Ohio State football: 5 takeaways from Ryan Day weekly press conference

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State football coach Ryan Day started the week by drawing a distention between bad weather and extreme weather football games.

Saturday’s 21-7 win at Northwestern fell firmly into the latter, he said.

“I think last week was just one of the most unique things I’ve ever been around,” Day said. “I think someone said at one point there was an 80 mile an hour wind gust in the area, you know, like it was just very strange.”

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Here are five takeaway from Day’s press conference Tuesday to preview Ohio State’s game against Indiana:

1. No update on TreVeyon Henderson.

The coach reiterated he does not want to talk injuries until the availability report comes out prior to the game, though typically he has informed reporters when a player has a long-term injury.

That would seem to indicate Henderson, a sophomore running back who has been in and out of the lineup with injuries this season, is expected back at some point.

Day also refrained from updating the status of anyone else.

2. Improving the short-yardage running game.

The Buckeyes ran for 207 yards last Saturday after being held below 100 in consecutive weeks, and they averaged almost six yards per carry against the Wildcats.

However, a 44-yard run by C.J. Stroud accounted for nearly 1/4 of the yardage total, and they were stuffed on a handful of short-yardage situations.

“I think we all need to do better — absolutely,” Day said. “Going back and watching the film, we gotta block better. We gotta run better. We got to try to do a better job equating numbers and all the above because certainly in games where they know you’re going to run it, you have to come up with with answers.

“But just moving forward in general, we know we can do a better job, so we’ll get back to work this week and get after it.”

3. The QB run could be back to stay.

Day’s predecessor, Urban Meyer, leaned heavily on his quarterbacks to be part of the running game when opposing teams put an extra defender in the box, but Day has generally tried to avoid it.

That could change now that Stroud has had some success (though not near the volume of the Meyer era) keeping the ball on zone-reads when the defense ignored him.

“Well, I think C.J. embraced it, and you can see what he can do,” Day said. “And I think it can be a weapon for us moving forward. So you know, maybe we found a little something there, but that has pluses and minuses as well.”

4. No change in the starting offensive line sounds imminent.

Paris Johnson Jr., Donovan Jackson, Luke Wypler, Matt Jones and Dawand Jones (left to right) have started every game this season, but reserves Josh Fryar and Enokk Vimahi have seen some time and looked solid.

For Fryar, that has typically been part of a jumbo package with him lining up at tight end while Vimahi spelled Matt Jones a handful of times because of injury.

Day said both youngsters have progressed this season, but he does not foresee a personnel change despite acknowledging Matt Jones is still playing through a foot injury Jones identified to reporters in September.

“If there’s a better guy or two that we can put on the field, we’ll do that,” Day said. “Right now we feel like we’re playing the best five.”

5. Preparing both for games outdoors like last Saturday and indoors at the end of the season is a challenge for a coach.

That is something he thought about a lot in the offseason, and it played a role in Ohio State operating more often with the quarterback under center and in heavy personnel groupings since the start of the season.

“I mean there was a point in that game last week where I was nervous that the snap was gonna go over the quarterback’s head, so we were under center a lot more,” Day said. “But that’s playing in the Big Ten in November. So that was a little bit of an extreme, but we’ve tried to make some adaptations to make sure that we’re ready for those types of environments because then you turn around and then you’re in (Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game) and it’s wide open and it’s 72 degrees on fast track. So you have to have both of those things in order to get to where you want in terms of reaching your goals. Absolutely.”


Indiana at Ohio State, Noon, Fox, 1410

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