Ryan Day Recaps Ohio State’s Win Over Michigan, Previews Big Ten Championship Against Wisconsin
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media for roughly a half hour on Tuesday morning, recapping the big rivalry win over Michigan and previewing Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin (8 p.m. on FOX), for which the Buckeyes have already sold out their 11,000 ticket allotment.
Here’s a brief recap of what he had to say:
- Day on quarterback Justin Fields’ third-quarter injury scare: “I was kind of numb at that point.” Fields told them to just put a brace on it and that he would be fine. Called his 30-yard touchdown pass on the first play back “one of the coolest things I’ll be part of.”
- Day on essentially having a full recruiting class going into the Early Signing Period and how that impacts the staff’s preparation for a likely playoff game.
- Day said defensive end Jonathon Cooper will not play another snap this season, regardless of circumstance, meaning his redshirt will remain intact even if Ohio State makes a run in the playoffs. “He deserves to play a full senior year, and I know he wants to.”
- Day calls Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst one of the best coaches in the country. Adds it will be tough to beat the Badgers twice in one season.
- Day on 56-27 win over the Wolverines. “You don’t have a choice. You have to win that game.” Said the attention quickly turned to the Big Ten title game as soon as they crossed back into Ohio. “The end of the first race is coming Saturday night, and we have to accelerate through that finish line.”
- Day said they regularly share tape with officials on potential penalties and other things to keep an eye on — such as holding on players blocking defensive end Chase Young — but feels they do a good job overall.
- Day on Young’s lack of stats against Michigan: “His presence matters.”
- Day said he felt more relieved than happy after Ohio State’s win over Michigan. “It wasn’t even close.
- “We have to go win this game for a lot of reasons,” Day said, adding they have to have a “good, clean plan with enough wrinkles. It’s critical.”
- Asked if winning a conference title should be a prerequisite for playoff teams, Day said it is for his team.
- Day on winning an outright Big Ten title for the third straight season. “I think it would be huge. To go win this thing undefeated would say a lot about this team.”
- Day said Wisconsin was tough to deal with in the first matchup. “They kicked our tails in the first half on offense.”
- Day said he doesn’t expect any coaching changes to come up, but understands its part of the culture they’ve established at Ohio State. Hopes they make it through the finish line before pursuing other opportunities, though. “Most people who are looking for coaches would understand that.”
- Day said they’ve talked to recruits about not being able to come see them this week as they prepare for the Big Ten Championship. “Every one of them said, ‘It’s a good problem to have, coach.’”
- Day on play of interior linemen Wyatt Davis, Josh Myers and Jonah Jackson. “They’re the tip of the spear in our offense. Everything goes through those guys, and their approach has been off the charts.”
- Day said there is no thought to sitting Justin Fields this week to help him recover from his knee injury. “We’ll use him all 60 minutes.”
- Day on Chryst: “He has a system and he allows his kids to play in that system. He has enough wrinkles to keep you off balance.”
- Day said the players deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve done this season, but adds it annoys him when people say this team is talented because it’s the same players those people picked to finish second or third in the division before the season. “This is a team of great talent, great toughness and great chemistry. There’s so much that goes into it, and I think they deserve the credit.”
- “As time has gone on, we’ve felt more and more confident with who we are.”
- Day said Fields, Young and running back J.K. Dobbins all deserve to be in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, which is why the Buckeyes have created the “Heismen” campaign on social media. Says they’re the most efficient players in the country when they’re on the field, but don’t get enough credit because they’re rarely playing in the second half.
- Day said Ohio State doesn’t taking winning the conference for granted despite doing so the last two years. “If we win the Big Ten, a lot of things have gone right.”