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Football: Ryan Day talks Ohio State’s depth and running game in the Big Ten coaches teleconference

Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day speaks to the media following the first half of the Ohio State-Oregon State game on Sept. 1. Ohio State won 77-31. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Ohio State acting head coach Ryan Day knows he has an abundance of talent in the running back room.

When asked in Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference whether Ohio State would have two-1,000-yard running backs in sophomore J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior Mike Weber, Day said he was only worried about the game in front of him.  

“Who knows?” Day said. “You don’t know how the season is going to play out.”  

With a pro-style quarterback — redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins — at the helm, Ohio State is likely to rely more on the running backs for rushing yards than the typical dual-threat option former quarterback J.T. Barrett provided one season ago.

But Day said Haskins will tuck and run if necessary.

“Dwayne can run, but there is sometimes where whatever the defense is presenting, you know there is times where the decision is to hand the ball off,” Day said. “You didn’t see any designed quarterback runs on Saturday, but there are times where he can read somebody and pull it if that’s the situation.”  

Day also mentioned the Ohio State running game has a lot of help from the guys blocking in front. The acting head coach said the offensive line play on Saturday was “solid,” noting it was a good start for the unit.

Day might not know how the season will play out. However, he knows the ceiling for each of his two running backs.

“Both those guys have the capability to be over 1,000-yard rushers for sure,” Day said.

A “unique” wide receiver room

After helping Haskins throw for more than 300 yards against Oregon State, Day complimented the depth Ohio State has to use at the wide receiver position.

“It’s a unique situation because we have so many guys there,” Day said. “You are talking about eight-to-10 guys in there that you feel really good about putting in the game. I think they rely on each other because of the depth.”

Though the Buckeyes have a handful of options from their wide receivers, Day also said the team is looking into presets involving two running backs or two tight ends.

“We have a little bit more depth this year at tight end,which gives us a few more options,” Day said. “Anytime you present new personnel groupings, it’s one more thing for the defense to work on. It presents a different way to attack them.”

Don’t allow the opponents to dictate fair catches on kickoffs

With the new NCAA rule allowing for fair catches anywhere inside the 25-yard-line to put the ball at the 25, Day said it is important that Ohio State is the one deciding when fair catches should be made.

Day also complimented the play of sophomore kicker Blake Haubeil in the process.

“We have the way that we do it and I thought Blake did a nice job kicking the ball,” Day said. “Got a few into the end zone, they decided to fair catch a few, but we have to be ready for those kind of returns on those. We don’t dictate when they fair catch and when they don’t.”


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