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Ryan Day Says Ohio State’s Offensive Line Struggles Are “Correctable”

By September 5, 2023 (6:00 pm)Football

The Ohio State offense against Indiana wasn’t as prolific as Buckeye fans have become accustomed to over years of dominance. This time, it was the defense that largely won the game, holding the Hoosiers to only 3 points which came from a field goal in the second quarter.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day believes part of it falls on the offensive line. With three new starters – Josh Simmons and Josh Fryar at tackle and Carson Hinzman at center – a slow first game of a new season is to be expected since they haven’t seen game action, but Day said it needs to be figured out quickly.

“(Indiana) certainly gave us some things that maybe we weren’t expecting, but even when they did, I didn’t think we handled it as well as we could have,” he said. “I think what happens sometimes is when you get to preseason camp, you run plays, and it goes on to the next period and the next drill, you don’t quite feel the consequences of not executing at a high level, and that’s what happened on Saturday.”

The offensive line underperforming has an effect on the entire offense, limiting the ability to have explosive plays and whether or not Day will go for it on fourth down. He said there were multiple times when the offense had a third-and-2 opportunity but were unable to get a single yard, making him lose confidence in running the ball again on fourth down.

“It felt like if you can get to fourth-and-1 then you can run it again, but when you call it on third-and-2 and you get 0 (yards) both times – and now it’s fourth-and-2 – you don’t have a lot of confidence that you’re going to get 2 yards.”

Day said the offensive line underperforming also affects how he calls plays. If the quarterback doesn’t have much time to work with and go through his options in the pocket, as a coach he can’t be aggressive on play calls often enough, and he needs to know he can rely on the line to make that change.

“I think that’s trust over time. It has a big part to do with the quarterback and has a lot to do with the offensive line,” he said. “I think the more trust that we all have in them, the more we can let it rip.

“My job is to make sure we win games here, and when the defense is playing well and we have some inexperienced guys in there, you have to make sure you do what’s right, you get on that plane with a win. It’s not always pretty, and not always fun. It’s frustrating at times, but at least we get to check that box. Now we have to identify the areas we have to improve on.”

And the issues the offensive line had against the Hoosiers were all fixable, in the eyes of Day. Even though only one offensive lineman graded out as a champion, he said he was very encouraged with what he saw Saturday.

“I don’t see anything on the film that isn’t correctable, like guys just getting flat out beat or not good enough,” Day said. “I would have loved to see better execution, but the things that we’ve seen there are all correctable.”

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