Ryan Day and the Buckeyes are excited about the prospect of winning a fourth consecutive Big Ten title this weekend in Indianapolis. It’s been a grueling season, but their goals are still achievable.
Day called into the Buckeye Roundtable on Monday, as he typically does each week. Here are a few of the things he had to say:
On what the biggest challenge has been with a lack of live, game-reps
“I don’t know … I look at it every day and try to figure out what this all means for us … I know we are fresh and healthy … there’s probably a couple hundred more reps out there that we haven’t had this year … we try to do a lot of good-on-good in practice and simulate a lot of games here. We’re just focused on trying to play our best game on Saturday.”
On having a veteran team, with a group of seniors that are 43-4 and have a chance to do something nobody else has done – win four straight league titles
“This is a special group … we had our senior tackle last week … it’s always great to hear the stories of guys that have come through the program and worked through so much … we have really great young men … guys who get it and have left a legacy behind … that was the best 1.5 or 2 hours I’ve had in a long time … they have a chance to do something special and I hope for them and their families that we can find a way to do this thing.”
Day on the defensive line this year, which has been terrific
“I think when you look at it, we take things for granted … lot of guys on this team who have done a lot of great things … its hard, its hard to win championships and win games … you can’t just show up and be the next great player at Ohio State … sometimes those things are taken for granted and they shouldn’t be.”
On how they are preparing for Northwestern this week and whether they spend much time looking at tape from last year’s game
“We look at everything, the last couple years really. They changed their personnel, we changed ours … but you use the stuff you’ve seen most recently and the head-to-head matchups and do the best you can … they’re very well coached and they’ll have a good plan coming into this week.”
Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald was very complimentary of Day and said he’d vote him to be the Coach of the Year in the league. What does that mean to Day and who would he vote for?
“I can’t say enough about him, just the class he brings. The Big Ten can really be proud of him. For him to say that, that’s pretty humbling. I’ve been watching him and following him for years. I would say Fitz should certainly get recognition, he’s had a tremendous year … Tom Allen at Indiana has too, both of those guys have done a great job in a tough spot.”
After learning of last week’s cancellation, was it a little easier knowing you would have a game this week?
“The fact we have a target in front of us is huge … the hardest thing is not knowing what’s coming next … our focus and energy turned to this game pretty quickly … the real challenge is not having a target, which we’ve had to face this year as well … we’ve taken disappointment and moved on pretty quickly … when things don’t go well, you have to move forward … that will pay dividends here … couple months ago, I would’ve worried about our psyche, but not right now.”
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