Ohio State football: No updates on injured Buckeyes, other takeaways from Ryan Day

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State football coach Ryan Day kicked off the second half of his team’s regular season Tuesday with his weekly press conference.

With 3-3 Iowa coming to town Saturday, his undefeated team is preparing for an opponent it hasn’t seen since 2017 — but one that left its mark, nonetheless.

Here are five things to know from the Buckeyes’ coach:

1. Day liked the energy the second-ranked Buckeyes brought back to the practice field after a week off.

“I think our guys have just had a lot of juice about them even in the off week,” Day said. “Sometimes you feel a lull during that time. I don’t feel like that at all.

“But it’s great to get them back. I think a couple of days away reenergized them even more then when coming back into the (Woody Hayes Athletic Center) yesterday.”

2. Preparing for Iowa after the open week in the schedule corresponds with some of what they were trying to accomplish last week.

“I think it allows us the opportunity to take a step back and look at where we’re at and re-bite on things, just little things like how we meet, how we go out to practice. How we stretch. How we go through individual drills, identify our techniques and fundamentals that we need to get better at,” Day said.

“We still will be hammering the fundamentals and techniques because that’s what Iowa does such a great job with. And I think that they’re very, very good with their pad level, great with their hands. They understand their offense and defense better than you. That’s their goal. You can tell that. And they play good complimentary football, so hopefully this off week has allowed us to re-bite in that area.”

3. He acknowledge the last meeting with Iowa “left a scar.”

In Day’s first season at Ohio State as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator, he was part of a 55-24 drubbing in Iowa City that likely cost the Buckeyes a shot at the College Football Playoff when all was said and done that season.

Iowa returned a J.T. Barrett interception for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and the Hawkeyes barely looked back.

“I’ve felt it this week for sure,” Day said. “That week, in particular, we were just coming off the Penn State win which was an emotional win. Going into Kinnick (Stadium), which is a very difficult place to play, and we turned the ball over. I think the first play of the game was a pick-six. And then we fought ourselves back but then turned the ball over too many times.

“That was tough day for all of us.”

4. He had no injury updates.

Last week, Day said he hoped just about everyone who had did not have a long-term injury would be able to suit up for the game against the Hawkeyes.

Tuesday, he offered no further information on a list of walking wounded that includes receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and running back Miyan Williams, both of whom missed the Buckeyes’ last game, a win at Michigan State.

“Coming off the bye week, we got a lot of guys rest, and we went out on the field a little bit yesterday,” Day said. “We’ve got a big practice today, so right now we’re not going to give you any injury updates, but them as we get closer to the end of the week we’ll have a better idea.”

5. He is still looking forward to the return of Smith-Njigba.

Sooner or later, it sounds like Day still expects to have the junior from Texas’ unique skillset available again.

He has been out since trying out his injured hamstring in a win over Toledo in Week 3.

“It allows us more depth there, and it takes some some stress off the other guys,” Day said in reference to a receiving corps of Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming, Xavier Johnson and Jayden Ballard that has picked up the slack. “They’ve taken on a lot in these first six games.

“I think they’ve done well and benefited from that — I think we all have — but getting him back certainly will take some stress off of them.”


Iowa at Ohio State, Noon, Fox, 1410

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