B1G Coaches Teleconference: Ryan Day Discusses Urban Meyer, OSU Offense

By August 28, 2018 (2:00 pm)Football, Garrett Stepien
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In place of head coach Urban Meyer, Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day handled the Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday afternoon. As the Buckeyes prepare for their season opener Saturday at Ohio Stadium, a noon kickoff on ABC against Oregon State, Day discussed a handful of topics after he and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano first met the media Monday in their game-week press conferences.

  • Asked about the offense, Day said the unit likely takes on “a little bit of a different personality” without a pair of multiyear starters in quarterback J.T. Barrett and offensive lineman Billy Price because sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins brings a new skill set to the table. However, he said, Ohio State’s “offense is our offense” and the Buckeyes still plan to be “250 and 250” with balance between passing and rushing yards.
    • “That’s the goal, but I don’t really see a huge change in terms of our offense,” Day said. “We’re still going to be in mostly 11 personnel. … At the end of the day, we want to stretch horizontally and vertically. … Some different wrinkles in there, but for the most part, we’re going to be the Ohio State offense.”
  • At tight end, Day said freshman Jeremy Ruckert projects to have a role sooner than later in the offense. “He’s a talented young man,” Day said of Ruckert. “We do have a little bit more depth at that position this year going into game one.” Day pointed to sophomore Luke Farrell, junior Rashod Berry and sophomore Jake Hausmann.
    • Farrell remains the starter, while Hausmann has “been nursing a little bit of a hamstring” injury. Ohio State aims to replace “an NFL player” in multiyear starter Marcus Baugh, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders, but Ruckert’s addition to the returning players gives the offense versatility.
  • Day declined to delve into detail on Meyer’s message to the team Aug. 23 “The guys were happy to see him,” Day said. “Shoot, I was happy to see him because it seemed like a long time. We’re used to seeing each other every day. … It was a lot of hugs.”
    • Day said Meyer “was really happy” to see the coaches and players: “As you can imagine, he’s kind of giving them an update on what was going on and kind of explaining the situation and then talking about moving forward.
  • With sophomore J.K. Dobbins and junior Mike Weber set to return as Ohio State’s running backs, Day said the offense will work “a lot of the way it did last year.” Day said both have had “really good offseasons” and continue to support each other in “a great relationship.” Day sees it “as a two-headed monster.” However, he said, both have to stay healthy “because there’s going to be plenty of carries to go around throughout the year.” Day added that freshman Brian Snead and Master Teague “are going to have to help them” because the offense will need more than one running back throughout the entirety of the season.
    • Day said Weber, in particular, had a strong summer: “I think his approach has been excellent and he needs to continue in that, but he’s really been practicing harder, finishing his runs in practice, so I hope this really translates into high-end play for him because he’s been doing the things we’ve been asking him to.”
  • Day reiterated that Haskins “is the starter” at quarterback, but Ohio State wants to play redshirt freshman Tate Martell as well. “He brings a little bit different skill set to the table,” Day said of Martell. “So the plan is to play him.” Day said Ohio State would figure out “where and how” to play Martell over the course of the week. “We’ll see how the week progresses,” Day said. “And once we get into the game, we’ll kind of go from there.”
    • Ultimately, he said, the offense wants to utilize both skill sets of Haskins and Martell the best. “Our offense is very versatile, but they do bring different things to the table, which is exciting,” Day said. “But one good thing is it’s not like we have completely change what we do when Tate goes in or Dwayne goes in, so that part’s positive.”
  • With junior Michael Jordan starting at center after moving from left guard, Day said “it was something we considered all along.” Ohio State looked thoroughly into fifth-year senior Brady Taylor and redshirt freshman Josh Myers before it went with Jordan as “the best option to be successful this season.”
    • Day said Jordan’s size at 6-7 and 312 pounds initially caused hesitation on the position switch, but when Ohio State slid him over, the offense “learned quickly” that he did have what it took to excel at center. “He moves really, really well and he’s very athletic,” Day said of Jordan.