Ohio State continues its streak this season with a top-20 showdown against Purdue – the first of three games in a row against ranked opponents to end the season.

Ahead of Saturday’s match, Buckeye head coach Ryan Day took to his final weekly media availability on Thursday afternoon, attended his weekly radio show on 97.1 The Fan and briefly met with the media to offer some final updates.

Day was also joined by defensive line coach Larry Johnson for the final part of the show.

Ryan Day Radio Show

Ryan day

On the season so far

  • “It’s been a crazy year in college football.”

  • “We’re just talking about how we’re going to bring it every week.”

  • “We’ve definitely got a big fight this week.”

About CJ Stroud throwing to Jaxon Smith-Njigba

  • “Jaxon has done an excellent job all season.”

  • Day notes that Smith-Njigba at one point cramped.

  • “He had a great day.”

  • Day praised Smith-Njigba’s ability to create after the catch.

On the dominance of the defensive line

  • “It’s all,” Day notes.

  • “I think the younger guys had to be forced into it early and now we have a full arsenal of guys.”

  • Day notices that they are fresh because of the rotation.

  • “Those pictures count in November,” Day said

About Tyreke Smith

  • “He has appeared in great style.”

  • Day said “we need our veteran guys to play veteran.”

  • “We’ll need him here.”

On the first-time defensive linemen

  • “They are beginners. For them to be able to play at this point in the season, it shows what they were able to do at the beginning of the year.”

  • “Putting a beginner at this point in the season and knowing he has a lot of snaps under his belt is a good feeling.”

  • “It’s good for those guys to show up.”

About Ronnie Hickman

  • “They revolve a little around him,” Day said of the defense.

  • “Production speaks for itself.”

  • Day notes that “no one knew much about” Hickman on his way into the season, but he has surprised everyone.

On playing a little depth

  • “The more we can get guys on the field, the better we are.”

  • “Now it’s hopefully going to pay off in November because guys have played and you know exactly what you have.”

  • Day said there are fewer strangers.

About CJ Stroud’s management

  • “You can see it in practice. He practices better and just takes more command on the offensive.”

  • Day said he is no longer just trying to get through practice, he is practicing with a purpose.

On offensive setbacks

  • “We have to play clean.”

  • Day said there are a few things that have put them back in attack that they need to clean up, such as penalties, negative games or mental errors.

  • “We know it’s not always going to be a 50-point game, but we can clean up some things.”

To take one game at a time

  • “When you start worrying about how to win, it’s when you get in trouble.”

  • “Goal # 1 is to win the battle.”

  • Day said you should just take one game at a time.

At Purdue

  • “First of all, Jeff Brohm has done a great job for years.

  • Calling Aidan O’Connell “one of the hottest guys in the league right now” and David Bell “one of the best receivers in the country.”

  • “George Karlaftis is probably a first-round draft pick on defense.”

  • “You’ve seen what they’ve done to some of the top five teams.”

Opposite George Karlaftis

  • Day said Karlaftis is the best pass-rusher they have met this season.

  • “They see it as a challenge.”

  • “Saturday we’ll find out where we are.”

About David Bell

  • “He’s really smooth, has a really good catch radius.”

  • Day said they do a good job of getting him the ball.

  • “We’re not going to stop him for nothing, but you can not let him go crazy either.”

On the home crowd

  • Day said it is “huge” to force the offense into a silent snap count.

  • “The higher we can be on Saturday, the bigger it is for us.”

On keeping focus

  • Day notes that the Buckeyes face three very good teams.

  • “If you want to be great, you have to be consistent. I do not think we are good yet.”

  • “When you lose a match, you regret. Let’s not regret.”

At the Steele Chambers

  • “I thought he played well.”

  • Ryan Day said the team got the Chick-fil-A sandwich on the way to Nebraska, and he joked that Steele Chambers could only get half a sandwich because he could only play half the game. On the way home, Day Chambers told me he could get a whole sandwich “because he played so well.”

  • “He made some really good games.”

  • “It was hard for him to sit out so much.”

  • Day said the Buckeyes were happy to take the ball first against Nebraska because it would give them an extra defensive possession with Steele Chambers in the second half

On playcalling in the air

  • “If it’s rainy or very windy,” it may affect their play call.

  • “Not so much when it’s colder.”

  • Day said it is certainly a condition that “we must handle better than our opponent.”

On if Noah Ruggles’ consistency makes him more likely to kick instead of going for it

  • “Yes, for sure. Especially when your defense is playing well.”

  • Day said that when your kicker and defense play well, you take the points.

  • “Goal # 1 is to win the battle.”

  • Day reiterates that he is not worried about how he will win.

About Denzel Burke

  • “For a freshman, he’s done a great job.”

  • Day notes that he is getting a challenge this week.

  • Day said outside of Jahan Dotson that David Bell is the best receiver they have seen.

At the backflow depth

  • “We need those guys. We need them to be healthy and play for us.”

  • “We want to play a little more depth, and we need that.”

Larry Johnson

On the defensive line against Purdue

  • Johnson wants “I think that’s the key every time you have a quarterback who throws a lot.”

  • “Our job is to influence him.”

  • Johnson notes that you do not necessarily have to get a bag to affect a pass.

On the defensive line rotation

  • “That’s the key to this.”

  • “We’ve probably played more players since I’ve been here.”

  • Johnson said this defensive line is fresher than it has ever been at this point in the season.

  • “We do not just rotate, we rotate for a reason.”

  • Johnson says they rotate for fatigue and to take advantage of skill sets.

On the mix of veterans and young talents

  • “They’re really close.”

  • “The older guys mess for the younger guys.”

  • Johnson says many times that the older guys get even more excited than the younger ones when the younger guys play a big game.

On the secondary and defensive line work together

  • “People want to give credit to the d-line, but in reality it’s secondary.”

  • “If you have good coverage, it gives us another half second to get there.”

  • “I think that’s the key to stopping a great quarterback.”

Ryan Days Thursday’s press conference

  • About Thayer Munford: “He’s a Block O receiver, Captain. He has really helped us in this offseason with leadership.” Day says, “his approach has been incredible.”

  • “Whatever game it is, there are probably 3-5 calls you wish you had left.” Day says that if there are too many more than that, it’s probably a particularly bad day. “All it takes is a guy to be free, and that includes coaching.”

  • About Jack Sawyer, who imitates George Karlaftis: “They kind of fit the same body, makeup that Karlaftis has. I would say that Karlaftis is probably the biggest challenge these guys have had all year.”

  • Day says the Steele Chambers “certainly play at a starting level. He’s playing just as well as everyone else in our defense right now.” Day says his production has been “significant.”

  • About this being a “trap game”: “I think it’s just bringing it every week and bringing it week in and week out.” Day says “you can not lay an egg, you can not have a bad day.”

  • On Evan Pryor, Day says he does not know if he is in the mix to be the second running back, but that he is “definitely in the mix to get in the game.”

  • About Garrett Wilson Day says “he’s had a great week training and we’ll see what he does today.”

  • Day says the Buckeyes expect to have Haskell Garrett and Tyleik Williams available this week, though they have both been dealing with some issues lately.