After losing to No. 3 Michigan for the third consecutive year, Ryan Day's choices may come back to haunt him. This was reported by

After losing to No. 3 Michigan for the third consecutive year, Ryan Day’s choices may come back to haunt him. This was reported by

Author: Larry Lage
Occupation: Sports Writer
Organization: Associated Press

— ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Ryan Day’s decisions in The Game may haunt him.


On Saturday, No. 3 Michigan defeated No. 2 Ohio State 30-24, utilizing bold decisions from interim coach Sherrone Moore and capitalizing on Day’s cautious strategy.

During the Buckeyes’ second offensive possession, rather than attempting to gain one yard on fourth down from their own 46-yard line, Day chose to punt while the game was tied with no points scored.

He spoke quietly, stating that we did not want to provide them with any momentum.

With the score at 14-10 and time running out in the first half, Day made a crucial decision to attempt a 52-yard kick rather than going for a fourth-and-2 conversion at the Michigan 34. This ultimately resulted in a missed opportunity for a potential go-ahead touchdown.

When asked to explain, he stated that he believed it was the correct course of action.

Day is well aware that as the leader of a top college football team, all of his decisions will be scrutinized.

This was particularly evident when the coach, in his fifth year, was potentially outperformed by an offensive coordinator who only had four games of experience as an interim head coach, filling in for Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had been suspended by the Big Ten and his school for half of the regular season.

Although Day was careful in certain crucial situations, Moore was not.

Moore caught the Buckeyes off guard, subbing in backup quarterback Alex Orji during the third quarter and utilizing his running abilities, resulting in a 20-yard gain.

Moore explained that the strategy was a surprise tactic they had prepared in advance. They frequently incorporate new elements to throw off their opponents and this particular move paid off since it caught them off guard.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Moore successfully deceived Ohio State by implementing a trick play. This involved having running back Donovan Edwards pass the ball to Colston Loveland, resulting in a 34-yard gain.

He stated that there are approximately 500 plays in there, and that was one of them. It happened to come out at the perfect timing.

Both teams successfully kicked field goals, ultimately determining the outcome of the game by a difference of six points.

Moore acknowledged the players for their diligent practice, which gave him the assurance to make strategic decisions.

He stated that it would be unfair to them if he attempted to be cautious.

Next Saturday night, the Wolverines (12-0, 9-0 in the Big Ten, ranked No. 3 in the CFP) will compete against No. 20 Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. This game presents an opportunity for them to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive year.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, with a record of 11-1 overall and 8-1 in conference play, are currently ranked second in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. They will have one week to wait and see if they will be selected for the national semifinals, as they were last year despite losing to Michigan.

“The worst part is we have to sit back now and see how everything shakes out,” said Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord, whose two interceptions were the only turnovers on a crisp and clear afternoon. “It’s out of our control. I know last year we got a second chance at life in the playoffs.

“The most unfortunate aspect is that it is beyond our influence.”

Over the past couple of years, it appeared that Michigan had the upper hand in terms of toughness when facing Ohio State. Head coach Day and the Buckeyes have strongly defended their toughness against doubters, but ultimately failed to prove it in their most important game.

“I disagree. Absolutely not. I observe males who try to wear expensive $1,000 Louis Vuitton clothing and act tough,” expressed Roman Wilson, a receiver from Michigan. “However, when I watch the footage, I can tell you’re not genuinely tough.”

Maurice Clarett, a former running back for Ohio State, utilized social media to request that those in charge of Ohio State athletics seek out a new coach.

“Ryan Day, I appreciate you, but I have to leave,” Clarett wrote. “This is what you’re paid millions for. You can’t earn 9 million and lose three games in a row.”

The most recent instance in which the Buckeyes experienced three consecutive losses in the series was between 1995 and 1997, during John Cooper’s tenure as head coach where they only managed two wins and one tie against Michigan. Urban Meyer, who previously coached the team, had a perfect record of 7-0 against their rival Wolverines. The previous coach, Jim Tressel, also had a successful run with a 7-0 record, contributing to Ohio State’s dominance with 15 wins out of 16 games in the series. This streak continued into Ryan Day’s first season as head coach.

In his time at Ohio State, Day has a record of 56 wins and 7 losses over the span of five-plus seasons. However, his record of 1 win and 3 losses against Michigan holds the most significance for the program and its devoted supporters.

He expressed our collective disappointment, acknowledging the significance of this game to many individuals and the crushing feeling of falling short.


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