Ohio State HC Ryan Day discusses shorthanded Buckeyes, final message to team ahead of game vs Michigan State
Ohio State’s Ryan Day is gearing up for an unusual Saturday.
As the Buckeyes prepare to face Michigan State, Day remains isolated at home after testing positive for COVID-19. He remains upbeat and in good health, and he joined ESPN’s College GameDay virtually to discuss the matchup.
“Honestly kind of a wreck,” said Day. “This has been a tough tough week. Had an opportunity to communicate with the team this morning, a lot of energy this morning. This has been a difficult week for everybody. We’ve had two of the last three weeks canceled so it’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but this is an opportunity for our guys to really show their leadership and what our team is made of in a tough week. We’re shorthanded, but it’s going to be a great day.”
Day was also asked about what area of the shorthanded team he is most anxious for. A total of 23 Buckeyes will be unavailable for the game, including six starters and 17 total scholarship players.
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He went on to label the offensive line, down three starters, as the biggest group he is concerned about with a number of young players set to see action:
“Certainly the offensive line. We’re missing three starters there so we’re going to have some guys in there that haven’t played a lot of football,” explained Day. “But you come to Ohio State for a reason. You don’t come to Ohio State because it’s easy, you come here because it’s hard. This is a great opportunity for those guys to step up. There have been great stories of young players who come in in tough spots and play really well. And we practice for a reason and they come here to play, so what a great opportunity for these guys to come in and play in a tough spot.”
When asked about his final message to the Buckeyes for Saturday, Day said it was all about leadership for this game and making a point about the toughness and resiliency of Ohio State:
“We shared how this is all about leadership. This is about our team,” said Day. “This is a great opportunity in a strange year to show how resilient our team is, how tough our team is, and it’s all about winning. You win and move on. It doesn’t matter what it looks like…you just have to leave East Lansing with a win.”
He also finished his interview by saying it is up to Justin Fields to show confidence in the team and the young guys seeing action for the first time. It doesn’t need to be pretty, Day just wants Fields to be protective of the football and get out of there with a win.
Before signing off, Day issued a brief warning to his family at home today:
“My tolerance for commentary during the game is going to be about zero,” Day said with a chuckle.
This will definitely be new territory for everyone involved, from Day to his coaching staff and players.