Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke to the media in a Zoom call Sunday to discuss the upcoming Big Ten Championship game against Northwestern, as well how much he thinks about where the Buckeyes stand involving the College Football Playoff.
- Day said during this time of year, there would normally be coaches on the road recruiting in preparation for signing day. This year, that is not the case, but the staff has done a good job handling the situation.
- On the idea of needing style points in wins: “I don’t think there’s any other sport in the world when anything but winning matters … all we’re going to do is worry about winning, one play at a time.”
- Day did not say if he expects everyone back for the game against Northwestern, citing his comments about the Michigan game last week as why: “The last time I said anything I think I jinxed myself, so I’m going to plead the fifth.”
- He said Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald has done a great job getting his team ready, and that Ohio State will have to earn absolutely everything against that defense.
- Day didn’t want to get into what happened in the Florida-LSU game, where the Gators lost 37-34. He said Ohio State just needs to worry about what itself is doing, and can’t worry about other programs.
- “If we play well, we move on. We know that in our heart,” Day said. “To be undefeated and win the Big Ten championship, that speaks for itself.”
- Also from Day: “This team can play with anybody in the country. That’s the facts.”
- Day said there is nothing like actual game reps, but that the team is trying to simulate those during practice. He also emphasized that the players are going against some of the best players in the country in practice, which will help them prepare for anybody.
- On senior linebacker Pete Werner: “I think he’s playing as good as anybody in the country at linebacker. He’s a man. He maybe didn’t come in here that way, but he’s leaving a man.”
- Day said Northwestern has a good offensive line and a good scheme. “At the end of the day it comes down to taking on blocks, defeating blocks, and tackling.”
- Day said junior quarterback Justin Fields is “team first” and focused on winning a championship, even with individual goals in the back of his mind. He said Fields is not worried about the Heisman.
- He said fifth-year senior defensive end Jonathon Cooper “is special.” Day said it would be great to see Cooper celebrating after the Big Ten Championship Game this weekend.
- Day said that Dawand Jones, Matthew Jones, and Max Wray, the three replacement starters on the offensive line against Michigan State, “came through in a big, big way.
For four free issues of the print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/