Greg McElroy has been blown away by Ohio State this season. He credits a large part of that to what he describes as the evolution of head coach Ryan Day.

During the latest episode of “Always College Football,” McElroy began the discussion by saying Day has evolved but also admitted the win over Penn State came down to big-time players stepping up.

In particular, McElroy pointed to Marvin Harrison Jr. as the difference-maker for the Buckeyes:

“Ohio State and Ryan Day, they have evolved… But, at the same time, it’s still players over place. Saturday’s game was very very simple,” said McElroy. “There were two elite defenses on the field, but you know the biggest difference in the game? One team had Marvin Harrison (Jr.), and the other team did not.”

Coming out of Week 8, Harrison made his first appearance on Tradition’s Heisman Watch after another game of 160+ receiving yards. Harrison is also up to seventh on the updated Heisman odds and is the first non-QB to appear on the list.

“Now, if you look at Marvin Harrison, it wasn’t even his best game. Had a couple of drops in the first half but there was never a doubt that when there was a play that needed to be made, it was going in the direction of Marvin Harrison,” McElroy explained. “Every time.”

As for Ohio State’s head coach, McElroy believes Day’s evolution comes down to a heavier emphasis on the defensive side of the ball. In the past, McElroy believes there was a “heavier emphasis” on creating offensive opportunities, but now the Buckeye defense is getting its due.

So far, Ohio State has performed much better in ranked matchups this season as opposed to similar games against Penn State, Michigan and Georgia a season ago.

“In their two ranked matchups this year, they’ve given up just 26 points. That’s amazing. That is amazing,” said McElroy. “And you can say what you want… but Penn State had 6 points in the game if not for the garbage time touchdown at the very end. So I am thoroughly impressed.”