Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel spoke with Missouri head coach Eliah Dinkwitz about Ohio State coach Ryan Day and his respect for how Day has handled the situation at OSU after taking over for Urban Meyer.
PETE THAMEL: Why is Ryan Day such a good play caller?
ELIAH DRINKWITZ: Well, he plays to his quarterback's strengths. I think that's obvious. He's very adaptable. I mean, when you watch what he did to try to offset the play stealing, or the signal stealing of Clemson, or whatever that whole dynamic was, he did it extremely well for a guy who had that many pieces out of the game and still put up that many points. He creates formation issues. We call it formation of the boundary. He did that several times to create one-on-ones to the field with the tight end and with a wide receiver, and was able to get them over the top.
I mean, obviously, you have to have good players to go along with the good play calling. But he gets his guys to understand this is the why of how we're calling this play or why we're calling this play. And his quarterback's playing at a high level. So I don't think he's getting enough credit for how hard it is to take over. People act like, oh, you're just going to move into the driver's seat, it's already set, and that's bullcrap. It's hard as crap.
Because everything you do is magnified. Every change you make, you have to understand why, and you have to be able to explain the why so that people will buy in. That team is obviously incredibly bought into Coach Day. He's had staff turnover and changes, and he's had two different defensive coordinator for two years, and has been very successful. So I don't know that he's getting enough credit for what he's had to do and how he's done it.
I mean, it would be pretty awkward, in my opinion, to have the former head coach sitting up in the stands, eating popcorn, and tweets out after every game, the best thing about going 6 and 0, 7, whatever that whole deal is. So it's like this huge shadow. But obviously, Coach Day is so secure in himself, and understands who he is that it doesn't bother him. He just does his job at an elite level.
The one area that that-- I don't know this, but I ask this question, OK? Alabama's played-- is this going to be their 13th or 14th game?
PETE THAMEL: I believe they played-- yeah, title game 11, 12, 13, yeah.
ELIAH DRINKWITZ: I wonder how much of an issue it is-- not necessarily issue, and maybe it doesn't matter, because it's the last game of the year-- but man, that's a lot of extra hits on one team versus the other, you know? Alabama played the SEC championship game. They played the week before. And so they've played a stretch of games right here in a row. I just wonder if that figures into this match-up at all.
A team that's played eight games versus a team that's played 13 games is a big difference. And so to me, I wonder if you don't get into it and say, this is going to be one of those physical games, where we really try to pound it and see if we make the other one flinch? Can we give them body shot, body shot, body shot, you know? And so I don't know how that affects the game. To me, that'll be interesting, if that plays into it at all.