Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day, Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson Preview Sugar Bowl

By December 28, 2020 (5:05 pm)Football

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson met remotely with the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson on Jan 1 (8 p.m. on ESPN).

Here’s a brief recap of what they had to say:

  • Day said the Buckeye have overcome a lot this year. “Now we have to finish the race.”
  • Day on quarterback Justin Fields’ thumb injury: “I think he’ll be fine.”
  • Day on the Tigers’ ability to get defensive pressure, ranking second in the country in sacks. “They’ve done it against just about everybody they’ve gone against.”
  • Day on Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables: “He’s one of the best defensive coordinators in college football. He does a great job calling the game. He seems to know exactly what the other team is doing.”
  • Day on dealing with up-and-downs of season due to the coronavirus: “The people who missed practice in the last month here alone is staggering.” Noted that puts more stress on those who haven’t missed practice.
  • Day said being at Ohio State has been a blessing and he credits those around him for putting him in a position to lead the program.”
  • Day said the Sugar Bowl feels more like another game than a typical bowl game due to the travel schedule and fewer days for preparation. “It’s kind of a downer.”
  • Day on Fields’ chance to redeem himself after the game-ending interception last year in the Fiesta Bowl. “We asked for that opportunity and now we’ve got to go.”
  • Day said they’ve gotten a bunch of players who missed the Big Ten Championship Game back at practice. 
  • Day said the red-zone offense and having to settle for field goals were issues against the Tigers last year and against the Wildcats last week.
  • Day said the game against Clemson isn’t so much about beating the Tigers as it is the opportunity for his team to write their own special story, especially given all they’ve overcome this season.
  • “Everything about this season is different,” Day said. “From the amount of games we’ve played to… all of the above.”
  • Day said there’s pressure to win a certain way at Ohio State, but winning is all that matters, whether it’s 6-3 or 52-51. “If you win the game, you move on, and that’s what matters.”
  • Wilson said it feels more like the week of the Big Ten title game than the College Football Playoff because of the condensed schedule.
  • Wilson said the Tigers make offenses work for everything they get. “Every play is a fist fight.”
  • Wilson said it’ll be a collaborative effort to keep Fields comfortable under pressure.
  • Wilson said Fields has been practicing and preparing very well.
  • Wilson acknowledged it will be difficult to run the ball against Clemson the way they did against Northwestern, but balance will make them a more complete offense. 
  • Wilson on the return of wide receiver Chris Olave: “There’s a lot of confidence that Justin has when he’s going to him or Garrett (Wilson) that they’re going to make plays for him.”
  • Wilson said he’s looking forward to the one-on-one matchup between offensive guard Wyatt Davis and Clemson’s linebackers. Called both hard-nosed, old-school players and that they have a lot of respect for one another.

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