Day says ‘clunky’ Ohio State offense stands to improve in Week 2 

Ohio State’s offense didn’t play like the explosive versions of past seasons, but a win is a win. 

The No. 3 Buckeyes pulled away from Indiana and won 23-3 on Saturday, compiling 380 yards of offense which would’ve been third-fewest a season ago. Quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Devin Brown saw playing time, and the former garnered the lion’s share of snaps while throwing for 239 yards. 

The Buckeyes scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown from the legs of Miyan Williams to get on the board after their first drive. They settled for a field goal for the remainder of the first half, and were held to four three-and-outs over the course of the game. 

“I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to get in a rhythm. We already felt a little clunky early on,” head coach Ryan Day said. “Missed some short-yardage situations, didn’t convert on some third downs, and so I didn’t want to run the risk of putting ourselves in a bad spot by continuing moving those guys in and out.” 

McCord went 3-for-4 on Ohio State’s first offensive drive while the Buckeyes leaned on a balanced approach with the run game. 

He and the Buckeye offense were then held to two yards and forced to their first three-and-out of the game on their second drive. On the third, McCord threw his first interception of the year on a 4th and 2 situation. 

Day pulled McCord after the interception and put Brown into the starting offense. Ohio State ran the ball all three plays during which Brown saw action, and Day reinserted McCord back into the offense for most of the game thereafter. 

“But going in, (I) really wanted to play Devin some more, would like to do that moving forward,” Day said. “But like I said from the beginning, we got to make sure we’re doing what’s right for the team, what’s right for Ohio State, and I felt like that was the right call at the time.” 

Ohio State only mustered more than 95 yards in a quarter once, coming in a 156-yard third quarter performance. The Buckeyes were a meager 2-for-12 on third down conversions. 

Day said he anticipated the game playing out the way it did in some areas, and he expects to see a more balanced and familiar approach in the form of around 300 passing yards, 250 rushing yards and “score 50 points.” 

“I saw it going a little the way it did but I thought we would get more points,” Day said. “I thought we would convert some of those, and we’re used to doing that here.” 

Defensively Ohio State did more than enough to get the win. The Buckeyes held a Big Ten opponent without a touchdown for the first time since 2019. 

Concerns, though, remain with Ohio State’s offense and whether it can get going to resemble its explosiveness from seasons past. Day said there are “bigger challenges ahead” but he is enjoying being able to go back and look at film to refine areas that need attention. 

“Probably could have been a little bit more aggressive at times today but the No. 1 goal is to get the win and then move forward,” Day said. “There’s going to have to be times we’re going to have to be more aggressive for sure. But I’m talking offense. I mean, I love the defense. I mean, I’m allowed to talk about the defense, so I want to smile, and I mean, if we play defense like this we’re going to have a chance.”