Ryan Day liked what he saw from Ohio State’s offensive line in last Saturday night’s 34-10 win over Michigan State.
He liked it so much that he expects even more out of that group the rest of the season.
“I think we learned a couple things about the O line. One, when it was tough sledding early on they didn’t panic, they kept swinging away. And the second thing, that (Michigan State’s defensive line) is a real defensive line that has some really good players there. And I thought they (Ohio State’s offensive linemen) were physical, finishing guys down-field again. And they took a lot of pride in that.
“To run over 300 yards against that outfit is saying something. I think it shows what our O line is and what it’s capable of. All that means is just more expectation moving forward,” Day said on Tuesday at his weekly press conference.
Ohio State rolled up 529 yards of total offense against MSU, including 323 yards rushing. All but 16 yards of that total came in the final three quarters.
No. 3 Ohio State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is off this week. Its next game will be Friday night, Oct. 18, at Northwestern.
“The big focus is on self improvement this week. Each coach is giving tangible things for each of the players to work on. It may be something that’s on the field. It might be something off the field. It might be something academically, something along those lines. But the idea is, what have we done well and what do we need to improve on,” Day said.
“We’re a little battered, but that’s what happens, six weeks in and after you play a game like we did against Michigan State,” he said.
“I think that our chemistry has been really good the first six games,” Day said. “I think we have played with toughness, seeing guys tackle and run to the ball, the way guys are running the ball, the way we’re blocking on the line of scrimmage, the way the quarterback (Justin Fields) is playing. I think the quarterback is tough. I watched the way he takes shots and stands in there. I think our team is getting a little bit of that identity.
“We all know that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the next one,” Day said. “So we’re keeping that chip on our shoulder. We haven’t proven anything yet, just that we have the capability to do well, but we’re just halfway through the season and we’ve got a long way to go.”
NO NFL INTEREST: Day, a former NFL assistant coach, said he has not been contacted by the Washington Redskins about their vacant head coach’s job and that he has no interest in returning to the NFL.
“I think being in a place like Ohio State anytime there’s success, things like this are going to come up. I don’t really ever want to talk about any of that stuff. I love it here. This is where I want to be.
Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, even for the next five, 10, hopefully 20 years, while I’m here I really don’t want to comment on any of that because I don’t think it’s good for anybody,” he said.
WHITE’S PLAYING TIME: Brendon White, son of former Ohio State and Lima Senior standout William White, made a good impression after being inserted in the starting lineup at safety the second half of last season but has not logged significant playing time the first half of this season.
White, the Most Valuable Defensive Player in the Rose Bowl, had some huge games last season, including 13 tackles against Nebraska, an interception against Michigan and eight tackles, two tackles for losses and an interception on a two-point conversion against Washington in the Rose Bowl.
This season he was moved to the new hybrid linebacker position but with the improved play of the three starting linebackers his opportunities to get on the field have been reduced.
Asked if White had fallen behind in the competition for playing time, Day said, “He’s in there. He’s working at it. He’s learning that position. He’s had some good snaps, he’s had some snaps he wants to improve on.
“That’s a guy this week, it’s a great opportunity for him to find out what is he doing well and what are the things he needs to improve on, just like everybody else.”
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Cornerback Shaun Wade and defensive tackle Jashon Cornell were Ohio State’s Defensive Players of the Game against Michigan State. Running back J.K. Dobbins and offensive tackle Thayer Munford were the Offensive Players of the Game.