Ryan Day reacts to Michigan football’s resounding 42-27 win over Ohio State



ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Ohio State has made it well-known that it’s put a premium on The Game, but it turns out this year it didn’t really matter.

Michigan football made the OSU game a point of emphasis this year, from the ‘Beat Ohio’ drill, to signage in the weight room, to other things that haven’t been spoken of publicly. It worked, as the Wolverines dominated the Buckeyes, 42-27, in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

After the game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day wasn’t particularly complimentary of the Wolverines, more so lamenting the poor job that his Buckeyes did. The big thing when you act like winning against your rival is a foregone conclusion, it tends to sting a little bit more than usual.

“I mean, it hurts. When you live this year-round, it hurts,” Day said. “There’s so much riding on it. It’s gonna leave a mark for a while.”

So, in his mind, what went wrong?

According to Day, a lot of self-imposed mistakes, too many lapses in stopping Hassan Haskins and the Michigan run game, and an inability to run the ball themselves. Ohio State managed just 64 rushing yards while the Wolverines managed 297.

“We didn’t run the ball very well on offense and we hurt ourselves with penalties and then we didn’t stop the run on the other side of the ball,” Day said. He later added on Michigan’s run game: “When you’re on schedule like that and you’re running hard, a lot of good things are gonna happen, and I gotta figure out and get on the film and figure out why that was on our side of the ball. But certainly hats off to them, they did a good job.”


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The big issue was that Michigan dominated both lines of scrimmage, with the Wolverines managing four sacks and eight tackles for loss. Aidan Hutchinson managed three sacks in the game (13 total this season), and because Ohio State found itself down by 15 for a large portion of the second half, it had to get away from running the ball.

Day says the lack of balance is what allowed the Wolverines to get continual pressure as the game wore on.

“I guess we threw it 49 times and there was more attempts than that, because we had a couple scrambles and some sacks,” Day said. “So that’s too much. That’s putting a lot of stress, especially with the D-line that these guys have. There was some penalties, and that was really frustrating because that got us off-schedule on offense. And really, when you look at the games we’ve struggled, that’s what’s got us off-schedule. So I don’t know. I think when you throw that much, you’re gonna put yourself at risk, and I felt like we had to down the stretch because we weren’t really getting much in the run game, and kind of had to keep it going.”

A week ago, as Ohio State brutalized Michigan State in a first half where it got 49 points and over 400 yards passing, it seemed unfathomable that Michigan would be able to dominate the Buckeyes. Things were working against the Spartans, but the Wolverines wouldn’t let OSU come into Ann Arbor and bully them the way they tend to do to other teams.

“When you take care of the football, you give yourself a chance,” Day said. “When you play clean, don’t have penalties, you give yourself a chance. When you run the ball and stop the run, you give yourself a chance. Not all those things happened today. And when that happens and they’re controlling the game and controlling the ball and we’re not getting stops on defense, all those things add up. And certainly didn’t play our best football on offense, but when you feel like they’re controlling the game on the other side of the ball, it gets frustrating and then it kind of got sideways at the end. We actually let them score there on that last drive there when they were inside the 10, otherwise, they were just gonna take a knee and run out the clock. But in the end, we just didn’t get it done.”

Up next, Michigan will take on Iowa in Indianapolis in the Big Ten Championship Game.

(Special thanks to Dan Hope from Eleven Warriors.)


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