Quotables: Week 4

Bo Nix

Through four weeks of the 2023 college football season, there are 26 teams that remain unbeaten. 

Twenty-one of those unbeaten programs hail from a Power 5 conference. In the age of conference realignment, the current conference with the most unbeaten teams is the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and Syracuse are all 4-0 as the season continues. All but Louisville and Syracuse are ranked. 

The Pac-12 Conference has five unbeaten teams, the Big Ten four and three apiece from the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences. 

Here are some noteworthy quotes as focus turns from Week 3 to Week 4.     

Ryan Day, Ohio State 

When former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz appeared Friday on The Pat McAfee Show, he had a strong statement for Ohio State. 

Holtz questioned the physicality and toughness of the Buckeyes in recent years, citing their losses to Alabama, Georgia, Michigan twice and Clemson. He added the Buckeyes “better bring their lunch because it’s going to be a full d— day’s work” against Notre Dame. 

The final result didn’t work out in the Fighting Irish’s favor, as Ohio State’s last-second touchdown rush of 1 yard helped the Buckeyes outlast their opposition.

READ: Stat Pack: Week 4

Day said the Buckeyes are “warriors” for their comeback effort in the second half, and he highlighted their grit to get it done during his postgame interview on the football field. 

“Toughness, toughness that’s it,” Day said. “Physicality across the board, finish it off having guts. I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. What he said about our team, what he said about our team, I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here. We’re proud to be from Ohio. And it’s always been Ohio against the world. It’ll continue to be Ohio against the world. But I’ll tell you what, I love those kids and we got a tough team.” 

Day doubled down in the postgame press conference about his comments toward Holtz and the doubters who questioned Ohio State’s toughness leading up to the game. 

“It was brewing for a couple of days,” Day said. “A lot of people took a lot of shots at this team over the last 48 hours, and it really hit home to me. And you know the way that our team played, not only did we physically get after these guys last year, but we did it again here at the end of the game. I think it says a lot about this team. And you know, I’m really upset and disrespected by what Lou Holtz said publicly about our team at Ohio State and Buckeye Nation. And we’re not going to stand for that because that’s not even close to true. We had one bad half a couple years ago up in Ann Arbor. We did in the second half. But every day we’re playing we’re physical, we are. I don’t know where that narrative comes from but that ends tonight. This team right here shows toughness, they showed grit, they didn’t give up and they found a way to win get that last yard. And I’m sick over those short yardages that we didn’t finish but that’s the game. And the last matchup game we were in we were one play short. This way we finished it the right way.” 

Jake Dickert, Washington State 

Day wasn’t the only head coach to take exception with ESPN’s college football programming last week. 

Lee Corso said during College GameDay that the No. 14 Oregon State-No. 21 Washington State game is the “No One Watches Bowl,” and the Cougars ended up defeating the Beavers 38-35. 

The second-year Cougars head coach Dickert offered a bigger picture viewpoint of his feelings on behalf of what some deemed the “Pac-2 Conference” as 10 programs will soon depart for other conferences in the latest round of realignment. 

That leaves the Pac-12 with Oregon State and Washington State. 

“Our team is greater than the sum of its parts,” Dickert said. “I saw a tweet again today we got zero 5 stars,  zero 4 stars. We got zero, right. But we’re greater than the sum of our parts because of our connection and how we play in the buy in that they have to their job. And I think it speaks volumes for 18- to 23-year-old young men to buy into that. It’s not easy. And I just told RJ and BJ to come back for year six. This is why they came back. OK, this is as much on them as it is on us and what we’re trying to create because of those guys and their leadership so we’re building something special. I think nationally, there’s a lot of noise out there. I mean, I caught something this morning, and I was watching GameDay, and Corso comes on and he says, the No-One Watches Bowl, and I don’t really understand that. What’s the merit once again? Because the facts say people watch the Cougs, and the people watch the Cougs more than every team that’s left over in the Big 12. OK, so I, coach Corso is at the point now where they just they give him the sheet and he reads off of it and they try to make a joke but it didn’t even make sense. OK, it’s well documented what ESPN has done to try to get this get our league into where it’s at. And I would love to have a conversation with coach Corso about the value that he sees in breaking up the premier West Coast Conference. OK, and I’d also love to have a conversation with coach Corso about how he thinks student athletes and mental health and flying them all over the country is a positive thing. I’m open to those conversations.”

READ: Ohio State climbs to No. 4, Fresno State enters latest AP Top 25 Poll 

Deion Sanders, Colorado 

The hype train came to a halt Saturday when the then-No. 19 Buffaloes lost 42-6 to No. 9 Oregon. 

Deion Sanders and Colorado faced a 35-0 halftime deficit, and they were held to 199 total yards in the loss. 

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning told his team in the locker room before kickoff that Colorado was “fighting for clicks” while his Ducks were “fighting for wins.” Oregon showed up in a big way and delivered 522 total yards and quarterback Bo Nix threw three touchdown passses.

READ: Travis ‘stood up in the moment,’ leads No. 4 Florida State to win over Clemson for first time since 2014

Sanders and Colorado weren’t sore losers. They offered respect toward Oregon’s program, and reflected on what’s still ahead which includes a home meeting next week with No. 8 USC. 

“First and foremost, thank the Lord for allowing all this to transpire,” Sanders said. “It was a good old fashioned butt-kicking. There’s no excuses, no nothing. Their coaches did a heck of a job preparing their team. Obviously we didn’t. That was good. That was a really good old fashioned butt-kicking. We went into the game wanting to dominate several phases. We lost offensively, defensively as well as special teams. That fake punt kind of got them really rolling, and they didn’t stop ever since they secured that first down. Well-coached team. Bo Nix played his butt off. Defensively, they presented some things that I guess we just couldn’t get around. We couldn’t advance the ball rushing or throwing the ball as well. Seemed like they had our number. But hats off to their coaching staff and the head coach. Great job and they were truly prepared.”