Ryan Day Radio Show: Ryan Day Explains That "The Ultimate Test is This Week," Says Buckeyes "Know How Important This Game Is" to the State of Ohio

By Chase Brown on November 22, 2023 at 1:00 pm
Ryan Day
Adam Cairns / USA TODAY Sports

With The Game in less than 72 hours, Ryan Day appeared on The Ryan Day Radio Show on Wednesday to discuss the monumental top-three showdown between the Buckeyes and Wolverines this weekend.

Besides a quick check-in after Ohio State's team bus arrives in Ann Arbor and potential appearances on ESPN's College GameDay or FOX's Big Noon Kickoff, the radio show is expected to be one of the Ohio State head coach's final interactions with the media before The Game on Saturday.

Below is a recap of all the news and info Day provided on the radio show, as well as some comments from Ohio State offensive line coach Justin Frye and quarterback Kyle McCord.

Ryan Day

On TreVeyon Henderson

  • "He's explosive."
  • "He's powerful. He's strong."
  • Day said Henderson's vision has improved tremendously this season. Day believes some of that has to do with the scheme the offensive line has implemented as the year has continued. "He's got a good feel for the run schemes we work on."

On Ohio State's defense

  • While Ohio State will be without Lathan Ransom, Day said Ohio State's defense should have Tommy Eichenberg, Mike Hall Jr. and some other pieces back in the lineup against the Wolverines on Saturday.
  • "Good to get some of those guys back."
  • "You're gonna need depth here."
  • Day pointed to J.T. Barrett's injury before the 2017 matchup between Ohio State and Michigan as evidence that every player needs to be ready to go on Saturday. "You never know what you got. Everybody on that bus needs to be ready for the game."

On Tommy Eichenberg

  • "He came back for a reason."
  • Day said he held Eichenberg out of the Minnesota game and Eichenberg's Senior Day because of what's at stake vs. Michigan this week. "At some point, you have to take a step back and recognize what's at stake here."
  • Day said he looks forward to seeing Eichenberg back in the lineup and working together with Steele Chambers and Cody Simon at the linebacker spot.

On Jack Sawyer

  • "You've seen a lot of improvement this year."
  • "He's getting better every week."
  • "When you win this game it's because your best players play really well."

On Cody Simon

  • "He's become a really big part of our defense."
  • "He plays really hard."
  • "He communicates it well."
  • "He's stepped it up the past couple of weeks."

On Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz

  • "Devin is practicing much more this week. I think he'll be available this week."
  • Day said he's liked what he's seen from Kienholz as of late. He said Kienholz will benefit from more reps in practice over the next few weeks. "The more he plays, the better he'll be moving forward."
  • Day said it was good to get Dallan Hayden and Evan Pryor some carries vs. Minnesota in case Ohio State needs them vs. Michigan.

On Julian Fleming

  • "He brings versatility."
  • "He's a home-run threat."
  • Day said Ohio State will need him to be at his best on Saturday.
  • On Xavier Johnson: "Special teams, running back, wide receiver, all of the above. Another guy who has become a big part of our offense."

On Michigan's experience

  • "They've done a good job of building experience. ... So have we."
  • "That's gonna matter."

On Kyle McCord as a runner

  • "He's had a couple of pulls this year."
  • "They have to account for him, too. That helps."

On the Minnesota game

  • "Fast start."
  • "Good to get the defense going early on."
  • Day said Henderson was a difference-maker against the Golden Gophers. "Play fast, play downhill, make guys miss."

On Kyle McCord

  • Day said he thinks McCord looks more comfortable as the season continues. "It's the reps he gets in the games but the reps he gets in practice."
  • "Those types of things add up for a quarterback."
  • "The last two games have been (good). We felt like he graded out as a Champion."
  • Day said he judges quarterbacks on how well they take care of the football, whether or not they make the routine plays routinely and how they perform in "situations."

On Ohio State's offensive line

  • Day said he's seen "continuity and confidence" from the O-line in recent weeks.
  • Day said "the game is gonna be won up front" vs. Michigan.
  • "We have to win the rushing yards."
  • "We have to be clean."
  • "Assignment sound and playing really hard."

On Ohio State's defensive ends, cornerbacks

  • "The combination of the rush and the coverage working together, that's what we're gonna need this game."
  • "We have to keep growing on that."
  • "The ultimate test is this week."

On The Game

  • "You talk about The Game all year."
  • "You talk about what comes with the rivalry and preparation."
  • "When it comes to the week, it comes down to preparation."
  • "You have to play with that intensity, that rage, that savageness." Day added that you can't let those emotions drive you, however, and you have to be efficient in all you do.
  • "This is the number one goal when you wake up in the morning is to beat these guys."

On Game Week

  • "We moved Senior Tackle to the bowl practice now. That was a change we made."
  • "The band came in on Sunday."
  • "We try to keep the routine the routine."
  • "You won't remember Thanksgiving much down the road, but you'll remember this game."
  • "You respect the rivalry by working it every day."
  • "We all know how important this game is."

On Ohio State's coaching staff

  • Day said he has a coaching staff that understands Ohio State, the rivalry with all that goes into it.
  • "We make sure that every minute is efficient this week."
  • Day said Ohio State needs to play "its best game" on Saturday.

Justin Frye

On the improvement of Ohio State's offensive line

  • "The last three or four weeks now, the guys have taken another step."
  • "Happy with the progress."
  • "It's good in November to keep getting better."
  • "We have to show up on Saturday and play our best."

On Ohio State's run game, the offensive line

  • "With TreVeyon back, Chip (Trayanum) there, guys are feeding off each other."
  • Frye says repetition with the running backs and the offensive line has helped the offense.
  • "Those reps... they're continuing to grow."
  • "We are by no means a finished product, but we are getting better."

On The Game

  • "This is what it's about."
  • "We have to compete at a high level. This is what it takes to beat a high-level team."

More on The Game

  • "The magnitude of this game is huge."
  • "This is about the guys. ... This is about Donovan Jackson, Matt Jones, Josh Fryar."
  • Frye said Ohio State needs to execute and "be really sharp" so it can stay on schedule offensively and defensively. "Don't let the emotion, the build-up, the hype of the game be too big."
  • "We need to make sure the important stuff stays the important stuff."

Kyle McCord

On The Game

  • "You live the rivalry 365 days when you step on campus."
  • "To play in the rivalry this year will be special."
  • "I didn't realize how big the rivalry was until I got here."

On TreVeyon Henderson

  • "He's amazing."
  • "He's been a threat catching the ball and does the dirty work in protection."
  • "He's proven himself as a three-down back."

On when he knew Marvin Harrison Jr. was talented

  • "Two or three games into our sophomore year (of high school)."
  • "It's never a bad idea to get the ball in his hands."
  • On Harrison at Ohio State: "His work ethic drives everybody. ... Having him on the field is always a plus."

On Ohio State's offensive line

  • "That's the one group that's hitting their stride right now."
  • "They're playing their best football."
  • "They're starting to come together at the right time."

On Lincoln Kienholz

  • McCord called Kienholz's playing time vs. Michigan State nad Minnesota "exciting."
  • "He's a guy that came in, put his head down and got to work."
  • "As a young dude, he comes in here and works every day."
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