Everything Ryan Day said after Ohio State survives spirited Penn State upset bid

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day. (Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch)
Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day. (Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch) /

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day praised his team’s resilience in overcoming Penn State while standing in awe of on J.T. Tuimoloau’s performance.

The Ohio State Buckeyes faced a big test against Penn State and ultimately passed it thanks to a flurry of fourth-quarter scoring.

It wasn’t exactly pretty for Ohio State. They struggled to take advantage of Nittany Lions’ turnovers early, settling for field goal attempts in a replay of last week’s slog of a win over Iowa.

This time those issues threatened to sink them as Penn State scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and went into halftime leading by one. It wasn’t until the Nittany Lions went ahead by five early in the fourth quarter that the Buckeyes got kicked into gear.

Ohio State scored 28 points in the final nine minutes of play to get out of Happy Valley with a hard-fought win.

Ryan Day press conference on Ohio State win and JT Tuimoloau’s huge day

Head coach Ryan Day credited his team with standing up to the atmosphere and performing when it mattered most in the fourth quarter.

The dictionary may need to make a change after Saturday because the definition for “Monster” should now read “See: JT Tuimolau vs. Penn State.”

Tuimoloau wrecked the opposition with six tackles, including three tackles for loss with two sacks, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and two interceptions. One of those picks he returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that before,” Ryan said, per Griffin Strom of Eleven Warriors. “This was kind of his coming-out party today.”

It wasn’t a total party for the Buckeyes. Injuries still loom large.

Day didn’t have much to tell fans about the status of running back Miyan Williams or wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njibga.

Having those two guys available might help CJ Stroud get things going more consistently but he ultimately came through.

“He was gutsy in this game and I’m proud of him,” Day said, per Strom.

With Penn State out of the way, Ohio State has three “just take care of business” matchups at Northwestern, against Indiana and at Maryland before the regular-season finale against Michigan.

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