Ohio State coach Ryan Day, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, and several players held a press conference with the media on Tuesday, previewing Friday’s showdown with Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl.

In Monday’s press conferences, both Day and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney exchanged subtle barbs, ranging from sign stealing and whether teams with too few games on their schedule should be considered for a national championship.

For the Buckeyes, there is no need for any extra motivation, as Ohio State already has the memory of last year’s crushing loss to Clemson seared into their brains, along with the pain and anguish of blowing a 16-0 lead with a chance to play for the national championship.

Guard Wyatt Davis and defensive end Jonathan Cooper were among those talking and providing their input, as the Buckeyes look to avenge last season’s heartbreaking, season-ending loss to the Tigers.

Both Davis and Cooper talked about Day, and his leadership throughout this season that was marred by COVID-19.

“He’s been for the players first, “Werner said. “He’s just a guy that’s always going to be there for you. He asks the players consistently what we need from him … to be able to make it to the playoff, credit him and his leadership.”

Ohio State missed three games due to COVID-19, including two because outbreaks with their opponents. That level of uncertainty had to be frustrating for players, but Day got them through it.

“Coach Day has been amazing through all of this. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Day said. “I feel like with Coach Day at the front of our team and being our leader, he’s done a spectacular job.”