Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is in a precarious position, having lost to the hated Michigan Wolverines two years in a row.
Those were Michigan’s first back-to-back wins in the century-old blood feud since the 1990s. And while only the most fanatical wing of the Ohio State fanbase is calling for Day’s job, he knows a third loss in a row would almost certainly doom his tenure.
Speaking on his podcast, More Than Coach Speak, Day admitted to several mistakes in last year’s contest against the Wolverines.
“I think back on this year and our rivalry game,” Day said. “You want the game so bad that the focus can just be on winning the game, but what does winning the game actually mean? You can’t just win the game.
“You have to win each play. You have to win each situation. I think the mistake I’ve probably made is, ‘We’re going to win this game. Let’s get after them. Let’s get physical. Let’s beat them up.’ When you’re playing a team or a player that’s equal to you, you have to focus on winning every single possession, every single play. And how do you do that? Great technique, great focus. Eventually, you will win the game.”
Day said his team did a better job of “letting it all out” against Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Another performance that resulted in a come-from-ahead loss.
“I think we did a better job in the Peach Bowl of letting it all out, playing aggressively, and looking to play the next play and win the next play,” Day said. “We didn’t look at the scoreboard and say, ‘What if we win? What if we lose?’ We really focused on winning each situation and each play.”
Ryan Day said that those are lessons he’ll take into the new season. Buckeye fans will certainly hope so.