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Ryan Day

Nov 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leas his team onto the field before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Day enters 2023 in his 5th season leading the Ohio State program. To begin his Buckeye tenure, Day has been one of the most consistent head coaches in America, though some of his overall body of work has come into question in recent seasons.

Since taking the whistle from Urban Meyer heading into the 2019 season, Day has compiled a 42-6 overall record with the Buckeyes. That includes back-to-back B1G titles in 2019 and 2020 and 3 trips to the College Football Playoff in 4 seasons leading the program.

Of Day’s 6 total losses as head coach of the Buckeyes, 3 have come in the CFP. He has just 2 losses in conference play during his 4 seasons with the program, though both losses have been extremely costly on the biggest stage of Ohio State football.

Despite his consistency in the regular season, the biggest knock against Day is his failure to bring home a national championship. That might have all changed had the game-winning field goal attempt against Georgia in the Peach Bowl in 2022 been good.

Some might call that knock unfair considering Day’s other accomplishments, but that is the pressure that comes with leading the Buckeyes. Then there’s the recent trend against Michigan that is unacceptable for any head coach in Columbus.

In his last 2 appearances against Michigan, Day’s Buckeyes have been outscored by Jim Harbaugh’s squad 87-50. Day did beat the Wolverines 56-27 during the 2019 season but is left with a 1-2 record in The Game with the 2020 contest being canceled due to COVID-19.

While Day’s success against the rest of the B1G is unlikely to change in the 2023 season, he’ll need to find a way to flip the script against the Wolverines to regain some of his stock among the Buckeye faithful. Beyond that, Ohio State maintains the goal of a national championship every season, something the program has not fulfilled since the 2014 campaign.

One key to Day’s future success at Ohio State will be getting the defense back to its previous status. Jim Knowles helped turn things around in 2022 during his first season as DC but will need to guide the unit into a better performance in 2023. Brian Hartline — freshly promoted to OC — will also need to show he can help take some of the offensive game-calling load off of Day to free the head coach up to be a more efficient manager of the entire flow on game days.

During his time at Ohio State (including as an offensive assistant), Day has generated a reputation for developing elite quarterback play. He played a large role in developing Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields and CJ Stroud, with all 3 of those players becoming first-round picks in the NFL Draft.

Prior to becoming the full-time head coach at Ohio State, Day had a brief stint as the acting head coach under Urban Meyer. Following a suspension to begin the 2018 season, Day led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start before returning the reins to Meyer for the remainder of the season.



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