COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State coach Ryan Day spoke with members of the media Tuesday to discuss the Buckeyes’ home opener against Youngstown State.
OSU is coming off a 23-3 win over Indiana in Bloomington. The Buckeyes’ defense was lights out against the Hoosiers, but the offense struggled to find a rhythm under quarterback Kyle McCord and a revamped offensive line. Right guard Josh Fryar was the sole offensive lineman to grade as a champion in the win.
“I felt like they needed to play better in the run game,” Day said about the offensive line. “We’re getting back to working on that this week.”
You can watch his press conference in the video player above.
Day added Ohio State was only 50% efficient running the ball on first and second down.
“We got off schedule in the run game and we can’t do that,” Day said.
After the game, Day said he would have liked to play sophomore quarterback Devin Brown more who only went in for two series, including the last one with the game out of reach. Day called McCord’s performance a ‘mixed bag’ on Saturday and said he’d have to watch the film to see if there were more positives or negatives.
“There was a lot of things to learn from and some good things as well,” Day said about McCord’s performance. “It was good enough to win . . . but it won’t be good enough moving forward to reach our goals.”
Day added McCord will start against the Penguins.
“Both guys feel like they can run they offense and both guys want to play,” Day said. “They just haven’t done much of it and that [confidence] comes with time.”
McCord completed 60% of his passes, including two fourth-down conversions, and threw for 239 yards on 20-of-33 passes. The junior QB also threw an interception, misread a block that would’ve given him a rushing touchdown, and never got into a rhythm with his two future NFL receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka who combined for five catches for 34 yards.
One of the areas to fix from Saturday’s game was a lack of execution in short yardage situations. Ohio State was 2-for-12 on third down, but a closer look at that stat is even more concerning. Eight of those third-down attempts came from four yards or less of the first-down marker, but OSU only converted on two of them. That’s a 25% success rate. Day said OSU should convert on those situations “about 80% of the time.”