves a chance to be at their best going into a big game at Indiana next week. There will be a lot of attention on improving fundamental (especially on the defensive side of the ball).
Development of the Rest of the QB Room
I asked Day specifically about how the rest of the quarterback room seems to be developing, now that it's clear C.J. Stroud is playing at such a high level and is taking the majority of meaningful game reps.
He is pleased with the way that room is handling their opportunities. He continues to preach competitive excellence and reiterates that when you make a mistake in a game, you don't get a second crack at it the way you would in practice. But he thinks the rest of that group is coming along nicely. Kyle McCord and Jack Miller have each gotten some playing time the last three weeks, while Quinn Ewers has yet to see any game-action.
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