College football: ‘Bigger challenge’ awaits Ohio State

COLUMBUS — Ohio State worked out some issues in its first three games which prepared the No. 6 Buckeyes (3-0) for their match-up with No. 9 Notre Dame (4-0) on Saturday night Ohio State football coach Ryan Day said Tuesday at his weekly press conference.

“I’m glad we went through those three games to get to this point with some of the new faces we had,” Day said. “We did work out some of the issues. I think we have a pretty good idea of who our team is and where we’re at. We are in a much different place than we were in Week One.”

While OSU is in a different place after a 63-10 win over Western Kentucky last Saturday, Day said there is still work to be done.

“We’ve got to take the next step. We’ve got to continue to ratchet it up because this is a bigger challenge,” he said.

Ohio State had its best game of the season offensively last week when it passed for 358 yards and rushed for 204 yards.

“I think we have good balance. You’ve seen multiple guys produce. That forces defenses to play the entire field. They can’t focus on one thing you’re doing. I think that is going to be important in this game,” Day said.

OSU quarterback Kyle McCord and the offensive line both had their best games of the season last week.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Day said about the offensive line’s effort against Western Kentucky. “You saw them playing hard and that’s the expectation. We’ve got to rock off the ball and finish people. We’ve got to win the game up front.”

McCord’s four previous starts have been against Akron in 2021 and Indiana, Youngstown State and Western Kentucky this season. But Day says McCord and his teammates should be ready to play in a game in the national spotlight at Notre Dame.

“This is a group that has played on a big stage. The majority of these guys have done it. They’ve seen it. Even though Kyle really hasn’t been on that stage he’s been around and knows what it looks like. You saw last week what we’re capable of. It’s all there, now it’s time to go do it.

“I think he (McCord) has grown each week. This week will be a big challenge to see where we’re at. It’s been a gradual buildup for our whole team and for him to this point,” he said.

“We have to go win a Top Ten game on the road. Our guys are really excited for this game. Our guys are really fired up for this.”

Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.

Jim Naveau
Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.