COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State football team held a joint press conference with representatives from the Peach Bowl to officially accept an invitation to play in the College Football Semifinal game on Dec. 31 at 8:00 p.m. in Atlanta.
OSU coach Ryan Day provided an update on the Buckeyes’ preparation for the No. 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs who are playing less than an hour and a half from their campus.
“I think our practices have been spirited so far. I think the guys have really had good urgency about them,” Day said. “I think they have a good feel for what this is going to be like just the electricity and how important every play is going to be in this game.”
Day said the team is still in the fundamental phase of preparation and will make the transition into game planning soon.
The health of offensive guard Matt Jones and running back TreVeyon Henderson is still in question. Day said he would provide an update on Henderson “in a few days.” Jones is dealing with a lower-body injury in his left leg while Henderson tweeted that he’s been dealing with torn ligaments and a broken bone in his left foot.
The Buckeyes played without Henderson against Michigan and decided to use fourth-string running back Chip Trayanum who started the season as a backup linebacker.
Day said the decision to play Trayanum over freshman Dallan Hayden, who rushed for more than 100 yards in two games this season, had nothing to do with Hayden’s ability.
When it comes to facing Georgia, the Bulldogs have the No. 7 ranked total offense in the country led by quarterback and Heisman finalist Stetson Bennett, along with a top 20 rushing attack.
“It’s the quarterback that makes it all go and he’s played unbelievable, deserved an opportunity to be down in New York City on Saturday night and what an unbelievable story of someone that came through a lot of adversity along the way in his journey to get to where he’s at,” Day said. “They do multiple things, they’re creative in how they do them and they’re playing good football here down the stretch.”
Bennett’s journey includes being a walk-on at Georgia in 2017, leaving for Jones County Community College in 2018, coming back to claim the starting job in 2020, starting 2021 as a backup before reclaiming the top job, leading the Bulldogs to a national championship that same year, which was followed by a perfect 13-0 record so far this year.
Day also provided an update on offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s involvement with the team after Wilson accepted the head coaching job at Tulsa last week. Wilson will remain with the Buckeyes during the playoffs.
“He’s kind of working 24 hours a day right now, but he’s keeping certainly Ohio State and our path to the national championship first and foremost in his mind,” Day said. “He’s obviously got a lot going on planning ahead at Tulsa . . . it’s a challenge when you have to juggle both things but he’s going to make sure that he does everything he can to help us win this.”