Ohio State Buckeyes head man Ryan Day met with the media to discuss what his team is doing to build on a 14-2 all-time record against Cincinnati. Here are the highlights.
- Day praised the Bearcats as a veteran group (they return 14 starters), which plays with a Luke Fickell-inspired toughness.
- As for Fickell? "Tremendous amount of respect for him," Day said. "What he did here speaks for itself."
- The Ohio State offense is very involved, and becoming increasingly familiar with its intricacies is what Day would like quarterback Justin Fields to focus on this week.
- Day would like to be able to have Fields take snaps from under center as well as from a shotgun formation. For that reason, Fields and Josh Myers have had to take a lap every time there's been a botched snap in practice. It's a way of giving them time to discuss what went wrong.
- They still don't have a backup quarterback. Even though Chris Chugunov saw limited time vs. FAU, he and Gunnar Hoak are still battling for the spot.
- Master Teague performed well as the Buckeyes backup running back, but Day would like to see the backs do a little bit better job finding the holes.
- Jonah Jackson had nine knockdowns against FAU, which is part of an overall performance by the offensive line that turned out to be better than Day initially thought.
- In their Tuesday meetings, Day likes addressing big picture questions about where the team is at and where he feels they are heading.
- It's difficult to rely on a quarterback to carry your run game, Day said.
- Florida Atlantic threw some different wrinkles at OSU this past Saturday, after the Buckeyes got off to a 28-0 start. Day liked his staff's ability to make adjustments.
- UCLA coach Chip Kelly and Day are friends, but there's been very little conversation so far between them about the Bruins 24-14 loss to UC this past Thursday. Normally there would be, but the two coaches have a lot else going on, so when they did talk it was about those other things. Day mentioned, as an example, the health issues facing mutual acquaintance and New Hampshire football coach Sean McDonell as one of the topics they hit on.
- Asked how much the team will need to improve from their season opening win against FAU in order to obtain a similar result against Cincinnati, Day answered, "Significantly, I think."
And as a bonus, here's also what Fields had to say about his performance against the Owls of FAU and what he hopes to improve before he faces Cincinnati.