With Urban Meyer still serving his suspension, acting head coach Ryan Day met with the media on Monday as Ohio State enters game-week preparations for its week one matchup against Oregon State.
The Buckeyes are set to host the Beavers on Saturday at Ohio Stadium at noon. Oregon State finished the 2017 season 1-11, with its lone win coming against FCS opponent Portland State. The Beavers are coached by first-year head coach and alum Johnathan Smith.
What follows are the biggest takeaways from Day’s appearance in front of the media.
- Michael Jordan will start at center for Ohio State. Demetrius Knox and Malcolm Pridgeon will start at guard.
- Day confirmed that Dwayne Haskins will start against Oregon State.
- Said he was “caught off guard” when he was asked to be Ohio State’s acting head coach. Gene Smith was the one who called him and informed him of his new role.
- Day started by praising Ohio State’s coaching staff. Said advice he received from Greg Schiano and Kevin Wilson has helped him and the program move forward during this situation.
- Day said he was not interviewed as part of the investigation process.
- “It has been a whirlwind,” Day said. “My goal in this was not to replace Coach (Meyer).”
- Said Dwayne Haskins’ leadership has stepped up over the last few weeks.
- Called Ohio State’s staff “the best staff in America.” Again mentioned Schiano and Wilson’s counsel as something he will never forget.
- “Every day, it has become more normal,” Day said of acting as the head coach. Mentioned his first few days were like “drinking through a fire hose.”
- Said position coaching has been critical during this time. Added he tries not to be in front of the team as the acting head coach more than he has to.
- Day said he thought that the team looked drained following Ohio State’s press conference on Wednesday that announced Urban Meyer’s suspension. Until that point, said he never noticed a drop-off during Meyer’s absence.
- Said his mentor Chip Kelly texted him saying, “You’re built for this,” in reference to acting as Ohio State’s head coach.
- Said that there has been open communication within recruiting classes.
- Praised Brian Hartline’s job as the interim wide receivers coach. “He has done a great job so far.”
- On the receivers: “They are all going to play. There is a lot of leadership there. The plan early on is to play everybody.”
- When scouting Oregon State, said he noticed a lot of similar schemes defensively to Wisconsin in 2017.