Ryan Day Reflects on Nebraska and Looks Ahead to Penn State

Head Coach joins 97.1 The Fan in Columbus to dissect a few areas from Saturday's season opener, and then briefly preview the Nittany Lions.
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See below for comments from Ryan Day on 97.1 "The Fan" Monday evening!

ON INITIAL THOUGHTS FROM OPENING GAME:

“I thought it was a fairly clean game considering everything that has gone on with the lead up. After the couple series on defense, we tackled well and also protected the ball. We only had three penalties and special teams were pretty clean. There is certainly a lot to work on, but it was a good start.”

ON THE FEW PLAYS WHERE JUSTIN FIELDS MAYBE HELD THE BALL A BIT TOO LONG:

“When you look back on his game last year, and even already this year, he extends things… sometimes his check down is his feet. I don’t want to take that part of his game away. If that means every once in awhile there’s a sack, that’s ok too. He probably could have kept his eyes downfield a little longer a few times instead of going tuck mode, but there were also times he could have forced it. The number one things is protecting the football.”

ON RUNNING BACKS:

“I thought they did a good job in protection and got more comfortable as the game went on. They were feeling their way around a bit those first couple of drives in terms of getting tackles and playing on contact. The more carries they get in live situations, the better it will be.”

ON THE 35-3 SCORING RUN:

“Any time it’s the first game, your opponent has a long time to prepare… kind of that fear of the unknown. Nebraska came in with a good plan on both sides of the ball early. Our guys didn’t panic and our linebacker crowd specifically has been around awhile. They identified things around, made adjustments and attacked.”

ON GETTING A LOT OF GUYS INTO THE GAME AND EVALUATING:

“Going into the season, one of the hard things was not having non-conference games where certain guys can get their feet wet. We just jumped right into a conference game. To even have them get any snaps was a bonus, and some of them opened eyes.”

ON WIDE RECEIVERS GETTING KNOCKED AROUND AND BATTLING THROUGH:

“One of the challenges was to see how tough they were. We know they are very talented and have down-the-field speed tracking balls… but I wanted to see ball security, toughness and blocking on the perimeter. We need to do a better job blocking moving forward, but they took some good shots and popped right back up. I thought it was encouraging.”

ON HASKELL GARRETT RETURNING:

“That was a pretty amazing story how it all played out. Give Haskell credit, but also our medical personnel has done a tremendous job. Not sure how fast it would have been at other places in the Big Ten or country. He received care right away, got surgery and rehabbed. For him to get on the field and be ready to play was tremendous.”

ON SEVYN BANKS:

“My biggest disappointment (from Saturday) was that he wasn’t able to hear the roar of the crowd after his touchdown… it would have been unbelievable. The scoreboard flipped after that and it seemed like a checkmate play. But he ran into the end zone, we kicked the extra point, I looked around and was like ‘did anyone see that.’ It was still great to see and I’m proud of Sevyn. This is a big year for him and he has a lot in his mind riding on the season. It was a great start.”

ON PENN STATE:

“When you watch the film, other than the scoreboard, they outplayed Indiana. They played very well for a majority of the game and it just got away from them at the end. But they are good in all areas and we have to give the guys a good, concise plan to go execute. I know it won’t be a White Out, but going to Happy Valley at 7:30 on a Saturday night will still be a challenge.”

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