Going into the Cotton Bowl, both coaches are ready to compete to their team’s best ability and do whatever it takes to win in what should be a competitive battle, but Ryan Day and Eli Drinkwitz both spoke very highly of each other before they face off in Dallas on Dec. 29.
“A great opponent, Missouri,” Day said. “Coach Drinkwitz does a great job. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him, and I’m looking forward to competing against him…I know Eli does a great job in all three phases. He’s always done a great job on offense. The defensive coordinator has done a great job as well with their scheme and what they’re doing.”
Drinkwitz echoed a similar sentiment about Day, saying he has followed his career for a long time and pays attention to how he coaches so he can draw from it.
“I think he’s a tremendous football coach,” he said. “I have followed his career. I have a lot of respect for the way he’s gone about his business, working out from Boston College, from the NFL having opportunities there to being the offensive coordinator at Ohio State. I think one of the elite coaches in college football. He does a tremendous job offensively. He’s one of those teams that I like to watch and see what they’re doing because I know they’re always on the cutting edge. And I have a tremendous amount of respect for the person that he is as well as the football coach.”
Playing against Day is something Drinkwitz looks forward to, but also being able to coach against Ohio State in a bowl game is something he doesn’t take for granted.
“In my wildest dreams, I don’t know that I ever thought about being able to coach in the Cotton Bowl vs. Ohio State,” Drinkwitz said. “It’s something that I’m going to be very, very present in, and really enjoy the moment.”
Missouri isn’t one of the teams that is near the top of the standings every year, but with Drinkwitz at the helm and the way they have played this season in the SEC warrants Day’s respect and he is making sure the Buckeyes won’t be taking this game lightly.
“They play a tough schedule in the SEC. They’ve got to bring it every week and have some really good wins this year against Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina,” Day said. “We know they’re a very good team, any time you’re playing that type of schedule and winning like they are. But that’s what you expect when you get into a bowl game like this.”