Ohio State coach Ryan Day does not want to give Northwestern any extra motivation before next week’s Big Ten Championship Game.
Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day has a ton of respect for Northwestern this year ahead of their matchup in the Big Ten Championship Game next Saturday.
Day’s Ohio State Buckeyes may be favored over Pat Fitzgerald’s Northwestern Wildcats in the 2020 Big Ten Championship game, but he knows giving the opposition any bulletin-board material would be a bad idea. These are not just a bunch of Rece Davises out there. The Wildcats can play and may have a puncher’s chance to stun the heavily-favored Buckeyes in Indianapolis.
“They’re very well-coached,” said Day on FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff on Saturday. “Fitz has always done a great job with that. They know their defense. They know how you’re trying to attack them. They don’t give up a lot of big plays. It’s very hard to run the ball on them. They keep everything in front of them. They force you to work down the field.”
“I think on offense, Peyton Ramsey’s given them a shot in the arm. They control the football, they’re smart, they don’t turn it over. When you do that, you have to be on your game. They’re not going to give you anything, you have to earn it. It’s going to be a challenge that way.”
Ohio State can make the College Football Playoff if its beats Northwestern
The Buckeyes were given the go-ahead to play in the 2020 Big Ten Championship game by the conference’s athletic directors, despite not having played a six-game season. Ohio State is the biggest brand in the Big Ten, as well as the conference’s only hope of getting a team into the College Football Playoff. They entered Week 15 as the No. 4 team in the field.
Having the head-to-head tiebreaker over a top-15 Indiana Hoosiers team gives Day’s squad at least one high-quality win. Should the Buckeyes beat the Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium a week from now, that may be enough to get them into the playoff yet again. However, there are no guarantees a 6-0 Big Ten Champion Buckeyes get makes the top four. They will need some help.
If the Florida Gators upset the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game and if the Clemson Tigers defeat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the ACC Championship game, those will be the four teams who will be getting in this year. Ohio State and the Texas A&M Aggies will be on the outside looking in and will have to settle for one of the other four New Year’s Six bowl games.
Day knows a well-coached team like Northwestern is capable of pulling off the improbable upset.