Kirk Herbstreit understands why Ryan Day reacted the way he did to Lou Holtz. The Ohio State coach had enough with the accusations, and he wasn’t going to take it anymore.

His team beat Notre Dame on the road, and he wanted to blow off some steam.

In Herbstreit’s Instagram “nightcap” with Chris Fowler on the plane back from the Arkansas-LSU game, the ESPN analyst spelled out Day’s perspective.


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“He was fired up,” Herbstreit said. “I think he’s very sensitive to people questioning what Ohio State’s accomplished since he’s been there and he should. The fact that all of a sudden Jim Harbaugh questioned Ohio State, how tough they are after they beat Ohio State last year, it’s kind of become a thing a little bit, and then Lou Holtz brought it up. When I coached at Ohio State with Woody Hayes, they were tough. But now with Ryan Day, when they lose, teams are tougher than Ohio State. That resonated, even though Lou Holtz just came out of hibernation, didn’t mean to cause any trouble.”

Herbstreit then said college football coaches take whatever they can find to motivate their team, and Day pounced on it.

That’s why it was fitting that Ohio State ran the football to beat Notre Dame in walk-off fashion at the end of the game.