Ohio State coach Ryan Day is hopeful that “the worst half’s behind us” after the No. 4 Buckeyes returned to the sphere Saturday and beat Michigan State 52-12 regardless of being short-handed due to COVID-19.
The Buckeyes (5-0) performed with out three beginning offensive lineman — tackles Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere, and heart Josh Myers — and linebacker Tuf Borland, a three-time captain, within the win in opposition to Michigan State.
The staff listed 23 gamers out for Saturday’s sport with out specifying any purpose, however lots of them had been energetic in opposition to No. 12 Indiana on Nov. 21. Day, who examined constructive for COVID-19 late final week, watched the sport from house, and three different full-time assistant coaches didn’t make the journey to East Lansing, Michigan.
“Hopefully, we begin getting some guys again,” Day mentioned on Zoom from his house. “We had an enormous quantity there. I get going right here on Monday, after which we get a number of the coaches again, after which we begin getting a few of these guys again within the constructing. That is enormous.
“If you happen to’ve take a look at what we have completed for the final 4 or 5 months, it has been glorious. We have had this one mini outbreak that was exhausting. We managed it, we did an ideal job and right here we’re. I am hoping that the worst half is behind us and we are able to transfer ahead.”
Large Ten coverage requires any gamers who assessments constructive to overlook at the very least 21 days and undergo cardiac screening and reconditioning. Coaches who check constructive should observe CDC pointers and full at the very least 10 days of isolation.
Day mentioned he hasn’t obtained an replace on subsequent week’s sport in opposition to Michigan, which paused staff actions Wednesday and canceled Saturday’s scheduled sport in opposition to Maryland due to an increase in COVID-19 circumstances inside the program.
Michigan has focused Monday as a attainable return to actions if the COVID state of affairs improves.
Ohio State (5-0) must play yet another sport to satisfy the Large Ten’s threshold to qualify for the convention championship sport, though the league’s athletic administrators could rethink the requirement because the Buckeyes already maintain a multigame lead within the East Division.
The Large Ten on Saturday named No. 14 Northwestern because the West Division champion.
Day praised appearing head coach Larry Johnson, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and the gamers for his or her efficiency in opposition to the Spartans following every week of uncertainty.
Ohio State paused staff actions on Nov. 27 and canceled final week’s sport at Illinois earlier than returning to observe Tuesday. Day mentioned all staff assembly and workers conferences had been held over Zoom this week.
“So many individuals needed to step up this week,” Day mentioned.
Johnson, the staff’s defensive position coach, turned the primary Black head coach in Ohio State historical past and obtained a Gatorade bathe within the closing minutes of Saturday’s win. Johnson mentioned he thought in regards to the significance of the win in the course of the third quarter as Ohio State held a large lead.
“I had a tear in my eye as a result of I felt so nice for the gamers,” Johnson mentioned. “They deserve a chance to play on Saturday they usually did. You possibly can see it of their eyes.”
Quarterback Justin Fields, who accounted for 303 yards of offense and 4 touchdowns within the win, mentioned he felt lucky to not get COVID-19 after each Day and quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis examined constructive.
Day mentioned he struggled to look at his staff on tv.
“I took a variety of notes, I yelled lots, I acquired actually, actually excited on another performs,” Day mentioned. “Definitely [Haskell Garrett‘s interception for a touchdown], I used to be operating round the home. Different ones I used to be screaming and yelling. It was not straightforward. It is all in regards to the staff, however it was a tough day.”