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

Day said this year's defense is "by far" the best the Scarlet Knights have had under head coach Greg Schiano.
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Ohio State head coach Ryan Day made his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Fan on Thursday afternoon, then met with the media for approximately 15 minutes for a lighting round to discuss the 52-21 win over Wisconsin and preview Saturday’s Homecoming matchup with Rutgers.

The following is a bullet-point recap of everything Day had to say:

Ryan Day Radio Show

  • Day said it was “good to get off to a fast start” against Wisconsin by getting the ball first and scoring, then turning an interception into points for an early 14-0 lead.
  • Day said they usually defer to the second half, but didn’t get off to a fast start against Notre Dame or Arkansas State, which is why they took it first against Toledo. Added the goal is usually to win the last few minutes of the first half and the first few minutes of the second half.
  • On the atmosphere against the Badgers: “I thought the atmosphere was great. All of our night games have been that way. It was electric.” Added the black alternate uniforms gave a little extra flavor and the players really love them.
  • Day on the blocking ability of tight end Cade Stover and wide receiver Julian Fleming: “That’s where we’re maybe a little bit different than in the past.” Praised Stover specifically for opening some of the holes against Wisconsin.
  • Day credited secondary/cornerbacks coach Tim Walton for getting J.K. Johnson and Jyarie Brown for their first career starts. Noted how they’ve been practicing and how that’s helped their development. “Both of them are really talented.”
  • Day said both are going to see “significant time” moving forward but that the Buckeyes hope to have more depth at cornerback this week after starters Cameron Brown and Denzel Burke missed last week.
  • Day said safety Cameron Martinez has been taking reps at the position, as well. “Any time you bring versatility, it’s a lot of value.”
  • Day took the blame for Braelon Allen’s long touchdown run in the fourth quarter when the starters came out of the game, but “when we put those guys in the game, we expect them to execute. Sometimes you need something like that to wake you up and realize it’s not just practice anymore.”
  • Day linebacker Tommy Eichenberg doesn’t say much, does a good job of getting people lined up and that the defense feeds off of him.
  • Day credited defensive tackles Taron Vincent and Michael Hall for their impact inside against Wisconsin, while the defensive ends were also able to win their battles and get pressure on the quarterback.
  • Day said he thought safety Tanner McCalister’s interception and his pass break up in the final seconds of the first half were the two biggest plays of the game.
  • Day said they are looking to get safety Lathan Ransom back this week after he missed the game against Wisconsin with an undisclosed injury.
  • On freshman safety Sonny Styles: “His work ethic has been off the charts and his attitude has been great.”
  • Day said there’s a unique chemistry along the offensive line, as they have to work together to be successful in the run and pass game.
  • Day said the players have to take more accountability for their mistakes in a game because it’s in front of the crowd and in a meaningful situation, unlike practice, when you can simply move onto the next rep.
  • Day said using different tempos throughout the game can keep a defense off balance and the offense from being predictable, though it’s harder to do now more than ever in college football. “I feel like the referee just stands over the ball for 10 seconds and looks at you.”
  • On Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano: “He’s very good in this area of building programs, and he’s off to a great start again.”
  • Day said the Scarlet Knights have some weapons on the outside and are creative in what they want to do on offense. “Every year, they’re getting better and better.”
  • Day credits Schiano for their play so far this season and said this is “by far” the best defense they’ve had in his three years at the helm. “They try to stress you out.”
  • Day called wide receiver Emeka Egbuka a “warrior” and noted how he’s having an impact on both offense and special teams as a returner. “He’s playing at a very high level.”
  • On the running game with TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams sharing the snaps. “Both understand it’s going to take both of them to get through the season and each game.”
  • Day said linebacker DeaMonte “Chip” Trayanum is “ready to go in the bullpen” if the Buckeyes ever need him at running back. He notably played the position at Arizona State before transferring this offseason.
  • Day said quarterback C.J. Stroud does a lot of work in practice and on his own, which helps him understand what’s going to happen in the game. Said anytime there’s a curveball, Stroud is ready for it and doesn’t panic.
  • On Stroud: “He’s very, very classy in the way he handles every situation.” He credits Stroud’s foundation of faith for his success.
  • Day noted how they don’t go hard every play in practice to avoid wearing the players out. There are teaching periods, technique periods, etc., not just good-on-good.
  • Day said the varying game times on Saturday don’t have an impact on the practice schedule because of classes, though they try to get to bed earlier the week of a noon game.
  • Day said they have to be aware of the trick plays coming from Rutgers, will had three in the 2020 game in Columbus.
  • Day recalled when TCU had a player laying down in the end zone on a kick return to try to deceive the coverage team in the 2018 game. The trick play was returned for a touchdown, though there was a flag that brought it back. Day said he wonders if he would still be the head coach if that wasn’t called.
  • Day said the offensive linemen have been getting a few more Buckeye Leafs this year on their helmet than usual. Noted there are different ways that players earn those, and they’re awarded every Tuesday.
  • On USC transfer kicker Parker Lewis being cleared by the NCAA this week. Said he provides some much-needed depth at the position, though Noah Ruggles (field goals and extra points) and Jayden Fielding (kickoffs) have done a good job this season.

Ryan Day Lightning Round

  • Day started off by mentioning the hurricane in Florida and how it has impacted some of the players on the team from the state. “Thinking about all those folks down there and certainly for those affected in our family.”
  • Day noted how Stroud is a self starter and very driving. “He saw himself in this role, was very hungry and it means a lot to him.” Credited his high school program for developing him.
  • Day said defensive coordinator Jim Knowles changes the looks for the offense but keeps it simple for his guys. “It makes you work.” Said it challenges the offense every day in practice.
  • Day said safety Kye Stokes’ parents are first responders in the Tampa area.
  • The Buckeyes will continue to use Fielding on kickoffs, even with Lewis available. Said they like the continuity and believe he’s done well, though he certainly wants a couple of kicks back.
  • On safety Josh Proctor, who Day said practiced really well leading up to Wisconsin. “Last week was the first time you got to see the old Josh back.” Said they hope he can continue to build upon that. “That’s the (Proctor) that we think can help us reach our goals this year.”
  • On Burke, who had a club on his right hand and did not play against Wisconsin. “It was too close to when it happened (to play).” Added he’s had a good week of practice and is ready to play. “I’m excited to see him back on the field.”
  • Day said he didn’t think Styles would have the impact he’s had so far after reclassifying. “He’s going to be a really good Buckeye for us.”
  • Day said there aren’t really any conversations about holding a player out of a game to maintain his redshirt. “At this point, the guys who are going to be playing in this game are going to be playing for the year.”
  • Day didn’t share any updates on wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba or Brown, who both missed the win over the Badgers.

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