OSU COACH RYAN DAY: I really haven’t thought about that, more about this team and what they just went through, you know, getting through this game, the way that it went down. You know, we knew there was going to be ebbs and flows in a game like this. We talked about how everything is not going to go perfect. There were times in the two weeks previously where things really went well for us. And we knew that there were going to be times we hit adversity and that we have to stick together in times like that. I thought we did.
And then we really turned the momentum in the third quarter there. I think we had 20 points in a short period of time. So I thought that was the big difference in the game.
Q. But for you personally, going back now to what should be normal, to give the keys back to Urban [Meyer] and doing what you did. Can you just tell me what it feels like to get through this challenge 30, to get a signature win without him, and what it means for you personally? This was a big thing in your life, I think.
COACH DAY: I appreciate you saying that. But we’re just so excited to get Coach back next week. And, obviously, the culture that he’s built here is amazing and the foundation that he’s built here. And that’s what got us through these first three games and through preseason. The players that have been recruited here and coaches that are here have kept this thing going.
So just humbled to be part of such a great tradition. Even being here today and seeing all the Ohio State people who are here that traveled to Dallas for this game was it was amazing, walking out. I looked around. I couldn’t believe all the people traveled. Again, just honored to be part of it.
Q. Ryan [Day], when you look back over the past two months, how would you assess yourself?
COACH DAY: I haven’t really had a chance to sit back and think about that, to be honest with you. Just trying to get the quarterbacks better, trying to help the offense as best we can. And then, you know, when Coach isn’t here, keeping the thing going. And so, obviously, we get him back tomorrow. And fired up about that.
Our goal was to get 30 so that when Coach got back, he had a team that was 30. That goal is accomplished, but we have a lot ahead of us.
Q. Ryan, you hadn’t really faced pressure like you faced today in terms of defense. How would you assess his play, Dwayne’s [Haskins]?
COACH DAY: This was a test to see where he was at. I thought he passed. There were a couple times he scrambled, took a shot. He scored on the pull down in the red zone, took a couple hits on a couple sacks early in the game, hung in there, made some big throws, and, again, worked through some adversity along the way.
Q. Ryan, was their one touchdown bigger than the other in that 20point spurt in four minutes?
COACH DAY: I would say the defensive score was the biggest one. Anytime you’re playing in a game like this and you can win the turnover battle, that’s our plan to win. We didn’t turn the ball over, and we got three turnovers, two of them for scores. That’s huge.
That swing right there we were trying to find our way a little bit. It’s a second and long. We hit the screen to Parris [Campbell]. Parris comes out back of the back end. We get the turnover by Dre’Mont [Jones], get the ball back and it hit for K.J [Hill]. It went fast right there, and that’s where the game, I think, turned.
Q. Any update on Nick Bosa?
COACH DAY: I don’t. They’re evaluating what’s going on now.
Q. Ryan, coaches like to say players need to make plays. How much comfort do you take even in the three games that you coached that you have so many weapons and a guy like Dre’Mont [Jones]? These guys can just make plays for you.
COACH DAY: Yeah. It goes to the talent level and the guys that have been recruited here. And this is not something that happens overnight. Coach Meyer and the whole staff have worked for years to recruit the type of player who comes here.
And we do have a ton of playmakers. On defense, the guys rushing the pass, the guys on the back end making plays. We get defensive scores like that. It’s huge. The guys on offense, we have a lot of weapons. So very talented team that took a lot of hard work to put together.
Q. Ryan, I’m sure that you all were as surprised as we were to see Austin Mack put so many balls on the ground. Do you guys have to say something? Did you consider taking him out the game at any point? How do you manage a situation like that where it was so uncharacteristic for him?
COACH DAY: Austin is usually a reliable guy. And the big thing we talked about going into the game was that you heard the guys talk about it that this was going to be a fight. And when you go into a fight, sometimes you get hit. And when you get hit, you can’t flinch. So we didn’t flinch.
We kept putting Austin back in there. And then he dropped one, and then he came back, and he made a catch. Then he made another catch.
So we believe in our guys. We know what we see every day in practice. We trust that some days guys are going to maybe put one on the ground. We don’t like that, but we believe in our guys. And when things don’t go well, we’ve got to stick together.
Q. Coach, you’ve been around football a long time, and this team has some big aspirations this season. Ranked pretty highly in everything.
Just how important and what kind of growth do you think this team will get out of being in a situation down 8 points in the third quarter? It’s going to come up again at some point. How will this serve them going forward, this test?
COACH DAY: It gives us some precedence moving forward. You can always go back on this and show that, when things don’t go well, we can stick together; that when we hit adversity, we can work our way through it. You know?
And that’s always a question. When you go up against somebody like TCU, a really wellcoached team, really talented team, I think that’s a really good team we just played. And we get in a tough spot; we’re down. How are you going to respond? You really don’t know that. You practice every day. You think you know how you’re going to respond. But to see how the guys responded today gives us something to look back on.
Q. We finally see Dwayne Haskins, Jr., keep on an option.
Is there more of that to come do you think? What was your feel for that call at that moment?
COACH DAY: Yeah. Kevin [Wilson] came up in the box. He said that two plays earlier, we called a play where the fullback came across and crunched the defensive end. He said he was coming real hard. So Kevin says, if we call the play where he can read the guy, that we’ve got a chance to hit it.
And he was exactly right. He was right on the money. The timing was right. So he pulled it; he read it. And then Rashod [Berry] came around and led the way. Big play in the game. Dwayne [Haskins] can beat you with his feet. That’s a part of his game. It’s not the biggest part of his game, but it is part of his game.
Q. Ryan, I know you have a lot of talent at receiver, but K.J. Hill had the toetap catch in the sideline to that touchdown late. What does he bring to your passing offense with his skill set?
COACH DAY: Reliability. A guy who is going to be where you expect him to be. He catches the ball. Runs really good routs. You know, he’s a clutch player, too. When you need him, he’s there. Hard worker and very talented.
Q. Ryan, just wondering how much pressure you felt being thrust into this position. And now, as you’re coming out the back end, you feel relief?
COACH DAY: I do feel a little bit of relief right now after that game and, you know, the past few weeks. But I got so much help from these players and from the coaching staff.
Kevin Wilson and Greg Schiano. What Greg Schiano has done for me in the last month is something I’ll never forget. He is the classiest person I’ve ever been around in the coaching profession. The way he’s handled himself, helping me along the way, counseling me on daytoday stuff.
And just the way the defense played today, I couldn’t have been happier for him and that defense. So, yeah, a little bit of relief, but still got a long way to go here.
Q. Ryan, will you consider retiring with an undefeated record?
COACH DAY: Sure.