Following Ohio State’s 45-12 win over Arkansas State last week, there was plenty to celebrate given the strong performances of several Buckeyes, including wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. and his three touchdown catches as well as the continued defensive resurgence by Ohio State.
But, after watching his team play the first two games of the season, head coach Ryan Day expressed some concern about the team’s discipline, specifically in regard to penalties.
“When you look at that stat sheet you say, ‘Wow,’ but with the panlties, we had nine penalties. That’s unacceptable,” Day said after the Arkansas State game. “We have to get that fixed. We have to coach it better, and we’ve got to put it on the field better, so that’s going to be a huge emphasis point again this week and it’s something we have to get done.”
Through two games, the Buckeyes have committed 16 penalties that afforded opposing teams 160 yards worth of field position. Day reiterated on Thursday that fixing those flags remaining a focus for Ohio State entering Saturday’s late kickoff against Toledo.
“There are going to be some things that are hard to work through, but there’s also other ones that we can certainly control,” he said. “And those are the ones we want to clean up.”
Several of those infractions have been entirely avoidable, including personal fouls in the first two games against wide receivers Jayden Ballard and Xavier Johnson, safety Lathan Ransom, defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau and defensive tackle Taron Vincent. This doesn’t include several pass interference penalties as well as several false starts despite the Buckeyes playing their first two games of the season at home.
To help fix these penalties before they impact Ohio State in a big moment, Day relayed a simple message for the team.
“We have to play with emotion,” Day said. “We can’t let emotions play with us…We’ve got to get it fixed.”