COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters on Tuesday to talk about his football team and provide updates following Saturday’s 59-7 win over Akron. Also speaking were secondary coach Matt Barnes, offensive lineman Luke Wypler and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett. The highlights of everything that were said can be found below.
+ Was the expectation for this many young guys to be playing roles this big? No, probably not. There were a lot of unknowns coming into this year. There were a lot of upperclassmen who didn’t have much experience and so jobs were wide open. Things are starting to settle down in terms of roles.
+ If CJ Stroud is healthy he will be the starter. They’ll know more about his situation today at practice.
+ Everybody will need to continue getting better — young and old guys — if this team is going to get where they want to be. They are better than what they were four weeks ago.
+ K’Vaughan Pope’s incident was addressed and he was removed from the team. “There has to be consequences for actions.” Pope’s emotions got out of hand but he has taken accountability for his actions.
+ You try to project down the road as best you can when it comes to quarterback battles, but it still comes down to who can win the game for you that week. You always want to plan for the future though.
+ Kyle McCord having more experience now doesn’t really influence his thought process anymore than before should CJ Stroud have in-game struggles moving forward.
+ There has been a bit of recalibration this year because of the amount of reps that were missed last year. There are a lot of great guys in this program, but at the end of the day it comes down to how have you performed. The more they understand that it’s about the team and not about them, the better they will do.
+ When young players play well they feel empowered to take more of a leadership role. That goes for anybody. It gives players confidence to step forward as a leader. “It’s evolving.” Players are settling into roles now.
+ In the perfect order of things, the older guys are leading and playing. But every team has its own different journey. They are experiencing some of that this year.
+ They have studied all of the analytics regarding going for it on fourth down or kicking or punting. Are three points really worth it? It also depends on whether or not you have a good play for the situation.
+ What are the idea number of carries for TreVeyon Henderson in a game? They want the game to be balanced, but “right in the 20-carry range is pretty good.” They do want to play their depth tho. Miyan Williams and Master Teague battle each week in practice to earn time. Teague could have been a guy who got frustrated but that hasn’t happened. He’s kept working. Teague has asserted himself the last couple of weeks.
+ Evan Pryor has a lot of talent. This year is going to be very important for him. He’s done a nice job of not trying to compare himself to anybody else.
+ On Harry Miller: “He’s been dealing with some health issues. He’s gonna come back this week and be part of the team.”
+ It’s good to see the secondary falling into place. Guys are settling into their roles and young guys are getting more confident each week.
+ He didn’t see Justin Fields getting sacked nine times against the Browns. It’s tough for young quarterbacks. Go back and look at Peyton Manning’s rookie season.
+ When Thayer Munford comes back they can play depth if they want, but they will also take chemistry into account. It will usually work itself out on the offensive line. They need both Matt Jones and Munford and the other guys as well. Depth is very important but they will also look at the chemistry aspect when putting their best five on the field.
+ Greg Schiano has done a very, very good job at Rutgers. It’s a challenge on the road. Rutgers does well in all three phases. They took “up north” all the way to the fourth quarter. He has the guys believing and playing hard. It will be a good environment there.
+ Has the defense turned the corner? “I think we’ve made some strides.” This will be a test for them. But they are playing with more aggression. The answer isn’t here yet. It’s week to week.
+ Asked about Paris Johnson: When you don’t notice a guard, he’s doing a heck of a job. It was a bumpy time over the last couple of weeks for the offensive line without Greg Studrawa. Give credit to the culture in the room for handling that well and excelling.
+ There are so many guys on this team with so little experience that it can be difficult to have the best idea of who the best players are. There is some projection going on, but you also have to rely on what you’ve seen in practice and games.
+ Which group has made the most progress this season? The secondary, the offensive line, and the running backs because of TreVeyon Henderson.
+ He is optimistic that CJ Stroud will be able to move forward this week.
+ Kyle McCord was inconsistent with some of his reads. He was a little nervous. He did make some nice throws, but he also had some that “he kind of got away with.” When you’re starting for the first time there’s a lot going on. The next time he starts he’ll be better prepared for the experience.
+ Kyle McCord and Jack Miller pretty much played the way that they practiced.
+ Last week different guys stood up and spoke in front of the team after the game. Veteran leaders. Garrett Wilson talked to the team after the game about the standard at Ohio State. Xavier Johnson talked at practice about valuing every reps. Jerron Cage talked about how the team hasn’t put their best game on the field yet.
+ The 2018 class has now had nine transfers. “When you look around the country, it’s similar.” He has never been one to run guys off the team. He’s had situations where he could do that but he doesn’t want to. There are a lot of dynamics at play that lead to transfers now.
+ He feels okay at linebacker right now regarding their low numbers. If something disastrous happens they would probably look to move somebody over to linebacker.
+ They are hoping to get more guys back this week. It’s not his decision to make but he’s optimistic.
+ He can’t say enough about Emeka Egbuka’s approach in practice every day. He is tough and is a serious player. Couldn’t be happier with what he’s done so far. That’s a tough room to break into and you don’t hear a word from him. He’s only going to get better. The future is extremely bright for him. He puts days on top of days with no expectations for playing time.
+ Plays are designed for certain guys like Chris Olave, but he’s also one of the best players in the country so defenses are focused on stopping him. He hasn’t let a lack of catches bother him.
+ Play calling is a group effort, particularly on game day. During the week they put a call sheet together and the game kind of calls itself based on the situation.
+ The defense is trying to play fast and be consistent. They are looking for improvement in the execution of their schemes.
+ If you’re in the DB room every day you’re not surprised to see the younger guys stepping up. It’s been fun to watch all of that hard work come to fruition.
+ You can’t play defense in a vacuum. It takes all 11. There is no LeBron of defensive football. One guy may get credit for a tackle but there were 10 other guys involved in making that happen.
+ It is challenging to have a young room because they all need veterans to show them the way. Some need it more than others. Some of it depends on how soon they see themselves getting playing time. That has a way of making them grow up quickly.
+ Denzel Burke has got a rare skill set. Those who saw him in the spring are not surprised.
+ How did the staff handle the playcalling transition? It was a humbling time for all of them. The expectations are high at Ohio State. It continues to be a change for all of them. They are arm-in-arm in this. They are in a relentless pursuit to get it right.
+ Every coach has things they see slightly differently, so he had some ideas of some changes that could work. Sometimes it’s just because that’s what a coach is more comfortable with. There are a couple of things that have changed day to day.
+ What is going on with Sevyn Banks? It’s easy to overlook the fact that Banks missed the spring with a knee issue. He also had a setback with it in camp. It takes time to get back from an injury no matter how experienced you are. He played well in this last game and his attitude has been great.
+ Ronnie Hickman works hard and is a great football player. Some of his success is a result of the guys around him buying in and executing their own jobs. His interception last week was the result of a quarterback that was flushed out of the pocket.
+ A lot of what this defense does is dependent upon what the offense does. If teams are throwing against them, they adjust their coverages. Ronnie Hickman is so versatile that he can play a linebacker or a safety from snap to snap.
+ You have to be fluid as coaches and players. There was a logjam at cover safety with three good players. Losing Josh Proctor gave them an opportunity to move some guys around. Lathan Ransom moving to free safety has made the position deeper now with Bryson Shaw.
+ Why does he like being on the field as opposed to the box? You can get lost in the box, but when you’re on the field you feel the urgency of the situation. You can also be hands on with how you adjust the game from series to series. It’s hard to do that in the box because you’re not articulating those thoughts to players. The information from the press box has been extraordinary.
+ “Disguise is such a big part of the game.” Being able to affect QBs with pre-snap disguises is very important. It will be a constant assessment in terms of which pictures to present to a QB.
+ He was in a similar scenario at Maryland where he was calling plays and wasn’t the DC. However the situations come about, you’re just in constant pursuit of how to get it right.
+ Kourt Williams is a stud. Playing better and better. One of the most impressive people he’s ever been around. Now that he’s practicing again, look for his stock to rise.
+ He feels like things are falling into place with the secondary. They will still remain fluid because of the opponent, but he’s feeling good about where they are and the roles that are being established.
+ Denzel Burke is unbelievable. He must have stolen reps somewhere to come to Ohio State being this good.
+ You can’t have three guys at one position and one guy at one position. They are constantly moving guys around. They have seen Lathan Ransom at free safety in practice so they had confidence in moving him for the game. And they’ve seen Cam Martinez play well in practices as well.
+ Guys in the major leagues get hurt and they go to the minors to work things out. That’s the nature of injuries. You can’t expect guys to be 100% right after injuries.
+ Sevyn Banks is a pro. Even when he was hurt and out, he was locked in with his notepad in every meeting. “He’s a stud. Haven’t had to say a lot.” He’s been extremely impressed with how Banks has worked and fought and led while not being healthy.
+ Now four games in he has settled into his role as the starting center.
+ Nothing changes for him whether it’s Thayer Munford or Matt Jones to his left.
+ He has about 200 family members and friends who are going to be at the game this week. He grew up about 15 minutes from the stadium. His family reserved about 100 tickets back in the summer, but he’s had teammates giving him tickets as well.
+ The competition with Harry Miller will be up to Greg Studrawa and Ryan Day to decide.
+ The nerves are going away. He’s comfortable with everything he’s being asked to do.
+ Rutgers is well-coached. They do a lot of things on defense. They have a different kind of front. They are sound.
+ He was a decent Rutgers fan growing up. He went to a lot of games.
+ He gave up on trying to find good bagels in Ohio. But there good pizza places around campus.
+ Any of the running backs can find the right hole and hit it. They are also strong pass blockers as well. TreVeyon Henderson is a dynamic talent. It’s hard to believe he’s only a true freshman.
+ He has been learning how his voice can be used as a leader. There was a learning curve for him in that area.
+ Once Kyle McCord got his footing he caught a rhythm and made some plays. He was poised throughout the game after a shaky start.
+ OL asst Kennedy Cook did a great job running the room without Greg Studrawa.
+ He is versatile who he can play with. Playing with freshmen is fine. They are getting more confident in what they can do.
+ The defensive ends have always had the spotlight but now there is more production coming from the inside. They are all competing and they have a competition among the DL.
+ Bridging the gap with young guys and old guys is about sharing knowledge. There’s no sense in keeping that knowledge to yourself.
+ There is plenty of talk among the DEs and DTs during practicing about getting to the quarterback and the fact that the DTs have more sacks this year (10 for the DTs, 2 for the DEs). That kind of competition drives all of them to get better.
+ He’s not only a player but he’s also a teacher. He enjoys sharing his knowledge to the younger players.
+ What insight has he given to young players? “Have fun.” Even though it gets technical with schematics, but at the end of the day it’s just football so have fun.
+ Greg Schiano is an inspiration coach. He fuels your passion and drives you. He does that at Rutgers and this isn’t the Rutgers that it used to be.
+ He remembers well all of the trick plays that Rutgers ran against them last year. They are preparing for everything but also have to execute the plan in place.
+ When he shows emotion after a play he’s celebrating for everybody. “When we have energy it’s hard to stop us.” When you have fun, everybody else has fun and that creates energy.
+ This freshman DL class is further ahead of most classes. They want to learn. They are sponges.
+ Jerron Cage is a leader. “He’s an old guy and he has experience.” He brings fire and passion. He’s more outspoken now too.
+ Since the Oregon game everybody has taken a look in the mirror. Coaches and players. They are asking themselves what are they not doing to be the best version of themselves.