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Ohio State’s Ryan Day Shares Final Thoughts On Michigan During Radio Show

“When you put the Block ‘O’ on your shirt, it’s your identity. It’s who you are.”
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Ohio State head coach Ryan Day made his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Fan on Wednesday afternoon, with defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and offensive tackle Kevin Wilson also stopping by the show to discuss Saturday's game against Michigan.

The following is a bullet-point recap of everything Day, Knowles and Wilson had to say:

Ryan Day:

  • Day mentioned the clock that counts down to the Michigan game, and ever time he sees it, he knows that’s one fewer minute they have to prepare for The Game.
  • Day said the entire offseason was built upon “toughness, discipline and skill” and noted that they’ll have to be great in all three areas against the Wolverines on Saturday.
  • On the health of running backs Miyan Williams, TreVeyon Henderson and Chip Trayanum: “They had a good day of practice yesterday. Really looking forward to getting a couple guys back in that room.”
  • Day said the better the look the scout team gives, the better the offense, defense and special teams play. “I think our guys have done a nice job on the scout team this year.”
  • Day said defensive end Kenyatta Jackson, defensive tackle Hero Kanu and walk-on linebacker Jackson Kuwatch have been doing a great job on scout team. “There’s a lot of reps out there and not a lot of recognition, but they have great futures ahead of them.”
  • Day said there’s a fine line between keeping guys fresh and having them ready for the game on Saturday. “Our guys got to get their rest at night and take care of their bodies, but we’ve got to practice.”
  • Day reiterated that they had a good day of practice on Tuesday and that the pads were popping.
  • On his thoughts the first time he was the scout team having its helmets taped up to look like Michigan’s helmets ahead of The Game: “Better buckle up this week.”
  • Day said he coached with Rick Minter, the father of Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter when he was the quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. The elder Minter currently serves as an analyst with the Wolverines.
  • On tight end Cade Stover: “He embodies what our team is all about.”
  • Day said the Buckeyes have brought a defensive player over to the offensive side of the ball in short-yardage running situations in recent weeks, but didn’t name the player or players who have done that.
  • Day said he was surprised linebacker Tommy Eichenberg was not a finalist for the Butkus Award because he does “all the dirty work,” which is what he believes the award encompasses.
  • On Lathan Ransom blocking a punt two weeks in a row: “You don’t come to Ohio State to play special teams, but I think our guys have embraced that.” Said you have to make an impact like he has when that happens.
  • On punter Jesse Mirco’s ability to place the ball: “He can kick it better than I can throw it. He’s really talented.”
  • Day on the talk that will undoubtedly happen between the teams before and during the game: “It’s about playing with emotion, not letting emotion play with you.” Said they can’t be foolish.
  • On the 23 players who are participating in Senior Day festivities on Saturday: “It’s so amazing to see the different stories.” Noted how he’s been around dating back to the recruiting process for most of them.
  • Day said it’s great to see defensive end Zach Harrison playing so well in the his final few games of his career. “I think he’s one of the most powerful and producing defensive ends in the country right now.”
  • On the play of the offensive line, notably tackles Dawand Jones and Paris Johnson and center Luke Wypler: “They’ve been working hard to build that chemistry and accountability in that room.”
  • Day said he knew about the rivalry before he came to Columbus by watching it from afar, but he didn’t know how much of an identity it was until he got here. “When you put the Block ‘O’ on your shirt, it’s your identity. It’s who you are.”
  • Day said his family understands what this game means and said that’s a big motivator for him. 

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Jim Knowles:

  • Knowles said they haven’t been perfect but have “made progress” on defense. Most importantly, they’ve had people step up and make a play when they needed it.
  • On what he sees from Michigan’s offensive line: “They’re strong and they get their hands on you, try to steer you and push you.” Said they have to fight back. “It’s a toughness game.”
  • Knowles said they’ve played a lot of guys up front “and that’s nothing but good.” Keeps the players fresh and doesn’t allow opposing offenses to wear them down in the trenches. “We have answers for that.”
  • Knowles said Eichenberg’s toughness is what sets him apart in a program full of athletes. “He’s a stalwart. He’s a guy you can always count on.” Said he’s been really happy with Eichenberg’s performance.
  • Knowles said Ransom was a big question mark coming into the season after breaking his leg in the Rose Bowl and missing spring practice. Added he has a “bad attitude” and is fast, which helps him on special teams.
  • Knowles called Michigan’s Blake Corum “a big-time running back.” Said he has great vision, burst and short-space quickness, so they have to have good angles and be disciplined in order to stop him.

Kevin Wilson:

  • Wilson said running back Dallan Hayden was “needed” against Maryland, but also said they blocked better in the second half than they had in recent weeks. Said he did a great job of holding onto the ball.
  • Wilson said Trayanum had a “tweak” in his leg recently, but they were hoping to get him some carries in games that ended up being closer than expected to get him some in-game experience.
  • On Stover: “(He’s a) great leader, great teammate because he does a lot of dirty jobs.” Said he had one missed block on Saturday, but did well otherwise. “It’s championship week, so we’re going to need his best this week.”
  • Wilson said they haven’t been as good as they want to be in short-yardage situations this season, but that they keep at it to show toughness.

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