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Lou Holtz Stands Behind Comments Made About Ohio State, Head Coach Ryan Day

By September 26, 2023 (4:10 pm)Football

After igniting a firestorm with his comments ahead of Ohio State’s 17-14 win over Notre Dame on Saturday, former Fighting Irish head coach Lou Holtz has doubled down on his thoughts around the Buckeyes and head coach Ryan Day’s program.

Holtz, who said that Ohio State gets beat by teams like Alabama, Clemson and Michigan because those teams are “more physical than Ohio State,” apologized to Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman for his comments putting the team in a “bad position,” but stood by his thoughts about Ohio State.

“I called Coach Freeman (on Monday) and apologized because I put them in a bad position, maybe,” Holtz said Tuesday on “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich. “I don’t feel bad about saying it because I believe it, and Notre Dame was a better football team. Three times Ohio State had fourth-and-1, ran the ball and couldn’t make it. Other than the one long run, they averaged less than 2 yards a carry.

“If I was coaching, I would have said it. I would have went to our team and said, ‘I think you’re better, you’re physical, you’re more talented. Coach Day doesn’t believe so. Go prove him wrong and prove me right.’ But when I say something and I can’t control the outcome of the game, that was unfair to Coach Freeman.”

Day’s first response to Holtz came immediately after the Buckeyes’ win over Notre Dame in an interview with NBC, saying “I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now,” and taking issue with his view of Ohio State, adding that he believes the Buckeyes are a “tough team.” While Holtz said that he understood why Day responded, Holtz did not back down from his belief that Notre Dame was the better team.

“He doesn’t want to talk about Michigan (because he’s) 0-2. He doesn’t want to talk about the big game coming up against Penn State and against Michigan again,” Holtz said. “He’s a great coach. He’s done a great job. He’s a great offensive mind. He hired an outstanding defensive coordinator (Jim Knowles) from Oklahoma State who is doing a tremendous job for him. Ohio State is a good football team. I don’t think they are a great football team. He can go after me all he wants.

“I honestly felt that Notre Dame was a better football team and more physical, and I am sorry that Coach Day was offended by it. I hope he goes on and has a wonderful year. I don’t think they will be a great football team. I really don’t. I felt Notre Dame (could have) won the football game.”

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