November 19, 2019

🎥 Ryan Day Press Conference – No. 9 Penn State Preview

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MORE ON NO. 2 OHIO STATE VS. NO. 9 PENN STATE

Ohio State University Football Media Conference

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ryan Day

Q. I know you can’t get specific about injuries, but just some of the guys that are banged up, some of those guys, can you speak on just how important it is to get them back for the stretch run and are you optimistic you might get some of those guys back.
RYAN DAY: Yeah, certainly optimistic to get those guys back, it will be good to get them back and we were overly cautious probably a little bit last week, but, yeah, looking forward to having those guys ready.

Q. Especially 10 games into a season how do you feel about the overall health of your team and all the blowouts, how has that helped that situation?
RYAN DAY: I think we’re fresh, I think we’re healthy and fresh at this point of the year which is great.

Q. When you have Penn State and Michigan back-to-back, if you had like a magic marker and could devise the Big Ten schedule would you rather play Penn State in October instead of so close to Michigan or are you fine with it?
RYAN DAY: Again, I think it’s all computer generated, so it doesn’t really matter. And like I told the guys, we don’t make the schedule and all we do is we’re going to just take one week at a time and worry about the things we can control.

Q. Sean Clifford’s been their quarterback, obviously this will be your first time playing him after playing Trace McSorley for all those years, what do you think makes him unique as a passer?
RYAN DAY: I don’t know what makes him unique as a passer I think as a quarterback he has a good combination of escapabilities, good spacial awareness, can get himself out of trouble, accurate throwing the ball, you can tell he’s competitive and tough and well prepared and a good leader.

Q. Justin was, a few weeks ago, was talking about his schedule and how all of his classes are on line. And I’m wondering how much are you aware of whether the players are, have on-line classes, are going to class, have to go to class on certain times, and are you, and do you prefer that on-line situation because it gives them more flexibility for football?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, we’re aware of everything. We make sure we know — every week we go through, on a Thursday meeting, and go through every single class for every single guy on our team, at length. That’s a long meeting. We make sure we’re up to the minute on what’s going on. So for sure we know everything that’s going on.

And I think the on-line classes bring some benefits to the table for sure and it’s kind of different than the way we all grew up, very not face-to-face, but it gives those guys some more flexibility and so I think a good mixture of the in-person and then also on-line classes is good.

Q. What are some of the under the radar things that Justin has improved on in his passing game this season, other than just simply he’s throwing the ball better?
RYAN DAY: I think it’s all of the above. I think every week he gets a little better in each area. So it goes all the way from in the run game identifying where he’s going to go with the ball, because you have to make a decision on just about every play in the run game. And in passing it’s protections, it’s identifying coverage, it’s going through protections, it’s understanding down and distance, throwing it away, anticipation, all of the above.

Q. Were you on the scout team at all in New Hampshire?
RYAN DAY: Yeah.

Q. I guess kind of speak to how difficult that job is and are there some I don’t know one or two guys that kind of shine every week on the scout team here this year?
RYAN DAY: There’s a lot of guys. We give the scout team player of the week award, actually four guys each week, two on offense, two on defense, one skill, one line. And those guys are just as important as everybody else. The look is so critically important. There’s a lot of guys, there’s a lot of guys who started off on the scout team that are playing on special teams or playing right now and that’s a great opportunity every day to go against really good players and to get better.

Q. How much of you wants to see your players absorb and enjoy the pageantry of this weekend and specifically Senior Day on Saturday and how much of you would prefer that they be in a hermetically-sealed bubble where all they are focused on is what they have to do?
RYAN DAY: I think it’s easy to say, enjoy the experience and say that, I think it’s harder to do. But we will talk about that and we talk about that each week, you got to enjoy it, because time waits for nobody and you have to grab onto this thing and hold on as tight as you can because this is a special opportunity for all of us and we have to make sure we understand that. And I think our guys do understand that, I think that they have appreciated each other and the moments, but in big games like this you just are so focused on what’s going on sometimes it’s hard to really appreciate it all until it’s all over.

Q. Urban even at the end of his tenure was talking about how special his first class of seniors was, because it helped him to establish the foundation of what he wanted to accomplish here. I imagine your feelings for your senior class is similar heading into this weekend.
RYAN DAY: There’s no question, we have been through a lot in the last couple years and love these guys with all my heart and they have become family and so certainly for those guys who are having their last game in the stadium like that it is going to be emotional and they deserve everything that they get in terms of praise and admiration from everybody in Buckeye Nation for what they have done and that is a special group.

Q. I think you have a dozen fifth year seniors, fifth year scholarship seniors on this team. Kind of a high number for a place like this. Just how have you seen that dynamic impact your roster this year?
RYAN DAY: I think the maturity level is off the charts. I just think having grown men in your program — if they have been in our program for five years they’re grown men — and just the approach, they’re almost like player coaches and they know what’s right and they’re around the team and the young guys more than we are and there’s a self police going on right there and those guys mentor the younger guys and want to leave a legacy behind. I heard that several times from many of the players. So having maturity like that is important because you can tell guys until you’re blue in the face about, if we don’t show up this week, here’s what can happen. But guys who have been through it before and have those scars, it’s a little bit more real.

Q. How much do you and your staff talk with guys about their individual recruiting classes leaving an impact on the program? There’s some guys from 2015 whose class started kind of wonky, but they seem to be finishing out their careers strong. I don’t know if you measure that at all.
RYAN DAY: Yeah, a little bit. I think that they have relationships that they built when they came in together, there’s a bond there when you come in as a group. But we don’t talk about it all that much. There was a couple moments last spring where we grabbed one of the classes and said, now it’s time to grow up, no longer are you freshmen, it’s time for you guys to now step up. And so we’ll do that a little bit in the off-season, but overall it’s not something we focus on.

Q. What’s made KJ such a good fit for what you want to do with the passing game?
RYAN DAY: I think KJ just got a tremendous way of just playing the game. He’s got great body language for a quarterback. Like certain receivers just, they know how to get open and they know how to talk to the quarterback with their body language. He understands space, he knows how to get open, he’s crafty, he’s been around, he’s clutch. When you just think about all the plays he’s made in his career it’s pretty amazing. And the production that he’s had is off the charts. It goes back — KJ’s not, he’s not four-three, he’s not six-five, he just has a way — I think Bill Belichick says, the best thing about a receiver is he gets open and he catches the ball, and that’s what KJ does.

Q. Trying to think of the right way to phrase this. Last year they had the three seniors and he chose to come back, but they overshadowed him a little bit. There’s been a lot of talk about Olave or Wilson this year and the whole thing. It seems like he’s on the brink of these records but has never really had the spotlight to himself. What is it about him that has made him so valuable?
RYAN DAY: Well, I mean, our team knows in this room right here when we have our team, the spotlight is on him because he’s a team captain and one of the more decorated receivers in the history of the school and his production again speaks for itself. But — and he does, he is kind of a leader by example in the way he goes about his business. But again I just think it’s all those things. Some guys are just competitively tough, they understand, again, how space works and how to get open and how to find the open window and how to win against man-to-man and all those things. That’s KJ. He’s left a lot of that in that room and there’s a lot of those younger guys that have learned from him this year.

Q. You guys seem to be a little more aggressive passing the ball the last couple games. Was any of that calculated looking ahead to this game and seeing how strong Penn State’s run defense has been?
RYAN DAY: No, not really. No, it was just something that was a focus coming off the bye week as we just wanted to do a little bit better job throwing and catching the ball and also in some of those games we want to get the throws in a little bit earlier in the game, if we think it’s going to go the way it’s been the last couple weeks. So typically in games that get a little lopsided we have to run the ball a little bit more in the second half. And so when you look back on those games you want to make sure that guys like KJ and guys like Bin and those guys are getting touches, so that’s a little bit calculated going into those games.

Q. When you look at this Penn State defense and I think they’re number one right now in yards per carry allowed, how important is it for Justin to be ready to have to put the team on his back if that situation comes up?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, of course, he has to, that’s what he has to be ready for that’s what he’s working for all week is to be in that game and come down and win the game in the fourth quarter like JT Barrett did, like Dwayne Haskins did the year before. That’s the game we’re in. So it’s going to take everything we have.

Q. Is Chase Young able to practice the last couple of weeks and if so he how much was he able to do?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, he’s been practicing. He wasn’t really involved in the game plan the last couple weeks but he has been practicing. And Larry has been doing some extra work with him on the field, drill-wise, but now he’s right back to practicing with the defense.

Q. What sort of pitch count if any is he on this week and the game on Saturday?
RYAN DAY: No, he’ll be playing.

Q. The stakes of this game are obvious with both teams. With a game like this do you even have to bring that up, is it all X’s and O’s, I mean what a win would mean, you’re already in Indianapolis. Could you just talk about the dynamic of that and how much do you talk about that versus this is just another game, game plan?
RYAN DAY: Well I think our team knows what’s at stake, we have talked about that. But now it’s time to just focus on Penn State. This is a talent-equated game. We all know we have been in some games that we have had more talent than some of the other teams we have played. This is a team that talent equates. So when that happens it goes back to discipline, it goes back to fundamentals, it goes back to toughness, all of those things that come into play when your talent no longer matters. So those are the things and we got to do a good job putting a good game plan together, let the guys play, and then prepare them to go and then the team that’s more prepared will win the game.

Q. There’s a lot of stuff that goes when you have a big game like this, ESPN’s here, FOX is here, all this stuff. Is there, is it more difficult, coaching-wise, to make sure everybody’s focused? It sounds strange to say, this is such a big game, but with all the distractions, it’s even Senior Day, and things like that. Is that something you have to work on with the staff or are you not worried so much about it?
RYAN DAY: Again I think that goes hand in hand about being at Ohio State. When you’re to where we are at this point of the year it’s expected. You know you’re going to have a lot of eyes here. But a lot of eyes are on us every week. And I talk to the guys about that even last week being at Rutgers maybe it didn’t feel like that, but the whole nation was watching and if you don’t show up to play then you put yourself at risk. So it’s the same thing week-in and week-out and certainly we knew we would get to this point, we knew this game was going to be like this, so we’re prepared.

Q. I’ve asked you this before, you’ve been asked plenty of times, we thought maybe Cincinnati, we thought maybe Wisconsin, Michigan State, that this would be game where you truly were tested. You have, you’re 10 games in and you really haven’t been. At this point of the year having gone through 10 games how confident are you that when you are tested, if you’re facing real adversity in the fourth quarter, this team is ready?
RYAN DAY: I think in the Wisconsin game we were only up three points there in the third quarter and I think that was the one time I can look back and say, yeah, we were, we had adversity at that point and we responded. So I feel good about that. Now whether we do or not that’s going to be based on what happens in this game and that’s why you play the game to find out. But I do, I look back on that moment as a point where our backs were against the wall and we did respond.

Q. And you mentioned that in this game talent is equated. Could you kind of give a rundown of Penn State and what especially concerns you, what phases of their game, what players really concern you?
RYAN DAY: First over James is an excellent coach and does a great job with the program and motivating everybody involved there. He has done that for a long time. He knows how to win the big games. He knows how to prepare guys in all three phases. I think the coordinators are excellent. I think Ricky Rahne and Brent Pry do a really good job schematically creating a lot of problems, but also being fundamentally sound. And then they have the players on offense. I think Clifford’s playing really well, Hamler is one of the more dynamic players in the country, I think Dodson is as good a wide receiver as there is in the Big Ten and Freiermuth and some of those other guys are really talented as well. So I think you got a skill set over there of guys that can really hurt you. And then on defense Micah Parsons is as talented as there is again in the conference, they do a good job up front with their front, they mix those guys in. Sean Spencer, D-line coach, does a good job of rolling those guys in and out, they got a lot of depth there. And then really those guys that played a lot of football, I mean Reed has played a lot of football, there’s a lot of guys in the back end who have some experience there. So when you combine the experience with the good coaching and the fundamentally sound schemes that they pose a major problem for us and so it’s going to be a big challenge.

Q. You talked about talent being equated. This will be probably the third time you faced maybe the best run defense in the Big Ten. You’ve responded really well the first two times against Michigan State and Wisconsin. I’m guessing, I mean I’m would be wondering what is, what allows to you do that, you mentioned the toughness, how much of that is in play when you’re able to do this against defenses that don’t normally allow that?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, I mean it’s a challenge for us because they’re very, very good at what they do. You have to figure out ways schematically to go at them and figure out how you’re going to defeat their schemes. But then at the end of the day it comes back to what we talked about, which is toughness and getting the game to the fourth quarter and then wearing them down and then doing everything you can to go win the game in the fourth quarter.

Q. And that started in February, January?
RYAN DAY: Exactly. Yeah.

Q. You touched on this earlier, the quarterback/receiver relationship, sometimes a quarterback has that guy he focuses on. What makes that work, you’ve done this a long time with quarterbacks, is there any danger in locking in and depending, a quarterback on a certain guy, how do you work that through in practice? It it’s good and bad, I guess.
RYAN DAY: Yeah, no, I think that’s why we roll our receivers, that’s why, whether it’s seven on seven or teamwork we roll those guys constantly. So everybody’s getting work with each other. But you’re not, I mean, as a quarterback you’re not just picking out your favorite receiver, I mean this, it’s all based on coverage, it’s based on progressions, it’s based on what the defense is giving us. If KJ Hill is the first read in the progression, or he’s open, then he’s going to get the ball. If he’s not, then something’s wrong. If he’s not, then it goes on to the next guy. Now part of that is, do you get open, especially versus man-to-man coverage. If it’s zone then you have to space it out and the timing has to be right. So those are all the conversations that go with it and guys do have better chemistry with each other, that happens, but I think the more they play with each other the better off it is, yeah.

Q. Is that what creates the chemistry, just that sort of it works and so it continues to work?
RYAN DAY: I think so. I think so. I think the communication and the time they spend together talking about different things and how much work they want to put in to figuring out coverages and talking things out in the game plan helps as well.

Q. You spoke how after the game it’s almost a Catch-22 the better you guys have been collectively it’s hurt individual stats in a sense. How much of a tug is that for you to try to work through that whole thing, it’s a challenge, it is what it is.
RYAN DAY: It is, yeah.

Q. Is it frustrating?
RYAN DAY: No, it’s not frustrating. I mean, shoot, it’s a good problem to have. I’m sure people look at me like, what is he frustrated about? But it’s, for those guys, I get it too. They’re competitive, they want to be out there, they want to have production and they are, they’re producing at a high level. So there’s a lot of football ahead of them and they know that. These games here, I mean it’s going to take everything we have to win the game, so very, very different than maybe the last couple weeks.

Q. In your two years here the Penn State game has been unique and you’ve been down by two scores in a fourth quarter both times. Take me through the dynamic of working with the guys upstairs, you as a play caller, communicating on the field, is it different then than it is during the game because of the urgency or what has to work in those moments for the dynamic to come together and for you to be able to do what you’ve done?
RYAN DAY: Those games were no different other than the fact that we were down and looking to come back. I feel like in the last couple years we felt like we had good stuff we just weren’t executing great. In the first game we turned the ball over. The second game we hit the tight end in the head with the ball, it was a great throw, and that was a turnover in the game. It was just some of those things that went on in that game and we just felt like we had the right stuff, we just had to hang in there. So we talked to our guys about that, even this week, we got to come out to a fast start, the first game the opening kickoff return for a touchdown, we kind of put ourselves behind the eight ball in those games and then, but to answer your question, it’s just communication, just trying to figure out, like do we need new plays or are the plays working and we’re just not executing them very well. When you go against good defenses things like that happen.

Q. In those situations by definition what you were doing isn’t working or you wouldn’t be down. So are you as a play caller in those situations, are you thinking, all right, what’s on page 35 of the playbook rather than the first couple that I planned to use this week? Are you looking for something you haven’t tried or are you, how do you make a judgment on, no, no, this is good, what we planned to do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, will work, we just have to do it a little differently?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, I think that’s the art of coaching is figuring out is it the right thing that we just need to execute better or is the play no good. That’s based on the different styles of defense that you play against and then measuring the plays that your guys know and then trying to give the defense something new to look at.

Q. What’s it been in these two games, like the play of Bin Victor and the JK screen pass and were those things that you had tried and they just worked better?
RYAN DAY: Those were executed well, but then there were also a lot of calls in there that we wish we had back that really, schematically, weren’t great and some other ones that were pretty good ideas that we didn’t execute. And then sometimes it’s just a defense playing well. This is again a very well-coached defense and they have been the last couple years they have been really good on defense. So it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be give and take and you can’t panic because we had so much success that when we hit a little bit of adversity we can’t start reeling, we just have to hang in there and keep swinging at it and we’ll crack it.

Q. You said this was a talent-equated game and I believe that’s the first time you’ve said that this year. This is the most talented roster that you guys have faced. I’m wondering does that change the way that you guys prepare for a game in any way and when you get into a situation where you’re facing an opponent and now a string of opponents probably that are going to have enough talent to give you guys a battle, is your gut instinct to open things up, try new things, do new things or is it to do what you do best and do it better like how do you, how does your behind mindset as a coach change when you’re playing a team that has that talent?
RYAN DAY: I just think every play matters, every yard matters, every series matters, you just have to make sure you understand how important every play is in a game like this more than anything else. Because — and maybe some of those other games it’s like, well, if you didn’t get it that series we’ll get the ball back here pretty quick, we’ll be okay. That’s not the case in something like this. We mentioned it just coming off of the game on Saturday. You turn the ball over like we did and they score a touchdown, that could be the difference in the game. That was the difference in the Indiana game last week. So we just have to be mature enough to understand how important every series, every play is and that it might just be one play that changes the game. I can’t really say that maybe we have been in a game where that’s been the case this year. So understanding that as coaches, but understanding that as players is going to be huge.

Q. When you go through an entire schedule like this and frankly you haven’t been able to say that, right, and no disrespect to some of the previous teams that you played, but I’m wondering how much do you guys think ahead during the season to teams that have the talent to match up and is it something that you don’t have the luxury like you did in previous weeks where you could run what you run at the base level and be just fine. Are you preparing for games like this weeks in advance, thinking about ways to get an edge when the talent might be close to equal?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, and we don’t even, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we spend a lot of time game planning and respect everybody. We try to change it up and mix it up. And a great example of that is doing an onside kick a couple weeks ago. So if it’s there we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to go after it. So it’s one of those things, you build your offense, defense and special teams as the season goes on, you get stronger and stronger and stronger. All you really focus on is that game. You start getting ahead of yourselves that’s where you get yourselves in trouble. So you certainly want to build it up and kind of build your packages up as you go, but at the same time it’s all about winning that game at that moment.

Q. When you look at them, just what jumps out on tape and what’s this week like game planning against a club like this?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, it’s a lot of hours, it’s a lot of work, no stone’s unturned and it’s our job as coaches to give the guys a good plan to let them play fast and be schematically sound. But what jumps off the tape is how strong and physical they are. They do a good job of making sure that they’re fresh, they roll guys, and they got an edge to them.

Q. How about the 12th man? How, any message for the fans this week?
RYAN DAY: Oh, man, yeah, I mean this is for so many reasons this is the biggest one of the year and we need everybody in their seat, we need everybody really loud, make it really hard for their offense to communicate, they’re going to do a lot of checking at the line of scrimmage and communicating, so we need everybody, every time Penn State has the ball we need them to be as loud as they possibly can. Doesn’t matter whether it’s third down, doesn’t matter what it is. Because every play they’re trying to communicate, they’re trying to tell the line what the play is, they’re going to try to tell the receivers what the play is, change plays and that gives them an advantage. But if our crowd’s loud it makes it very hard for them to communicate that. So, yeah, I mean anything we can do to be as loud as possible that will make it harder for them and then this is, what an opportunity to go out and send our seniors out the right way as their last time playing in the Horseshoe and I know that means a lot to everybody in Buckeye Nation and it’s going to mean a lot to our team to see everybody out there loud and ready to roll at noon.

Q. Last three games of the series have been decided by a combined five points. JK was asked after the Rutgers game about these are probably going to be four-quarter games in the next two week, three weeks, whatever. And he said, well, who says it’s going to be a four-quarter game? Do you appreciate that confidence?
RYAN DAY: Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean JK’s played a lot of football he knows exactly what we’re going to do this week, but I think he’s excited to play in four quarters. He’s, it’s been a couple weeks since he’s been able to do that. So he’s obviously very competitive and can’t wait to play in the game. He’s looking forward to it.

Q. Two quickies. Number one, talking about the playbook etcetera, how deep have y’all gone into your playbook, either page-wise or gigabyte-wise, I don’t know if you keep it on a real book any more, but, and is there a propensity to always keep stuff available? I know there is, but I mean speak to that, I mean you’re 10 games into the year, how much more could there be in this book?
RYAN DAY: I mean, we have most of the stuff in. You always look in a weekly game plan trying to figure out ways to tweak things here and there or change the looks up or come up with some new things here and there. And again so much of it is based on the guys that you have and every year it takes a different journey. And when you think about two years ago, you think about last year and you think about now, I mean there’s certain things that are in common, but it’s very different too. Just some of the schemes that we have run. And again I think that’s good coaching is being able to recognize what your guys do best and then adapt from there.

Q. Seems like y’all always come up with an answer the last several years. Do you have that sense when you’re standing there when you’re talking to your guys on the headphones that there is an answer?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, and I think that’s part of it too is if you have too much stuff, all of a sudden you can’t execute it very well. If you have not enough stuff, then you get into a game and you’re like, oh, man, we don’t have anything here. And that’s a bad feeling too. So again that balance is really critical in a game like this. You want to allow them to play fast and not have too much stuff but have enough ammunition.

Q. The moment against Wisconsin, the moment of truth so to speak, early third quarter, early in that game against Michigan State when they were throwing haymakers too, defensively and stuff. What were the conversations like between you and the guys upstairs? Were you impressed by how y’all were handling things? Was it cool and calm like air traffic controllers or was anybody screaming? What was it like?
RYAN DAY: If anybody was screaming it was probably me. I think everybody was pretty calm at that moment. I think that — we knew what we were going to get ourselves into and what you can’t do is panic in those moments. You just have to keep swinging away at it and have confidence that it’s going to crack, that you have the right things. And it’s really just figuring out what are they in, what plays do we like and then at that moment, all right, guys, let’s get the guys together and talk to them and that’s really what it comes down to.

Q. Ohio State in ’16, 17′, ’18 moved a veteran guard to center for one year. You have a younger guy, a third-year guy at center now, you have a true freshman backing up at center, you have a highly-rated center recruit coming in here. Did you guys want to change something in terms of trying to develop younger centers rather than relying on moving some guys late?
RYAN DAY: Again, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t here then, so I know that Harry Miller’s done an unbelievable job of getting himself to a point where he’s highly functioning at center. Which for a freshman is unheard of, really. And so he’s doing a great job. Josh has played center since I’ve been here, he really didn’t play guard. So it kind of just depends on your roster and the kind of dynamic you have in that room, but if you feel like you have a young guy that you want to develop at center I think it’s best to get him at center and let him learn, because he’s going to make all those calls. And then as he gets older you can always move him. It’s hard to move a guard to a center. That was hard on Mike Jordan last year. He did a great job, but it’s a lot easier to move a center to a guard, in my opinion, than it is the other way around.

Q. How do you guys decide who you’re going to send out to catch a punt and not to call anybody out but when you have a young guy must have a punt how does that, how will that affect decision making going forward?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, we just decide during the week who is going to do it and then sometimes we roll guys, but we have confidence in Garrett, he’s certainly a young player who made a mistake and he’s going to learn from it and move on, but he’s going to practice better and again a lot of it goes back to how you practice, if you’re going to practice intently and do a good job with that, then, yeah, we’re going to have confidence because we see it in practice. If for whatever reason we don’t see it in practice then we have to make a decision. But he’ll practice well this week.

Q. And to follow-up on what you sort of have been asked about the last two Penn State games again you guys scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes, two touchdowns in the last seven minutes to pull these things out. In that moment for you as the play caller are you completely calm, is there electricity in your body, are you confident, are you worried? Like what just — is that what you live for are those the moments you hope you never get in that spot, what’s that really like? Because I mean these guys play you tough.
RYAN DAY: When you sit there and think about that, it’s hard to remember. It was hard for me to remember what those feelings were like because you’re just in, you’re in the game. I guess it would be like asking a guy who is playing in the game how were you feeling in this moment. I was just playing, you know, I was just coaching. I think that’s really what it is. You just, you’re not really thinking, you’re just reacting, you’re competing. And then once the game gets over, I remember last year running up to Coach Meyer on the field and going, like what just happened, and you just don’t realize it until you get done with the game. You’re like, that really happened? Because you’re just doing everything you can to try to get the right plays in and make sure the guys are in the right spot and do everything you can. So hard to remember exactly what was going on.

Q. And just the idea of again talking with about how close the games have been with Penn State, so many teams have trouble playing Ohio State tough. You guys are really good. Is there something to the idea that a program can have a stronger belief of, hey, we can hang with these guys, like do you think Penn State coming into this game maybe has a different idea than many teams you played because they have proof of, well, Ohio State beat us the last two years but we pushed them right to the wire.
RYAN DAY: Absolutely, yeah, I mean and the year before they won, right? So I mean, absolutely, they have, they’re a very, very good team and obviously they felt like they should have won both those games. So, yeah, I mean they’re going to come in here with a tremendous amount of confidence.

Q. Obviously all the things this weekend, the de facto championship game for the division, Senior Day, you have probably the biggest recruiting weekend of your year coming up. How do you and the coaches handle all that stuff and still find time to make sure that you’re prioritizing guys who are making their way here for a noon game?
RYAN DAY: For a game like this it’s very difficult to spend a lot of time with those guys, there’s just so much at stake, and I think most recruits understand that. They want to come and feel the atmosphere, they want see what it’s like to be here for a big game and feel that. That’s what they’re looking for, in my opinion, on a visit like this. They’re not looking for a lot of one-on-one time with the coach or to learn about our Real Life Wednesday program or anything like that, that’s not what this visit is. And I talk to the guys every time, every visit you’re looking to check off a box, and this is a box to check off, what it’s going, to be playing for the Big Ten championship. And so Mark and our recruiting staff got their hands full and we got a lot of people coming in and they’re going to have to be really organized and do a great job. But to answer your question about the coaches, they’re just not going to get much face time because we’re just so focused on this game.

Q. Is there a handful or a subset of guys that, if you can, get here on Friday, that may be better or, you know, stay later or how do you work that out with the individual?
RYAN DAY: Yeah, yeah, I mean, based on if they’re still in the playoffs and if they have a game Friday night or not, we try to get them here early. Sometimes it’s hard to get hotel rooms, there’s a lot of logistical stuff that everybody on the staff is working on. But even on Fridays they’re not going to get much out of us. I have a hard time before games really focusing on talking to recruits and their families when there’s such a big game like this, it’s just the way it is. And I’ll hang with them all night afterwards, but that’s just kind of the way it goes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #2 by #604 at 2019-11-19 20:34:00 GMT

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