COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters on Tuesday to provide some updates on his football team. Also speaking with the media were linebackers coach Al Washington and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. The highlights of everything that was said can be found below.

Ryan Day

+ Asked who is playing more than he expected this year, he said the true freshmen were at the top of the list. It’s good to see Mitch Rossi playing. Steele Chambers made a great transition. He’s a pleasant surprise. He expects his role to continue to increase this season.

+ There was some poor decision making in last year’s Indiana game. The Buckeyes will need to remain aggressive throughout, which they didn’t do last year. Indiana is similar defensively to what they were last year.

+ Quinn Ewers is not quite ready yet. “It’s going to be a little while.” He is still learning what it’s like to be a college football player. Bowl practice and in spring will be when he really gets some good reps.

+ Last year’s experience has probably helped the offensive line be able to play different guys and rotate players. If guys are good enough to start and play, they should be allowed to play regardless of position and that’s what they’re doing on the offensive line.

+ They got accomplished what they wanted to during the bye week. They got some rest, they evaluated what they’ve been doing on the field, they taught fundamentals, but today is going to be a typical physical Tuesday practice.

+ CJ Stroud can’t worry about the praise from the outside just like he shouldn’t worry about the criticism early in the season.

+ CJ Stroud communicates well with the team. His leadership skills are strong. The more he plays, the better he will get there. “I’m encouraged with what I see.”

+ Matt Jones has played well when he’s been in the game. They will always try to put the best guys out there. That’s part of the bye week as well, it’s determining who the best guys are.

+ Indiana’s defense will be a great challenge. They bring pressure and CJ Stroud and the offensive line will have to be able to handle it.

+ Dawand Jones loves basketball. He’s a skill player in a big man’s body. Jones went to one of Day’s son RJ’s AAU basketball games and it wasn’t two minutes before Jones was yelling at the ref and yelling at the team about what they needed to be doing.

+ Stroud has a better understanding of why certain plays are called and what is being asked of him. But now that the season is getting later, they’re also going to need him to be tough and handle pressure and difficult situations. This will be an opportunity to continue building trust with the coaches.

+ The preparation the last two weeks leading into the bye week was excellent, so they tried to keep that momentum going by keeping a very similar schedule and routine. It took awhile to find a routine and they’ve done that now.

+ Indiana always plays OSU tough. They have a good scheme and they play hard. “You’ve got to play four quarters against Indiana.”

+ He checks in periodically with the defensive staff now. He’s stepped away the last week or so to let them operate.

+ The team is seeing themselves playing better, they believe in their teammates and they believe in themselves. “The good news is our guys believe right now.”

+ They prepare for games to go three ways. Either they go up early; it’s back and forth — in which case they need to keep swinging; or OSU is down at the half, in which case they need to stick together and not try to get it all back in one play.

+ Indiana has had some injuries. They have had a tough schedule. You combine those two things and it doesn’t take much to lose. This team is much better than their record.

+ Everybody in the Big Ten is playing well this year and you have to bring it every single week.

+ There is a lot of work put into making sure the offensive line is communicating properly before the snap, and then they have to finish their blocks.

+ This offensive line likes football, they talk football, they are serious, they talk about the calls and different scenarios. He’s encouraged by how much the team likes football. They’re always talking about the game.

+ Haskell Garrett and Cam Brown are expected back this week.

+ They have talked about how they plan to handle TreVeyon Henderson over the second half of the season. He’s in a good place right now.

+ You have to be smart about the number of “boom or bust” guys you sign like Dawand Jones or others. You first want to recruit guys who want to be at Ohio State because the minute something doesn’t go well, they’ll walk out the door. They try not to look at the stars, they look at fit. But there are situations like Dawand Jones where you can see the traits. You don’t want to take too many projections, but there are some pluses to having a few.

Al Washington

+ The biggest thing that has helped this group is experience.

+ Early on in the year the mistakes were a reality, but he knew the caliber of his players and that they would eventually hold up. He expects them to get it done and you’re starting to see that progression.

+ Craig Young’s role has been the Bullet with the defensive backs. He sees Young’s role evolving every week and growing.

+ They couldn’t dedicate as many reps to Palaie Gaoteote as they would have liked, but he has studied hard and his role will increase over the course of the year.

+ Ronnie Hickman is very intelligent. He has great instinct. The further away from the ball you are, those two aspects are huge.

+ He hasn’t been surprised by Steele Chambers even as he experimented at linebacker in the summer. He is getting better every practice and becoming a leader.

+ How did they keep the room together after losing two Dallas Gant and K’Vaughan Pope? He loves both of those guys and supports their decision. They held together by staying focused on the objective at hand and the need to keep moving forward.

+ It’s never easy to tell upperclassmen that they have been passed by by younger players but that’s part of the game.

+ Teradja Mitchell is one of the major factors in why the linebackers have been able to stay focused.

+ There has been progress at middle linebacker with Cody Simon and Tommy Eichenberg. Every rep makes them better.

+ The conversation when you lose players is about how things can get better. The message is taking advantage of the time you are given. Tough times come but you have to persist and stick to the situation you joined. If you continue to do that you will improve.

+ He definitely evaluated his job after the K’Vaughan Pope incident. He looked at what led up to that. His relationship with Pope is still ongoing. “He’s a great kid.”

+ The depth is always a concern. They have six and feel good about them, but you would obviously like to bolster yourself as much as you can. He’s not worried tho. He feels strongly about the guys they have.

+ Reid Carrico is progressing. Will he play more this year? That’s hard to say. If somebody gets injured he could step in. He is handling his business and trending in the right direction.

+ Has this been his most challenging year? There have been some very challenging moments “but at the same breath, we’re still in it.” Things are trending well. Early on there were definitely challenging moments. “Early on that bump is what it was.”

+ Matt Barnes has done a great job but the dynamic hasn’t really changed much. Everybody is supportive.

+ Steele Chambers approaches the job the right way. He works off the field as well. Time and reps will help him even more to see things quicker. He has progressed so quickly.

+ What’s been the biggest change with the defense? That’s a hard question. You get back to doing the little things better. The defense isn’t dramatically different than what it was. Time has also helped the guys get experience.

+ He felt early in in the summer that Steele Chambers would be fine on defense. He flashed in a scrimmage and shot a gap and had a tackle and it was impressive. He is also a diligent learner who has been asking questions and talking since he made the move and hasn’t stopped.

Greg Studrawa

+ He missed four days during Tulsa week and the staff around him did a great job to keep the group on track.

+ He felt comfortable with both Harry Miller and Luke Wypler at center. They only decided on Harry about 10 days prior to the season opener, so when they had to go with Wypler instead, he was okay with that.

+ Matt Jones is playing well. He has grown as a player and in his maturity. He knows his assignment and knows how to do it. He’s one of the reasons why Studrawa is rotating guys right now. He can play and the offensive line hasn’t missed a beat. Jones is absolutely making an argument to be one of the best five. He’s also the backup center right now.

+ He didn’t really expect to rotate players. He’s never had the opportunity to do so. But there have been some guys who have come along “and Matt Jones has made me do it.” Injuries have forced his hand as well with some young guys.

+ They took a chance on Dawand Jones but it was a chance worth taking. He was 400 pounds, running up and down the basketball court. He looked like a heck of a tackle. It took some time to convince him that football was his proper sport. Studrawa was finally convinced this spring and summer that Jones was bought in because he was “by far the best guy in camp.”

+ There are different ways you have to reach everybody as a coach and Dawand Jones was a different approach to get him to buy in fully.

+ Luke Wypler has been a serious worker and preparing since his true freshman year.

+ While he was out he was Zooming with his team and coaches. He saw all of the practice film.

+ How difficult was it watching a game from home? It was torture.

+ They are working to get Harry Miller back practicing consistently. Once that happens, then they can find a role for him. But he needs to practice for a whole week and stay healthy. Miller is definitely frustrated dealing with this.

+ He injured his back at the Minnesota game. He got hit on the sideline and woke up in the morning with pain and couldn’t walk. There was no choice but to eventually fixed a damaged disk. He is feeling better but it’s been a tough deal.

+ The constant shuffling of the line last year has been an immense help with the rotation this year.

+ What’s it like coaching Kevin Wilson’s son Toby? He said that Toby’s a great player but his dad is a “you know what.”

+ This is a very confident offensive line right now. He was nervous going into the Maryland game because they were leading the Big Ten in sacks, but this group handled them well.

+ He is expecting Indiana to bring a lot of different pressures. They started working on that last week. As long as they can keep CJ Stroud clean, everyone has seen what he can do.

+ Toby Wilson is a coach’s kid and that’s clear. He’s been around the game, has grown up in it. He’s earned where he is right now. He will continue to grow.

+ He’d like to get Matt Jones some snaps at center in a game but he also doesn’t want to play him when OSU is up 50-0 and then have something bad happen to him.

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