Tanner McCalister

Skull Session: Ryan Day puts football in perspective, Greg Schiano thinks Rutgers can upset Ohio State and Tanner McCalister tells the story behind his Buckeye sheets

Congratulations, my friends. You have reached the weekend.

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

I can also give you a gold star while stocks last.

Let’s have a good Friday, okay?

KEEP THE PERSPECTIVE. Ryan Day began his regular press conference with the media on Thursday with an opening statement expressing 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 that boy, it’s been a tough few days for a lot of people in Florida,” Day said. “Many thoughts and prayers for so many people out there. We go through our day-to-day here, and it goes from match to match, but seeing some of the devastation that’s happened, people’s lives turned upside down, it gives you a lot of pause.

Ohio State has five Florida players 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 are thinking of all the people out there, certainly the people close to our family who have been affected, and we will try to do whatever we can to help them,” Day said. “We haven’t heard from anyone in life-threatening situations so far, but I know the communication in some of those areas isn’t great right now, so we’ll kind of keep a eye on it as best we can.”

During Wednesday’s Skull Session, I mentioned that Day includes coaching. I think it’s partly down to his outlook on life – that there are more important things than sport. As he said in Tuesday’s press conference, every coach wants to win, but you have to step back into that.

Day’s comments on Hurricane Ian are another example of how Day keeps things in perspective, and it should make the Buckeye Nation all the more in awe.

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

How much for a doormat? Ohio State has beaten Rutgers 428-88 in its eight wins over the team from Piscataway, New Jersey. In those matchups, the Buckeyes scored at least seven touchdowns each time and drove in 50 or more points in six of eight games.

However, Greg Schiano is tricking his players into 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 kind of question. Still, for some reason, I’m more inclined to think that Schiano actually believes his team can win this weekend.

It’s a shame Rutgers doesn’t.

TANNER MCCALISTER, EVERYONE. As a transfer from Oklahoma State, a lot has been placed on Tanner McCalister’s shoulders this offseason as someone who could help transition Ohio State’s defensive talent to Jim Knowles’ plan.

McCalister was a phenomenal translator of Mad Scientist verbiage, but he also proved to be a formidable football player in the back of the Buckeye defense, with his best showing against Wisconsin last weekend.

The veteran safety earned Buckeye Leaves his Big Ten opener effort, recording four tackles, an interception and a pass breakup in Ohio State’s 52-21 victory 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 on his weekly radio show with 97.1 The Fan on Thursday, as the fourth-year head coach acknowledged McCalister’s interception and pass-breaking as the plays of the game since his team’s victory.

“I think the two biggest points of the game were the interception which got us off to a quick start and then the break up on the sudden change at the end of the half. It could have turned into a whole other game if they went down and scored,” Day said. “Tanner makes a great play to knock that ball down and get a (pass break). Both of his games were major points in the match.”

McCalister has already had a significant impact in his first four games as Buckeye. Along with the other players in his unit, McCalister could play an even bigger role in the future as Ohio State continues to settle into Knowles’ plan, which has been said to be ‘safety focused’. at the base.

Here are more Buckeye sheets for McCalister in the future.

LEADING THE PELOTON. After seeing the comments on Wednesday’s Skull Session, it became clear Eleven Warriors readers love to hear the takes from Joel Klatt, so I thought I’d feature him again before Ohio State enters its Week 5 game with Rutgers.

On Breaking the Huddle with Joel Klatt, the FOX college football analyst broke down his top 10 teams over 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 setback to the Buckeyes is that they haven’t faced a big challenge yet this season. Still, he thinks Ohio State’s 21-10 win over then-No. 5 Notre Dame was key because of how the Buckeyes won a hard-fought game against a team that some believe could be a college football playoff contender early in the season.

That performance, combined with the dominant three-game streak thereafter, gives Klatt enough confidence to put them second behind Georgia but ahead of Alabama. But remember Klatt said the three teams are interchangeable.

Honestly, I’m surprised more AP voters didn’t align themselves with Klatt’s thinking in putting Ohio State in second place. The Buckeyes have looked much improved defensively and — as Klatt mentioned in the video — they have the best offense in the nation in four games (moving to Tennessee).

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

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

CUT TO HUNTING. Gather the news? Wild boar piglet adopted by cows… ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies at 59… Alzheimer’s drug shows promise in early study results… Someone has he seen those wandering bulls? Four rodeo escapees on the loose near Fonda, Iowa… Hurricane Ian could bring spells of rain to Ohio State and the Rutgers game in Columbus.

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