Brain Session: Ryan Day Puts Football In Perspective, Greg Schiano Believes Rutgers Can Upset Ohio State and T – Eleven Warriors

Tanner McCalister

Congratulations, friends. You’ve made it to the weekend.

Can I interest you in Ohio State football on Saturday as a reward?

I can also offer you a gold star while supplies last.

Let’s have a good Friday, shall we?

KEEP PERSPECTIVE. Ryan Day began his regularly scheduled “blitz round” press conference with the media on Thursday with an opening statement expressing his concern for those affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida.

“We talked to the team about it (Wednesday) and just wanted to make sure I mentioned the fact of that boy, what a tough few days for a lot of people in Florida,” Day said. “Many thoughts and prayers for so many people down there. We go through our day-to-day here, and it goes from game to game, but to see some of the devastation that happened, people’s lives turned upside down, it gives you a lot of pause.”

Ohio State has five players from Florida on its 2022 roster: safety Kye Stokes (Seffner), cornerback Ryan Turner (Hollywood), long snapper Mason Arnold (Tampa), defensive end Kenyatta Jackson (Holywood) and kicker Noah Ruggles (Odessa).

“We’re thinking about all the people down there, certainly for the people who were affected near our family, and we’re going to try to do everything we can to help them,” Day said. “We’ve heard of anyone in life-threatening situations up to this point, but I know communication in some of those areas isn’t great right now, so we’re going to look at it as best we can. ”

In Wednesday’s Skull Session, I mentioned that Day understands training. I think that’s partly because of his outlook on life – that there are things more important than sports. As he said during Tuesday’s press conference, every coach wants to win, but there needs to be perspective in that.

Day’s comments about Hurricane Ian are yet another example of how well Day keeps things in perspective, and it should make Buckeye Nation admire him even more.

THE SCHIANO SPECIAL. Rutgers football is… fine. That’s the most positive way I can describe the Scarlet Knights — a program that has primarily been a doormat for the Big Ten’s best teams since the school joined the conference in 2014.

How much door map? Ohio State has outscored Rutgers 428-88 across its eight wins over the team from Piscataway, New Jersey. In those matchups, the Buckeyes scored at least seven touchdowns each time and produced 50 or more points in six of the eight contests.

However, Greg Schiano has his players believing they can beat Ohio State on Saturday if they stick to the game plan and all the right pieces fall into place.

I’m not really sure I would expect Schiano – or any coach for that matter – to respond any differently when asked this type of question. However, for some reason, I’m more inclined to think that Schiano truly believes his team can win this weekend.

It’s too bad Rutgers won’t.

TANNER MCCALISTER, ALL. As a transfer from Oklahoma State, a lot was placed on Tanner McCalister’s shoulders this offseason as someone who could help Ohio State’s defensive talent transition into Jim Knowles’ scheme.

McCalister was a phenomenal translator of the Mad Scientist’s speech, but he also proved to be a tremendous football player on the back end of the Buckeye defense, with his best performance coming against Wisconsin last weekend.

The veteran safety earned Buckeye Leaves for his efforts in the Big Ten opener, recording four tackles, an interception and a pass breakup in Ohio State’s 52-21 win over the Badgers. In a recent video on the football team’s Twitter, he broke down his performance.

McCalister’s outing drew praise from Day while his weekly radio show with 97.1 The Fan on Thursday, as the fourth-year head coach recognized McCalister’s interception and pass as the plays of the game in his team’s victory.

“I think the two biggest points in the game were the interception that got us off to a fast start and then the break because of the sudden change at the end of the half. That could have turned into a completely different game if they had gone down and score,” Day said. “Tanner makes a great play to knock that ball down and get (a pass breakup). Both of his plays were at important points in the game.”

McCalister has already made a major impact in his first four games as a Buckeye. Along with the other players in his unit, McCalister could play an even bigger role going forward as Ohio State continues to settle into Knowles’ scheme, which is said to be “safety” at its core.

Here’s to more Buckeye Leaves for McCalister in the future.

LEADS THE PACK. After seeing the suggestions for Wednesday’s Skull Session, it became clear Eleven Warriors readers like to hear Joel Klatt’s take, so I thought I’d feature him again before Ohio State heads into its Week 5 matchup with Rutgers.

On Breaking the Cohesion with Joel Klatt, the FOX college football analyst broke down his top 10 teams through the first four games, explaining his belief that Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama are interchangeable as the top three programs so far.

Klatt’s only knock on the Buckeyes is that they have yet to face a big challenge this season. However, he thinks Ohio State’s 21-10 win over then-No. 5 Notre Dame was vital because of how the Buckeyes won a hard-fought game against a team that some expected could be a College Football Playoff contender when the season began.

That performance, combined with the dominant three-game stretch after that, offers Klatt enough confidence to put them at No. 2 behind Georgia but ahead of Alabama. But remember Klatt said all three teams are interchangeable.

Frankly, I’m surprised more AP voters haven’t aligned themselves with Klatt’s thinking of putting Ohio State in as the second-ranked team. The Buckeyes looked much improved defensively, and — as Klatt mentioned in the video — they have the best offense in the nation through four games (move over Tennessee).

Whatever the reason Ohio State remains at No. 3, the Buckeyes will have plenty of opportunities to prove their worth over the remaining eight regular-season games, especially against No. 11 Penn State and No. 4 Michigan. Just keep winning, and everything will work itself out.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots.

CUT TO THE HUNT. Herding the news? Boar piglet adopted by cows… ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies at age 59… Alzheimer drug shows promise in early results of a study… Has anyone seen those roaming bulls? Four rodeos fugitives on the llama near Fonda, Iowa… Hurricane Ian could bring heavy rains to Ohio State and Rutgers game in Columbus.

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