Ohio State Head Coach Ryan Day Talks Running Back Rotation, Penn State In Tuesday Zoom Call

By October 27, 2020 (12:50 pm)Football

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke to the media Tuesday following the Buckeyes’ 52-17 win over Nebraska, and talked about what the team will be doing to prepare for its incoming road matchup Saturday night against Penn State.

  • Day credited the medical staff for defensive tackle Haskell Garrett’s recovery from a gunshot wound through both his cheeks, as well as defensive line coach Larry Johnson and Garrett himself.
  • Said the team would “move some things around like we always do” if wide receiver Chris Olave was unable to go on Saturday.
  • Day called the running backs “solid,” and said that they played better as the game went on. Said they were “just OK” at the start of the game against Nebraska.
  • Day said that “it’ll be different” not having to deal with the typical crowd at Happy Valley for the Penn State game.
  • Said he thought running back Steele Chambers played well, ran hard and “flashed a little bit” during the opener.
  • Day said he thought quarterback Justin Fields did a great job in extending plays with his legs, and said most of Fields’ runs were not designed runs, but scrambles on pass plays.
  • Day on Fields: “I think there are times he can keep his eyes downfield longer.”
  • Day said that freshman wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes highlight plays in practice frequently. Though he hadn’t exactly seen the type of catch he had in the Nebraska game from him.
  • Said he isn’t too concerned with rhythm when it comes to running backs. Day said having two running backs helps keep them both fresh during the game.
  • Day said that recruiting is one of the main things that keeps a program at the top for an extended period of time, and is something that the team has to be focused on doing every single day.
  • Called wide receiver Chris Booker’s story “unbelievable” on his journey from not playing football to club football to joining the team as a walk-on at Ohio State. Booker was named special teams player of the week for the Buckeyes against Nebraska.
  • On defending QB runs, Day said he thought “it was good, but we’re going to get a lot more this week.” 
  • On the Penn State game: “The goal is to win the game. It can’t be anything else.”
  • Day said he always expects a Penn State team ready to play, but on the overtime loss against Indiana: “When you lose a game like that, everyone is a little more hungry.”
  • Day said he doesn’t mind Fields trying to make a play, but when he waits too long to throw it away and the team is now at a 2nd and 18, that is a problem that needs to be worked on.
  • On Penn State: “I think they look excellent on all three phases … This is going to be a difficult game.” Said the score didn’t tell the tale of the game.
  • Day said that he sometimes pulls Fields aside and isolates him, “for a lot of reasons,” but one of those reasons being to potentially avoid major contact with others due to COVID-19.
  • Said the backup quarterback battle is still “ongoing” despite Jack Miller getting the call at the end of the game against Nebraska.
  • Day said he thought safety Marcus Hooker did well in his first start and that he’s seen plenty of development from him over the past few years.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics

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