What Ohio State's Ryan Day said during his first press conference during championship week
Ohio State’s head coach, Ryan Day, met with the sporting press Monday, three days after his had team scorched Clemson 49-28 at the College Football Playoff semi-final from the Sugar Bowl.
The Buckeyes had gone into that contest with the lower seed, as 7.5 point underdogs, and with more than eighty-percent of the betting public laying good cheddar on the Tigers not just to beat the Buckeyes, but cover all the points as well. Instead, everything went the other way as Ohio State played a monster game in their season’s biggest moment, battering Clemson into submission and winning easily behind a six touchdown effort from their star quarterback, Justin Fields.
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Like Day said in his comments below, the goal for this team never was just to beat Clemson or win in the semi-final, they have been hunting a national championship since the first week of this strange, truncated season, and battled over and through every obstacle to reach the doorstep of their final destination.
The Buckeyes’ head man had many of the usual platitudes for the media, expressing extreme respect for their opponent in Alabama, and the Crimson Tide’s head coach, Nick Saban. Ohio State won’t have to be perfect to beat the Tide in Miami Gardens next Monday, but they’re going to have to be extremely good, and likely a little lucky. The title tilt game kicks of Jan. 11 at 8 ET and will be broadcast on ESPN.
Some of coach Day’s remarks from the press conference have been collected here.
Ryan Day: "The goal was never just to beat Clemson. The goal was to win the national championship."— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) January 4, 2021
Day on whether Fields' injury will affect practice preparation: "We're just going to practice the way we normally practice. Nothing changes."— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 4, 2021
Justin Fields was supposed to meet with the media today too, but now won't meet with the media until later this week. Trey Sermon will take his place representing Ohio State's offense, while Tuf Borland will represent the defense today.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021
Ryan Day on Justin Fields: “I definitely expect him to play.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021
Ryan Day: “We're going to have to play even better than we did last week to beat Alabama.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021
Ryan Day said he didn't pay any attention to Nick Saban ranking Ohio State 5th on his Coaches Poll ballot. He's just focused on preparing for this game.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021
Ryan Day said he has “nothing but the utmost respect” for Alabama coach Nick Saban. “His record speaks for itself.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021
Ryan Day on Justin Fields: “He's as tough and competitive of a guy as I've ever been around.”— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) January 4, 2021