Not satisfied: Ryan Day discusses reaching national championship, motivation to finish the job
Because Ohio State took a different path to the national championship than Alabama, particularly to start the season, there were several questions to coach Ryan Day about the satisfaction of simply reaching the ultimate game in the sport.
With the national championship set for Monday night, Day is not yet ready to reflect on the kind of season the Buckeyes had, even though there have been plenty of successes and triumphs. There is a time and a place to look back, but it’s not now, and not until early Tuesday morning at the earliest.
The 7-0 Buckeyes reached the College Football Playoff title game for the first time since the inaugural playoff to face No. 1 Alabama at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida. Ohio State beat the Crimson Tide in the semifinals on the way to the 2014 national championship where they knocked off Oregon.
“Well, I mean, if you start to talk about those, think about those, focus on those, it’s just a distraction towards playing in this game,” Day said at a recent press conference. “I think regardless of what happens on Monday, Monday night, you take the next couple weeks and reflect on the season. Now is not the time for that. Now it’s all about playing in this game, playing well, because that’s what matters. I totally understand what you guys are saying, but any minute focusing on something like that is just a distraction towards playing in this game, and we can’t let that happen. We’ve got too good of an opponent; have to play too good to be thinking about anything like that. Once the game is over, you sit back, you reflect, and go from there.”
Day added that to win a game like this comes down to preparation.
“Well, I think our guys understand what’s at stake. At the end of the day, it comes down to executing your job and doing your job and being accountable to the guy next to you. That’s what it is,” he said. “You can make it bigger than it is, but at the end of the day you’ve got to do your job, and it’s about the execution and preparation. The more you prepare, the more confident you can be on game day. So that’s really what it comes down to. And certainly there’s going to be excitement and all those things with a big game, but once the foot hits the ball, it’s another game and it comes down to doing your job. That’s really all you do is you just continue to spend as much time as you can preparing for the game so you can play faster on Monday night.”