Ryan Day has produced the offseason of a lifetime this year, and it comes at an especially pivotal time for Ohio State’s head coach. Included in those decisions is a move to relinquish playcalling duties after hiring Chip Kelly away from UCLA.

Heading into the 2024 season, questions about what the offense will look like have swirled, but Day himself tried to address some of that in a sitdown with Joel Klatt. According to Day, he does expect a tangible difference to the way the Buckeyes look with some new schematic things put in place.

“I think so,” Day admitted to expecting a tangible difference from the offense. “I don’t think it will look drastically different to someone watching the game, but you will see schematically some different things, and Chip’s history of running the ball speaks for itself.

“We’ve got some really good running backs and he’s creative at what he does. What we’ve done here passing the ball speaks for itself, so I think there will be a combination of those things but the great thing for me coming here is I came from his system.”

With an elite roster and well-rounded coaching staff, Ohio State is among the favorites to win the first-ever 12-team version of the College Football Playoff this fall. Fans can use Tradition’s DraftKings Ohio promo code to get the latest bonuses on the best odds related to the Buckeyes.

Why a different offense can be good for Ohio State

Fans who watched the 2023 version of Ohio State’s offense likely felt a change was needed after the Buckeyes finished 45th in the country for scoring offense (30.5 points per game). However, that season is the offensive outlier for Day’s tenure as head coach.

A highly-regarded play caller, the offense has rarely been an issue for Day. Still, there were some reasons to believe relinquishing the offensive duties is best for the program as a whole.

In the 3 seasons since the COVID season, the Buckeyes have largely been successful on offense, but they have not had a truly dominant running game in that span. The high-water mark running the ball came in 2022 when Ohio State averaged 192 yards per game.

The Buckeyes were able to shine largely with CJ Stroud under center as a generational passer, but that doesn’t take away from the fact the ground game is still a necessity in college football. During Ohio State’s 2014 title-winning season, the Buckeyes averaged 264 rushing yards per game, and it’s likely the Buckeyes need to get back close to that mark to truly contend in the expanded Playoff.

Through that lens, bringing Kelly on board (and the arrival of Quinshon Judkins) makes almost too much sense for Ohio State. Even as UCLA struggled to throw the ball in 2023, the Bruins still managed to average 197.9 rushing yards per game, and that was the lowest mark for the program since the team went 4-8 overall in 2019.

To Day’s credit, he explained that the new-look offense should incorporate some of the passing attacks that have worked for the Buckeyes, and that’s a no-brainer. But as college football continues to evolve, it looks like Ohio State is about to get back to an emphasis on its ground game, and that should pay off in a big way.