Although Urban Meyer has returned to the Ohio State football team this week, interim coach Ryan Day is still handling his media responsibilities.
Day touched on a few topics during the weekly Big Ten football coaches teleconference:
- Regarding Saturday’s opponent, Day sees in Rutgers a team with a veteran defense that got off to a good start by beating Texas State 35-7 on Saturday.
- Day does not think the familiarity between Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and Rutgers offensive coordinator John McNulty provides an advantage to either side. McNulty worked under Schiano as the offensive coordinator at Rutgers and quarterbacks coach for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Nor does he find it out of the ordinary for coaches with familiarity to face each other. Ultimately players decide the game, Day said.
- He sees Rutgers having moved to a more pro-style offense under McNulty and was impressed with the debut of Art Sitkowski, the true freshman quarterback for the Scarlet Knights.
- Ohio State’s offensive line was solid Saturday against Oregon State. Day was happy they were able to get a lot of guys into the game, including running the whole second unit out in the second quarter.
- Asked why Nick Bosa is so good, Day credited a combination of great physical gifts and the coaching of Larry Johnson. (Read Tom Archdeacon’s latest feature on Bosa here.)
- There were no designed runs for Dwayne Haskins on Saturday, but the option part of the game has not been removed. He can pull the ball and run with it when the defense dictates he should.
- Day is fine without having a “go-to receiver.” Having 8-10 players who are worthy of snaps is helpful given how many plays they want to run in a game.
- There are no plans to alter Ohio State’s kickoff strategy after the passage of a new rule that allows teams to call for a fair catch anywhere inside the 25-yard line and get the ball at the 25.
- Mixing in some two-tight end sets, as Ohio State did Saturday, gives future opponents more to prepare for. (The Buckeyes’ base is three receivers, one tight end and a running back.) How often that happens in the future remains to be seen. Day said the staff is still evaluating which personnel groupings work best for them.
- In looking for a graduate transfer to provide more depth at quarterback, Ohio State wanted an experienced player with the maturity to pick up their offense. Chris Chugulov brings those things along with a quick release and accuracy.
Ohio State and Rutgers are set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.