By Chase Brown and Griffin Strom
on November 3, 2022 at 1:04 pm

After Ohio State’s win over Penn State, Ryan Day took to the airwaves to discuss his team’s victory in Happy Valley and preview the Buckeyes’ next road test against Northwestern on Saturday.

Here are some of the highlights from The Ryan Day Radio Show on 97.1 The Fan:

Ryan Day

On the Penn State game

  • “We knew that going into the game it would be four quarters… When we’ve played Penn State in the past, that’s typically how it has happened.”

  • Day said the Penn State game went exactly how Ohio State thought it would in that it was a hostile environment in Happy Valley, and the team was challenged to make timely plays to win the game. “We have to be able to respond.”

  • Day said it was tough to lose Miyan Williams earlier in the contest, but he is looking forward to having him back in the lineup this weekend against Northwestern. “Losing Miyan certainly had an effect on us, but looking forward to getting him back this week.”

On JT Tuimoloau, the defensive line

  • Day said he’s never seen a performance like the one Tuimoloau put together against Penn State. “Never seen anything like that in my entire life, although I can’t sit here and tell you I am surprised.” He said Tuimoloau has been close to having a performance like that for some time now.

  • Day said he liked how Larry Johnson rotated the defensive linemen onto the field to keep the Buckeyes’ front seven fresh and ready for action. “Larry did a really good job… I thought it was well done.”

  • “The game plan was to wear them down – if we can win it early, win it early – but it was to wear them down and win the game in the fourth quarter.”

On screen passes, lack of execution with that play against Penn State

  • “The idea is (that the screen) is an extension of the run game.”

  • Day said Ohio State “didn’t quite execute” on those plays in the way they needed to, especially blocking for the receiver who catches the screen pass.

  • Day said despite the lack of execution in the screen game against Penn State, Ohio State will continue to rely on that play in the future to spread the field offensively. “We are going to continue to make sure defenses cover the entire field.”

On the defense forcing turnovers, taking care of the ball offensively

  • “Complementary football. In a game like that, when you’re creating turnovers, the chances of winning go through the roof.” Ohio State forced four turnovers but did not commit a turnover against Penn State.

  • Day said Ohio State goes into games like the one against Penn State preaching that the offense needs to take care of the football and the defense needs to force turnovers within the defensive scheme that the Buckeyes run.

On Zach Harrison

  • Day said Harrison is playing some of his best football in his fourth season with the program. “He’s playing phenomenal football right now.”

  • Day thinks Harrison has shown how athletic he can be off the edge, even using some of the skills he learned as a tight end and wide receiver in high school.

On Cade Stover, the passing game

  • “I think you saw a matchup issue with Cade and one of the linebackers there that CJ saw.” Stover finished the game with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.

  • Day said he has been proud of how Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming, Cade Stover and Xavier Johnson have grown this season and become well-rounded players. “Guys are playing at a high level.”

  • Day also said Ohio State’s running backs are threats to catch the football out of the backfield. “Anytime you can have some balance like that on offense, it puts some pressure on the defense.”

On Marvin Harrison Jr.

  • Day said Ohio State’s receivers have grown “out of necessity” this season without Jaxon Smith-Njigba as an everyday player in the offense. He said Harrison, Egbuka, Fleming and others have really grown as weapons for Stroud to throw to the outside.

  • “Marvin did a great job. Emeka did a great job.” Day said Ohio State’s receivers have been excellent this season and have continued to grow in confidence each week.

On the weather in Evanston against Northwestern this weekend

  • “We try not to look at the weather too far in advance.” Day said he usually takes the weather into account one or two days before they hit the road.

  • Day said Ohio State practices in all the elements, which gives him confidence that the Buckeyes can perform at a high level despite the wind and rain that can be expected in Evanston this weekend.

  • “Day said the Buckeyes have had an “excellent” week of practice leading up to the game. “The competitive stamina is something we’ve continued to focus on.”

On calling audibles, checking plays

  • “We did a couple of those early on because it was loud.”

  • Day said the environment at Penn State made it difficult to check plays at the line of scrimmage, so eventually they moved away from it. “It got us a little clunky, so we decided we weren’t gonna do it.”

We are looking for offensive inspiration around the FBS and NFL

  • “All the time. We are all copycats. We all steal all kinds of ideas.”

  • Day said Ohio State has a few players on the support staff that bring different plays from programs across the FBS and in the NFL. He said the coaching staff doesn’t implement all of those plays, but the coaches consider how to utilize looks and plays that fit their personnel.

  • Day said Ohio State has evolved offensively each season because of the changing of the guard at the quarterbacks from JT Barrett to Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields and Stroud. “You can see that this offense looks different this year.”

  • “We’re not really a system-based offense. We’re gonna do what our guys do really well… It starts with the offensive line and the quarterback, and then it goes from there.”

On long snapper Mason Arnold filling in for Bradley Robinson

  • Day said he “didn’t sleep well the night before” thinking about a long snapper who hadn’t shed his black stripe snapping in that kind of environment against Penn State on Saturday. However, he thought Arnold did a great job in snapping on field goals and punts.

  • Day said Arnold shed his black stripe this week in practice after his performance against the Nittany Lions, and he believes that Arnold will continue to perform at a high level on special teams for the Buckeyes.

On running the football, improving in that area

  • “We gotta keep running the ball. We know how important that is.”

  • Day said no matter how opponents line up against the Buckeyes and what parts of the game they are trying to take away, he wants Ohio State to remain faithful to itself and stick to its game plan.

On Jordan Hancock

  • “It’s great seeing him out there… He’s getting back into football shape, which is good.”

  • “You can see his ability to make plays, drive on balls, ball skills… Great to see him back on the field.”

  • Day said Hancock will continue to improve each week and looks forward to having him be a consistent part of the defensive backfield on Saturdays.

On Chip Trayanum playing running back

  • “It’s been good. He’s moved over to running back full-time.”

  • “He’s picked up the offense well, and his offensive background helps.”

  • Day said he’s looking forward to having Trayanum earn some reps over the next few weeks to get more comfortable in the offense.

On first-year players that have stood out

  • “If I have to say one, I’ll forget someone else and have moms texting me.”

  • Day said he has really enjoyed coaching this freshmen class and thinks they will develop into great players for the Buckeyes. “We have a bright future with that class.”

  • Day said the most significant thing the freshman needs to learn is the routine of going to class and working in the weight room. The quicker those players understand that, the faster they will be on the field.

On Kaleb Brown

  • “Here’s somebody putting in (the work) day after day.”

  • “If he keeps putting in the work in practice and on special teams, he has a bright future ahead of him as well.”

  • Day said Brown has been improving with each practice and hopes to continue that trend in his first year as a Buckeye.

Parker Fleming

On how he scouts opponents and their special teams units

  • “Special teams is different than offense and defense. As the special teams coordinator, I will try to get my hands on whatever I can.”

  • Fleming said he looks at snappers, kickers, punters and holders to see how teams use their special teams units and to learn what they do well.

  • “We want any advantage we can find.”

On Jesse Mirco and Mason Arnold’s performances against Penn State

  • When we woke up and walked outside, Jesse turned to me and said, “Wow. What a great day to be a punter.” Fleming said the air was perfect for kicking and punting the ball.

  • Fleming said Arnold has performed well as a long snapper with Robinson recovering from an injury. He looks forward to seeing what Arnold can do as he grows more comfortable in his role as a long snapper.

On Noah Ruggles

  • Fleming said Ruggles shows up daily and performs consistently every time he steps on the football field. He said Ohio State never has to worry about whether or not Ruggles will be at the top of his game on Saturdays.

  • Fleming said Ohio State will need Ruggles down the stretch and believes the Buckeyes will rely on him more than once to make a kick in crunch time.

Ryan Day’s Thursday Press Conference

  • On the weather expected in Evanston: “If it’s extreme, we’ll have to make adjustments.” Day says the run game could be more important.

  • Day says the Buckeyes knew the Penn State would be a difficult road game even before the season, but says “we haven’t reached our goals, we haven’t even checked one off yet.”

  • On cornerback health: “I look across college football and there are injuries across the country. There’s nothing more frustrating as a coach than dealing with injuries.” Day says “guys have had to step up and hopefully that gives us a boost here in December.”

  • Day says Mason Arnold is expected to be the long snapper for the rest of the season after Bradley Robinson’s injury. Max Lomonico could play as well.

  • Day says it’s been “very windy” the last few days and that has prepared the Buckeyes for the elements in Evanston. Day says the Buckeyes have been squirting water on the ball in practice as well.

  • On Justin Frye: “Just the understanding of the run game and his ability to teach. … Anybody that can see the whole picture adds a whole lot of value.”

  • On JT Tuimoloau: “I think he deserves it. He’s been playing this way for a few weeks now, maybe he just didn’t have the number of plays or the way the plays shook out.” Day says “guys are gonna know where he is now.” Day says “certainly he opened up a lot of eyes Saturday.”

  • On the weather: “Just went over the travel list and feel like we’ll have enough running backs.”