Cutting down on penalties is a big point of emphasis for Ohio State as the third week of the 2022 season begins.
During his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Fan’s Buckeye Roundtable show on Monday, Day was asked multiple questions about the nine penalties the Buckeyes committed against Arkansas State and made it clear in his responses that he thinks it’s important for Ohio State to clean up those mistakes so as not to get snakebitten by them in more competitive games.
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Day was particularly displeased with the penalties that were fully within Ohio State’s control, such as the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties assessed to Xavier Johnson and Taron Vincent and the four offsides penalties against Buckeye defensive linemen.
“Any time you have a penalty that you can control, especially pre-snap, those are the ones that are inexcusable,” Day said. “There’s certain things that happen, playing hard, there’s going to be penalties, but there’s some that are controllable, and those are the ones who got to do a better job with.”
Day was also asked specifically about the leaping over the punt shield penalty against Teradja Mitchell that nullified an Emeka Egbuka punt return touchdown and gave the ball back to Arkansas State, and he said the Buckeyes will instruct their players not to attempt to leap over the shield. again.
“We had to learn from that. We lost a possession there. And that’s something that, in a closer game, could be the difference between winning and losing. So that was a tough lesson to learn,” Day said. “And not only that, we returned that punt for a touchdown. There’s been a lot of work put into that to try to get back to flipping the game by returning a punt for a touchdown. That hasn’t happened in a little while here. So all very discouraging, but we’re gonna have to learn from it. And the rule is that you can’t jump in and land onto the shield. So we’re certainly not going to jump anymore.”
In his first media interview of the week, Day also talked about the value of Mitch Rossi and Gee Scott Jr. provided as the Buckeyes’ second and third tight ends, Marvin Harrison Jr.’s three-touchdown game and the challenge Toledo could present to Ohio State on Saturday. A quick rundown of everything Day had to say:
Day thinks it was good that Ohio State had more defensive plays against Arkansas State so they could get more players in the game and get them more game reps. “The more our guys can feel comfortable in the new scheme, the better off we’re gonna be moving forward.”
Day is happy that the Buckeyes have held their opponents to only one touchdown in six red zone trips this year. “If we’re playing well on offense and we’re scoring touchdowns and they’re forcing field goals on defense, then those four points add up every time.”
Day said he thinks it is important for the Buckeyes to keep defenses honest by running the ball effectively when defenses drop extra defenders into coverage to try to stop the pass.
Day on Gee Scott Jr. and Mitch Rossi: “Those guys can do all the different job descriptions that we need. And their versatility is what helps us kind of attack the defense based on what we’re seeing.”
Day said he thought the game “slowed down” for Marvin Harrison Jr. from Week 1 to Week 2, allowing him to have his seven-catch, 184-yard, three-touchdown performance against Arkansas State.
“You can’t quite replace experience,” so he said it was important to get more young players and backups in the game against Arkansas State.
On Toledo: “This is a very good team. They certainly gave Notre Dame all they could handle last year. So we got to do a great job making sure that we’re preparing just like any other week, and it’s the same message. The message is that it’s about us and we have to make sure that we’re building every week and getting stronger every week, but this is a good team.”