Ohio State will play for a Big Ten title on Saturday when they meet Wisconsin again. Previously, the Buckeyes beat the Badgers 38-7, while holding running back Jonathan Taylor to a mere 52 yards.
What did OSU head coach Ryan Day have to say about the rematch of that October 26 game? Here are the highlights from his weekly press conference:
- After Justin Fields went down in the Michigan game, because someone had crumpled up his leg, he told Day, "Just put a brace on it. I'll be fine." Day said witnessing that moment of toughness was one of the coolest things he's been a part of as a coach.
- Day will not allow Jonathon Cooper to play another game this season, even if Cooper waffles on his decision to redshirt this year, or if they get thin at defensive end. Cooper deserves a full senior season, Day argued.
- During interviews following their 56-27 win over Michigan, Day had told reporters he felt a great sense of relief. In fact, today he conceded he felt more relief than happiness. He also explained why. "You have to win that game when you're a Buckeye."
- The Buckeyes have been submitting film to the Big Ten featuring plays where Ohio State feels defensive lineman Chase Young is being held. This, Day said, is part of the normal back and forth with the conference, and--on balance--Day feels they are doing a good job.
- Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of his hiring, but Day didn't want to reflect on that, because he said there's still work to do this season.
- The coaching staff is a "special family," but Day knows that his assistants' names are coming up in coaching searches. (For instance, Al Washington has been discussed as a candidate at Boston College.) Day doesn't begrudge that; he just asks that his coaches stay focused on the work that needs done here until they "cross the finish line."
- Several times recently, Day has mentioned that he feels his team hasn't been receiving enough credit. In his mind, the attention paid to the Buckeyes talent glosses over all the other areas where they are strong. And today he pointed out why it can't merely be a matter of talent. Their personnel hasn't changed, so their talent level is the same as it was in the beginning of the season when they weren't being picked to win the conference.