Watch Ohio State football coach Ryan Day and quarterback Justin Fields speak with media


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day is taking part in a conference call with reporters.

The Buckeyes are gearing up for an unusually late start to their season — at noon on Oct. 24 against Nebraska at Ohio Stadium — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We just make sure the guys understand they are one, two plays away from starting or being a backup,” Day said. “Guys need to be engaged, ready to go. We talk about the next-man-up mentality. … It’s really an awareness across the board.”

Quarterback Justin Fields spoke, too, about preparing for a season during a pandemic. He said that Day emphasized to the Buckeyes team that “the closer it gets to the season, the more risk you have” if a player becomes infected.

“I think the team understands that,” Fields said. “For us to do well, we first have to take care of ourselves and stay COVID-free.”

Ohio State is sixth in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, highest-ranked of any team that has yet to play a game.

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