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Major Takeaways From Ryan Day's Press Conference Previewing Maryland

Ryan Day spoke with the media on Tuesday afternoon to give an update on this week's game against Maryland. Here are the most notable things from his press conference.

Ryan Day held his weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon to talk about Ohio State's recent win over Rutgers and to preview this week's game against Maryland.

If you'd like to watch the entire press conference, you can check that out here. But here are my biggest takeaways.

TreVeyon Henderson is Good to Go

We didn't expect to hear anything differently. But after the Ohio State freshman running back was dinged up during the first half of last week's game, Ryan Day said postgame that he chose to held him out of the second half (basically because the game was out of hand and there was no reason to play him). He said on Saturday evening - and reaffirmed today - that Henderson is healthy and ready to go this week.

Kerry Coombs and Matt Barnes

It's been the biggest talking point for the Buckeyes so far this year: after two poor defensive performances in the first two games of the year, Day made the decision to give Matt Barnes the chance to call the defense and put Kerry Coombs up in the box.

Day was asked on Tuesday if he's gotten any questions during the recruiting process from defensive players that want to know what the Buckeyes plans are for the defense moving forward. He said none of the recruits have approached that topic.

In the meantime, given the way things have played out the last three games, it seems like the defense has taken substantial steps forward.

What Day is Most Proud Of Right Now

Day's said on several occasions that he thinks this team looks much different right now than they did five weeks ago, so I asked him what he's most proud of as the season has progressed.

He said he's thrilled with the growth they've shown, especially in different scenarios (like being down or up big at halftime). He appreciates how they have gotten to a point where they've focused on what they can do and not gotten caught up in the emotions of the game. He also told another reporter that he loved how when they gave up a big play last week that went for a touchdown, they immediately blocked the extra point and went back to work.

"The aggressiveness was there, we created turnovers, changed looks well and practiced well during the week, which carried that over to the game well," Day said. "Anytime you combine all those things with great effort and good tackling, good things will happen."

The Defense is Gelling Nicely

Day said he thinks that the defense is starting too play well together as an entire unit because all of the individual levels have elevated their play separately. He said the takeaways they've caused are due to the fact that the pass rush is starting to "get home" and either come up with sacks/tackles for loss, which speeds up the opposing quarterback and forces him into making mistakes.

Day also likes the way the looks have changed pre-snap, plus he feels the personnel is getting more comfortable and experienced.

Big Ten Performing Well

Iowa, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all have nice records to start the season. While the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes posted good marks in 2020, the Spartans, Nittany Lions and Wolverines have shown a nice turnaround from a pretty poor 2020 season.

I asked Ryan Day what he thinks about Big Ten play so far and he said he continues to be impressed with the coaching in the league, that they've seen some really good depth and that it's fun to know that Big Ten is performing so well, which makes the October and November games across the conference that much more meaningful.

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Arguably, the biggest game in the country this week pins No. 3 Iowa against No. 4 Penn State.


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