Here are my biggest takeaways from Ryan Day's postgame media session:
Better Job Defending the Run
Day thought the Buckeyes stopped the run better (they certainly did), but is obviously still concerned with having given up 501 yards of total offense.
“We stopped the run better and mixed up the looks," Day said. "We had a lot of conversation this week that involved a couple of different things. But I thought we changed a few things up structurally. Again, we will look at the film, analyze that, and see how it went. But, for the most part, I feel they played with a lot of energy, prepared well throughout the week and everyone was on the same page. There were some in-game adjustments that were done better and more efficient than the week before.”
Ohio State played a soft zone defense that included some different looks today, including a 2-high safety look a couple times. They are still trying to find their identity, but it's a lot easier to keep building after a win.
Keep Feeding the Hot Hand
TreVeyon Henderson got such a significant workload today because the Buckeyes freshman running back was borderline unstoppable.
“Since he’s come here, he has been very mature," Day said of Henderson. "He does not act like a freshman and takes his job very seriously. He ran hard today and the offensive line really established the line of scrimmage and we were able to control the game at times. The tight ends played hard and blocked well. But when he gets to the second level, he has the ability to make home run plays.”
Day said Miyan Williams was available, but they used Master Teague as Henderson's spare today. Williams didn't practice a bit earlier this week as he dealt with an illness. As far as why he's been giving Henderson repeated chances, he said that the freshman gives Ohio State a chance to hit big plays repeatedly.
Matt Barnes Will Likely Continue to Call the Defense
Defensive Coordinator Kerry Coombs was put up in the coaching booth today to have a different perspective on the game, while secondary coach Matt Barnes called the defensive plays. Day said Coombs was a pro about the decision and when asked if Barnes will continue to call plays, Day said, "that's kind of the way I see it going forward right now."
He also referenced that Larry Johnson had a big hand in helping prepare the defense this week. Day doesn't often involve himself in defensive meetings, but he was in several of those this week.
Penalties Were Costly, Unacceptable
Ohio State committed several costly penalties today, but perhaps none bigger than the one that wiped out a 47-yard completion to Chris Olave. He said it's probably because of having a younger team, and that isn't an excuse, but it's reality.
"Another thing we need to do is work on penalties. We had three false starts and a face mask. Those are the things that hurt you.”
The Buckeyes committed eight penalties for 81 yards.
A Few Other Notes
- Day hopes to get Zach Harrison back at practice this week.
- He is generally pleased with the direction of the team right now after three games. Day feels like today was a step in the right direction, but he's not entirely sure how far in that direction quite yet.
- Thayer Munford's initial imaging came back and indicated that his injury is likely not a long term thing, which is obviously good news for the Buckeyes.
- Sevyn Banks got in the game today for the first time this season. Day said he has been practicing much better this past week.
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