COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State coach Ryan Day discussed the No. 3 Buckeyes upcoming top-10 showdown against No. 7 Penn State at the Horseshoe on Saturday at noon.
The Buckeyes are coming off 41-7 win over Purdue in which the Buckeyes rushed for more than 150 yards despite three of their running backs being injured. TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams were both unavailable due to injury while Chip Trayanum came out of the game late in the first quarter after taking a hit to his head. Fourth-string running back Dallan Hayden stepped up rushing for 76 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.
Day said he’s not going to get into the availability of Henderson, Williams, Trayanum and receiver Emeka Egbuka who missed the Purdue game with a lower body injury. Day said there was concern but no panic after the Buckeyes lost Trayanum against Purdue.
“We all know the production Emeka has had on our offense the last few years,” Day said. “Not having him certainly affects what you can do on offense . . . with three backs out, you do have to get creative because ultimately nobody cares. You have to get it done.”
You can watch his full press conference below.
Ryan Day said Dallan Hayden was ready to play against Purdue because running backs coach Tony Alford has done a great job at spreading reps around at practice going all the way back to spring ball. He added receiver Xavier Johnson graded out a champion against the Boilermakers for his effort as a receiver and running back in the win.
Quarterback Kyle McCord played well throwing for 276 yards and three touchdowns for a second time in his career, including two to tight end Cade Stover. Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. had another impressive outing with six catches for 105 yards and one touchdown.
The Buckeyes defense did not allow the Boilermakers to score until 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. Prior to that, Ohio State had three different stops inside their own 25-yard line and Purdue missed all three field goals. Ohio State boasts the No. 3 scoring defense in the country holding opponents to 9.67 points per game. Only Penn State (8.0) and Michigan (6.71) rank ahead of the Buckeyes.
This will be the biggest test to date for McCord and the offense as they go up against a Nittany Lions defense that is No. 1 in the nation in total defense (193.7 yards allowed per game) and passing defense (121.2 yards per game).
Penn State quarterback Drew Allar, who’s from Medina, Ohio, has thrown for more than 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions. Ohio State tried to offer Allar after he committed to Penn State because OSU had already received a commitment from Quinn Ewers, who reclassified before leaving for Texas.
“He’s an Ohio kid who had a great [high school] career . . . I have a lot of respect for him,” Day said. “He’s certainly a great player. I think he’s done a great job in his first year. He has great poise and I think he’s got a great future ahead of him.”