B1G Coaches Teleconference: Ryan Day Discusses OSU’s Quarterbacks, Breaks Down TCU

By September 11, 2018 (2:05 pm)Football

Ahead of No. 4 Ohio State’s primetime tilt Saturday against No. 15 TCU, acting head coach Ryan Day joined the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday to discuss the latest around the Buckeyes (2-0, 1-0 Big Ten) as they continued game preparations for the Horned Frogs (2-0).

  • Day called TCU “a veteran group that’s played big games before.”
    • The Horned Frogs’ defensive scheme, he added, is “excellent” behind head coach Gary Patterson: “Big challenge coming up for us.”
  • After Tate Martell played increasingly between Sept. 1 against Oregon State and Sept. 8 vs. Rutgers, Day said “the plan has always been to play” the redshirt freshman at quarterback because “he brings a different skill package to the table” and “he’s getting better” behind sophomore Dwayne Haskins.
    • “He and Dwayne are playing their first real football here this year,” Day said. “Dwayne played a little bit last year, but in terms of meaningful time, this is the first opportunity for both of them to play and to get real experience. So now they both have to take the next step because now we’re going on the road in a big environment, so we’re trying to get them as many snaps as we can.”
  • Up against TCU’s 4-2-5 defense, Day said the Horned Frogs present “a hybrid linebacker who has the ability to play coverage but then also get in the box and get his nose dirty.” It brings a new challenge to Haskins and Ohio State’s offense.
    • “Coach Patterson recruits to that defense and he’s got a lot of guys who fit that mold, so it’s hard to find matchup problems when they have guys who can do multiple things,” Day said. “So that’s a challenge to us, trying to find those matchups. In terms of Dwayne’s preparation, obviously, today’ll be our first practice. He started, yesterday, getting prepared for this defense. So the focus, even in a game like this, is more on us and giving him a good picture and clean protection and staying on rhythm.”
  • As Jeffrey Okudah works into the three-man cornerback rotation, Day assessed the sophomore’s development.
    • “I think Jeff has really developed over the past year, has a lot of talent,” Day said. “Very aggressive. He’s not going to back down from anybody, so his mind-set and approach is just like the great corners that we’ve had here, and you can see that getting better every day. But I think Coach (Greg) Schiano and Coach (Taver) Johnson and Jeff have worked really hard to develop him in terms of his technique and fundamentals. First, as a kid, he’s one of the best kids you could be around in terms of day-to-day work ethic and has a smile on his face. So when you combine already that talent with great coaching and a great worth ethic, great things are happening. So I think he’s got a lot of great football ahead of him this year.”
  • At middle linebacker, Day said Baron Browning “is running sideline to sideline and making plays” with Tuf Borland as the sophomores split reps.
    • “He’s learned a lot from Tuf,” Day said of Browning. “And Tuf, I know, is happy he’s out there playing because you’re going to need depth, especially as the season goes on. So I know both of those guys are excited about playing and pulling for each other.”
  • Day said Haskins has made his biggest strides in the classroom and in the weight room. In the offense, Day assessed Haskins as a runner at quarterback.
    • “I think when the opportunity presents itself, he will,” Day said. “He showed that a little bit in the first game. He’s going to have to, at some point along the line, beat you with his feet. Teams are going to start to defend the pass maybe a little bit more and it’ll open up. The thing that happens to us, though, is we have great running backs and a great offensive line. So it’s not like they’re going to sit there with six guys in the box. They’re still going to put the seventh guy in, which forces us to throw the ball. So that’s kind of the idea. Once that happens, then we’ll look to throw it. But I do think, as the season goes on, he’ll run more.”
  • Asked about Ohio State’s 31-16 loss to Oklahoma and how it altered the College Football Playoff picture, Day downplayed the notion that the season rides on week three against TCU.
    • “That was a different team last year and that was a long time ago, but I think they also know every week it’s at stake,” Day said. “Last week, if we lose to Rutgers, that could’ve been the reason, too.”
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