Head Coach Ryan Day Discusses Ohio State’s College Football Playoff Matchup With Clemson

By December 8, 2019 (1:22 pm)Football

Just 12 hours after Ohio State put the finishing touches on its third consecutive Big Ten championship with a 34-21 win over Wisconsin, the Buckeyes learned their College Football Playoff fate.

Ranked No. 2, they’ll head to Glendale, Ariz., to take on third-ranked Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl — a rematch of a 31-0 loss to the Tigers in the same venue in 2016.

After the announcement, head coach Ryan Day briefly met with the media to discuss the looming matchup with Clemson (Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Here’s what he had to say:

  • “Do I feel like we should be the one seed? Yeah, but LSU’s had an unbelievable season.” Adds he can see an argument for LSU or Clemson to be No. 1. “At the end of the day, you have to beat the best to be the national championship, and Clemson is certainly that.”
  • On comeback against Wisconsin: “That was the best game we’ve had all year, and because of that, we found out a lot about ourselves. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve been a part of.”
  • Day said the fake punt was the right call “because it worked.”
  • Asked for his impression of Clemson, Day said, “They’re the defending champs and haven’t lost since.”
  • Day said linebacker/safety Brendon White was unavailable for the Big Ten championship for personal reasons.
  • Day said he will use the 31-0 loss to Clemson as a reference point but not a motivator because most of the players on the team weren’t here at the time. The Tigers have had significant turnover since then, too.
  • “Emotionally and mentally, we need a little break here,” Day said following tough three-game slate against Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Day said they’ll have a game week preparation, give the players a week off and then reconvene at the bowl site. “I think we’ll have them fresh and ready to roll.”
  • “Our guys see themselves as being the best in the country, so this moment won’t be too big for them.”
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