Coordinator Corner: Ryan Day Delves Into Ohio State’s Offense With Run Game, Red Zone Woes Among Top Concerns

By October 25, 2018 (7:00 am)Football
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After defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day fielded questions from the media before practice Wednesday in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center team room as Ohio State went to work with issues on both sides of the ball following last Saturday’s 49-20 blowout loss at Purdue.

With woes from the run game to the red zone, plus the indefinite absence of junior wide receiver Austin Mack, the Buckeyes (7-1, 4-1) have plenty of schematic and personnel complications to address before Big Ten play picks back up Nov. 3 against Nebraska (1-6, 1-4).

As the Oct. 27 off week progressed into the midweek practice, Day acknowledged the problems exposed by the Boilermakers (4-3, 3-1) and discussed how the offensive staff returned to work with an honest approach to those recent troubles while keeping all options open.

Ryan Day

On the red zone…

“We’re looking at all of those things. (Two-tight-end packages and heavier fronts are) a good point. You get a bigger surface there and maybe the extra hat comes in maybe a little bit further away, so running (sophomore quarterback) Dwayne (Haskins) down there isn’t as much of an option as it used to be with J.T. (Barrett). So again, really covering everything whether it’s the quarterback run with someone like (redshirt freshman quarterback) Tate (Martell) coming in the game, wildcat packages, different personnel — all those things we’re evaluating right now.”

On the wide receivers…

“(Junior Binjimen Victor) has got to step up. He’s got to mature into a role where he’s going to be the starter over there (at the X). But we’ve also got a lot of depth there, a lot of older guys — (fifth-year seniors) Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell and a lot of guys like Johnnie (Dixon) will go over and play there as well. And then (sophomore) Jaylen Harris is a young guy that’s going to have to step up as well, and when his number gets called, he’s going to have to be ready. But the good news is we’ve got some older guys who know the system really, really well. So we can move some guys around if we need to.”

On the overall offense…

“Just frustrated that we’ve done so many good things, yet didn’t quite have a lot to show for it the other night. We have to play better situationally because, to your point, we’ve done so many good things and we have a lot of great players on offense. We have to just make sure that we’re executing better in the red zone and then when we run the ball, we need to run the ball.”