COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day will meet with reporters today in order to recap a bit of the win over Minnesota and preview Saturday’s matchup with Oregon. Also joining the session are defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, linebacker Cody Simon, and wide receiver Chris Olave. The festivities should begin around noon. We will post updates as they happen. Refresh for the latest.
+ Oregon will give them different schemes than Minnesota so they have to be prepared for them. They are physical and the Buckeyes will have to be the same.
+ The adrenaline and intensity goes up when you see a different color out there.
+ It’s good to be on the field against somebody other than your teammates. Gamedays remind you of how much you really love the game. “Hitting another color, there’s nothing better than that.”
+ Tommy Eichenberg is an ultimate leader. “Our defense isn’t as good as it is without Tommy.” “I just try to stick around Tommy and together we can do anything in this league.”
+ The history of Ohio State is “ultra important.” “I can’t let the people who have played in the Buckeye uniform before me down.” It’s an honor to play at Ohio State.
+ On his quarterback sack, it was a momentum booster and he was just trying to make a play for his team. They rep those things every week and visualize the play before it ever happens. The hole opened up for him on this play and “I was fortunate enough to get the sack.”
+ Every week they always prepare for a bunch of substituting because you always have to stay ready to have your name called.
+ “Obviously we have a lot to improve on.” It was a new atmosphere and the young guys haven’t done that before. He still hasn’t seen what a full Ohio Stadium looks like so he’s excited about it.
+ They practice the deep passes in the offseason “so much.” Stroud puts the ball out where they need it and he gives them a chance but putting the ball in their radius.
+ He wasn’t really a big-time recruit until Ohio State offered him. Oregon started calling after that, but he was already all-in on the Buckeyes. Oregon was his dream school. “But it never came.” He never knew about Ryan Day’s connection with Chip Kelly.
+ Was he cheering for Oregon against OSU in the national champions game in the 2014 season? “Yeah, I was young.” Ohio State put the muscle on them and wore them down.
+ How do you work on yards after the catch? That’s one of the reasons he came back was to get better at that. He is working on finishing plays. Making defenders miss or running through tackles.
+ Denzel Burke is a pro. He ran with the ones in camp. He battled with Olave and Garrett Wilson but never got too big headed. Olave keeps telling him to keep working.
+ After each catch in practice he tries to finish another 10 or 20 yard just to create a game situation and that showed in his sideline runs last week.
+ Why did he want to be a Duck? Oregon was a powerhouse growing up under Chip Kelly. The family watched the Ducks. “All the different jerseys.” It’s going to be huge to play against them.
+ Last year was a weird year, so to finally get to play in front of fans again was huge. Minnesota was rocking. It was a blessing and brought more excitement to the game. Playing in the Shoe this week, “I’m excited.” Looking forward to having fans back in the stands.
+ Olave grew up an Oregon fan and always wanted to go to Oregon so this is a childhood dream for him.
+ Stroud played great. He’s still just 19 years old. He finished it well. “That’s just the way CJ is.”
+ CJ Stroud just needed to get comfortable and once he did that he was good. “Coming out of halftime he got his head on his shoulders.” They were there to talk to him. “It was all him though at the end of the day.”
+ Denzel Burke played well all camp so he wasn’t surprised to see him play well and get the start at Minnesota. He was always asking questions of the receivers about what he can do to get better.
+ Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson can be tough on any cornerback. Denzel Burke against them was unflappable, even when they beat him. He also got a lot of PBUs against them. The day in and day out of having no fear against those guys was impressive. “I expected him to play well. It would have been disappointing had he not.”
+ The volume of formation changes were a challenge for the defense. Minnesota was also running their guys in late, making it difficult to match. He takes responsibility for any late calls coming in from the defense.
+ Tommy Eichenberg was the right guy for that physical game at Minnesota.
+ Asked why Taron Vincent started ahead of Haskell Garrett, Coombs said Larry Johnson is 100% in charge of his position group rotation as are all of the position coaches. Taron Vincent had a great camp.
+ Minnesota did a nice job of changing personnel groups. It took some time to get adjusted to.
+ Lejond Cavazos had good coverage on the touchdown catch he gave up. “Lejond played well.”
+ Quarterbacks always find the true freshmen on defense, so they need to be ready. They talked to Denzel Burke long and hard about that. He has never shown any fear, which is huge. Burke told him he was nervous, which was good because if he said he wasn’t, he’d be lying and that means there’s a bigger issue.
+ Kourt Williams is very close. He had a few setbacks in camp. That game and that environment at Minnesota is not necessarily where you want to get your first real playing time.
+ Yes, this defense is mentally tough enough. “I have no concerns about their mental toughness.”
+ He never thought he’d be starting a true freshman cornerback at Ohio State, but Denzel Burke earned the job. He expects him to stay in the rotation once Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown are back.
+ The defense will need to shorten the rotation as the season goes on. “We’re still finding are way.” The only way to know for sure who the best guys are for certain situations is to play in games and see. “We have to put the best players on the field to help us win the game.”
+ Blitzing is predicated on what the offense gives you and down and distance. The OSU front four generally provides enough pressure. Blitzing is game plan specific more than anything.
+ He’s not sure Oregon will do some similar packages to Minnesota. The expectation is Oregon will do what they’re good at instead.
+ You have to work on tackling in practice, but tackling drills are different than tackling in games.
+ You always self-evaluate after a game. There is a laundry list of things that they need to improve on. Minnesota showed some formation groups they have not seen and the defensive staff did a great job addressing those things on the fly.
+ It’s a challenging environment on the road in the Big Ten. The young corners handled the game well. They will continue to improve as the season goes on.
+ He saw a lot of good and a lot of bad after film. Played a lot young guys. Have to tackle and leverage better.
+ They will move Kayvon Thibodeaux around. It will be a challenge for both tackles. “There might be times when they get beat. Certainly we don’t want that.” “They’ll be prepared and we’ll have a plan to help them.”
+ If you have too many conversations with a quarterback about why he didn’t throw a ball where it was supposed to, you probably have the wrong guy. CJ Stroud saw things pretty well. He missed a couple of things, but that’s part of playing football.
+ The Oregon defense is downhill. They have a lot of speed. They hit. Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter knows what he’s doing. He creates chaos. He blitzes a lot.
+ Denzel Burke got better as the game went on. His best football is ahead of him. He was thrown in the fire, but he’s competed since he’s gotten here. He deserved the start. “He really did.” Ask the receivers and they’ll tell you how talented he is.
+ The quick screens out wide look easy, but they’re not. The receivers have to be able to block and hold up without holding. It has been a major emphasis this offseason.
+ Kayvon Thibodeaux is very, very talented and explosive. Creates disruptions. Strong. Has a knack for the ball. They have played against good players before, so this will be another challenge.
+ Luke Wypler had some good plays and not-so-good players, but for a guy who got thrown in the fire, it was a good start. He has to grow and continue, but he was impressive. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s going to play a lot. There is no update provided yet on Harry Miller’s return.
+ He tries not to be numb to how good Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson are. They are playing fast right now and at a high level, but it’s based on their practice and work ethic.
+ Playing in front of a crowd again — it was loud on third downs. The QB cadences could have been louder. Overall, the Buckeyes played with good discipline in a difficult environment.
+ At some point this week they will talk about 9-11 and the anniversary. He was a junior in college getting ready for a class and not going to class and just watching the TV. There was a player on the team who lost a family member. “It doesn’t seem that long ago to me.” This year brings up a lot of memories.
+ The tackling overall was okay, they missed some but made some. They can do a better job in the red zone. There are some things to clean up.
+ Minnesota was changing personnel a lot, from 11 personnel to 13 with an extra tackle, so with those big changes OSU wanted to match the personnel. “It looked like a New York sidewalk at times.” The refs probably could have given them more time to sub. That was a game situation thing for Minnesota and they don’t expect to have to do that much again. They will still play depth, but they wanted to match personnel against the Gophers because of the odd offensive looks.
+ Overall there were some really good things from the secondary. It wasn’t perfect, but this was a group going through a bunch of firsts. “Looking forward to seeing those guys take the next step.”
+ He leaves the RB rotation decisions up to Tony Alford. The Minnesota game was unique. It felt like half a game. Master Teague didn’t get carries in the second half but that’s a product of the shortened game. This is a long season. He’ll still get plenty of carries.
+ CJ Stroud has now done things for the first time, so things will become more familiar to him. Once things stop being new, he can use situations as reference points and improve from there. But this is still going to be his first time playing in the Horseshoe in front of fans.
+ Mario Cristobal is somebody who has a background in line play and brings a style of toughness to the table. They have recruited very well and they are very athletic. “We’re going to have to play and keep up with them speedwise.” They are also physical up front so it presents different challenges.
+ They have always had the wide receiver screen game in their offense under Justin Fields and Dwayne Haskins, but they thought it would fit well against Minnesota. The defense dictates some of that as well.
+ He and Chip Kelly talked yesterday. They talk all the time. They have summer homes across the street from each other. Their wives are close. They talked several times in years past about him going to Oregon. It was just too far to go at the time with a young family. “Chip was great, that’s why I love you, because you love your family so much.” It’s great to see him building UCLA back up. He’s building it the right way. They’re going to have a bright future.
+ There was some good things on defense and some bad things. There were some missed tackles, but not a ton of explosive plays. Minnesota has a great running back. Runs really hard. “College football could really use him right now.” He broke some tackles, “we also got him on the ground at times.” It wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful. Different challenge this week, but tackling is a still a must.
+ Jeremy Ruckert played well. Graded a champion. He had a nice catch and had a few other things designed for him, but those didn’t end up going his way. He blocked well. He is a well-rounded player. That’s going to serve him well in his future.
+ There are still 10,000 tickets available. Day is asked about it. “We need Buckeye Nation in this game. This is a very, very big game for our program. We need them to be loud.” They need a loud environment. It needs to be an advantage. The louder and the more they can feel the crowd, the better they will play. There are a lot of dynamics as to why there are so many tickets available, but there’s still going to be over 90,000 fans there cheering on the Buckeyes getting back to doing what they have missed doing for the last year-plus.
+ It was Tony Alford’s call to put TreVeyon Henderson in the game late.
+ The running back rotation will likely be shortened this week. Last week was a unique game. There were only 48 gradeable snaps. The goal this week will be to get more snaps and shorten the rotation a bit.
+ They felt like Nicholas Petit-Frere can hold up at left tackle. It’s been a good move for him.
+ It will be great to have recruits and fans back in the stands. The recruits and their families will have a great experience. “Really hoping the crowd is excellent.” The recruits will understand they may not get as much attention from the coaches this weekend that they normally would.
+ You have to make decisions about being aggressive before the game because it takes the emotion out of the decision. You could change your mind during the game and that’s not the best time to make those choices.
+ Day won’t comment on Josh Proctor or Sevyn Banks or Cam Brown. That’s what the availability report is for.
+ Nicholas Petit-Frere is very talented and they wanted to find their best five by moving guys around. Thayer Munford is showing he can play two positions.