Ryan Day Press Conference: Michigan Week

It's rivalry week! For the 116th time, Ohio State and Michigan are set to collide on the gridiron, although this will be the first time The Game will have Ryan Day on the sideline as the Buckeyes head coach. So what are his thoughts headed into this contest?

  • Day admitted his heart stopped a little bit when quarterback Justin Fields was a little slow to get up at one point against Penn State. He had somewhat of a limp heading off, but he was jogging. "We expect him to be fine," Day said.
  • Calling him one of the best in the business, Day praised Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown and said he gives opposing offenses a lot of different looks.
  • He admitted that growing up in the northeastern United States, the rivalries he followed as a sports fan were mostly in professional sports. He specifically cited Red Sox/Yankees and Celtics/Lakers. He said he remembers family members crying as a result of moments in those series.
  • Like former head coach Urban Meyer, Day brings up the rivalry when recruiting players.
  • The Michigan game is a source of inspiration 365 days a year. "You compare yourself every day against them," Day said, adding that they aim to put in a better effort than the Wolverines in every aspect of what they do.
  • Interestingly, Day admitted that they consider Michigan's goals on the recruiting trail when they formulate their own plan.
  • This week, he'll do "a little extra here, a little extra there," but for the most part, you want to keep preparation this week as routine as possible. The real extra labor came before this week.
  • Assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington are both facing their former team. "I'm sure there's a range of emotions. That's part of the job. You work through it." He said he is confident that they will handle it professionally, focusing on what their players need from them.
  • As a Buckeye assistant, Day has experienced moments that have driven home the importance of the rivalry. One of those is hearing before the 2017 game that quarterback JT Barrett had injured his knee prior to the contest. It exemplified to him how much you need to expect the unexpected
  • You get into coaching to be a part of games like The Game, Day said.
  • Jonathon Cooper can play in one more game and still retain his eligibility for next season. Day said he will play again; he's just not sure when, because there are a lot of factors to take into account.
  • Day believes Michigan will be the most talented team they have played to this point.
  • He claimed he wasn't sure, but he believed he was 1-2 as New Hampshire's quarterback in their rivalry game against Maine, the "Battle for the Brice-Cowell Musket." The Wildcats lost in 2000 and 2001 by a combined score of 112-34, so there might be a reason for his sketchy memory.