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Football: Ryan Day talks TCU matchup in Big Ten coaches teleconference

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) fakes a handoff to sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the first quarter of the Ohio State-Oregon State game on Sept. 1. Ohio State won 77-31. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Before his largest game as acting head coach for Ohio State, Ryan Day faced many questions on the preparation going into Saturday’s matchup against No. 15 TCU during the Big Ten coaches teleconference on Tuesday.

Day said the Horned Frogs are a “veteran group whose played big games before,” while also saying that the neutral-site game is basically an away matchup for No. 4 Ohio State, considering AT&T Stadium is “right down the street” from his opponent.

Day also complimented TCU’s deep and diverse defense group, which was ranked No. 16 in 2017 in points allowed.

“It’s hard to find matchup problems when they have guys that can do multiple things,” Day said.

A comparison was made to last season’s matchup against then-No. 5 Oklahoma that Ohio State lost to 31-16 in Week 2, hurting the Buckeyes’ chances at the College Football Playoff at the end of the season.

Day said the game against TCU is entirely different, because “that was a different team last year and that was a long time ago.”

“Last week if we lose to Rutgers, that could have been the reason too,” Day said. “We know that every time we go out and play we are on the line, and that’s no different this week”

Progress in the quarterback room

After redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for at least four touchdowns for the second straight game, Day said that he has done a great job at finding receivers in his two starts thus far.

But, when talking about where Haskins has improved the most, Day said that it has been in two areas off the field: in the classroom and in the weight room.

Though Haskins has proven himself as a threat through the air, Day said he expects that Haskins will continue to improve his run game as the season progresses.

“He’s a big guy back there,” Day said. “I do think as the season goes on he will run more.”

Day was also asked about redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell, who completed all 10 of his passes, both throwing and running for touchdowns of more than 40 yards.

Day said that Martell “has improved significantly in the last couple of months,” and that the more he can improve the pass game, the more his running ability will open up opportunities.

Praise for Okudah

Following the 52-3 win over Rutgers, where the Buckeyes allowed only 11 completions on 30 attempts, and 65 yards through the air, Day had nothing but praise for sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.

Okudah finished the game with two tackles, including one solo tackle, but Day said he is “one of the best kids you can be around,” and complemented his work ethic in practice.

Day said that Okudah has really developed over the year, and that “he’s got a lot of great football ahead of him this year.”

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