Ryan Day explains why Illinois presents 'dangerous' challenge for Ohio State
It may be coach speak. It might be trying to keep his team motivated after beating a top 10 team. Or maybe, maybe, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is wary about an improved Illinois team that isn’t getting enough credit for creating takeaways.
On Thursday, Day talked glowingly about the Illinois defense his Buckeyes will face this Saturday. It comes after a rougher than usual outing this past Saturday for his offense in a 42-35 win over then No. 9 Indiana. Ohio State was perhaps a bit fortunate to escape from the Indiana game with a win, given their sloppiness on offense.
Illinois is fourth in the Big Ten with seven interceptions this season and seventh in scoring defense, allowing 32 points per game.
Day talked up the Illinois defense on Thursday, highlighting their ability to get turnovers.
Ryan Day on Illinois: “I think they're dangerous. They're dangerous because they cause a lot of turnovers… and they do that because they run to the ball well … they really do a good job of running the football … their offensive line might be the best one we've seen so far.”
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 25, 2020
Day isn’t wrong about Illinois, who come into Saturday’s game with consecutive wins, having beaten Rutgers two weeks ago then crushing Nebraska this past Saturday. And while no. 3 Ohio State is a completely different level of talent, Illinois still has momentum.
In their 42-21 win at Nebraska, the Illinois defense forced a season-high five turnovers including three interceptions. And that is a concern for Ohio State as quarterback Justin Fields had three interceptions this past weekend in their win over Indiana.