Here are five things to know form his weekly preview press conference, this one ahead of a trip to Michigan State for the third-ranked Buckeyes:
1. Fans may see a couple of offensive stars in Scarlet and Gray in uniform again this weekend.
Day said he expects TreVeyon Henderson to return this week. The sophomore running back was a late addition to the injury list last week when something unidentified by Day crept up on pre-game warmups and resulted in him not playing against Rutgers.
“I think at the end of the day, we leave all that stuff up to the medical staff here to make those decisions and certainly we’re anxious to get Trey back,” Day said.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who has missed most of the season with a hamstring injury suffered early in the season-opening win over Notre Dame, could return, but that sounded less certain.
“The style of injury that he has and can kind of go that way — it can linger or it can get better quick,” Day said. “So we’re hoping that it’s the latter of the two.”
2. Day sounded less optimistic about the cornerback situation.
Starter Cameron Brown might return — “He’s dying to get back on the field,” Day said — while freshman Jordan Hancock likely will not with a week off coming after the game in East Lansing.
“We’re going to kind of look to see if we can get through the bye week, and then as we get to that game after the bye week we’re hoping to get (Jordan) back in the game at that point, but it’s still sort of week to week at this point,” he said.
Brown left the win over Toledo in Week 3 early and missed the last two games.
Hancock was hurt in the preseason and has been working his way back slowly but figures to be a key reserve when available.
Neither of their injuries have been identified publicly, but Brown has had a hard time staying healthy throughout his career, and Day previously said Hancock suffered something “significant” in August.
3. Leadership will be important when the Buckeyes go on the road for the first time this week.
Ohio State began the season with five straight home games but will leave the state for the first time this weekend.
That means Day will lean on veteran players who know what it’s like to guide the rest of the team.
“If you haven’t been through that before, it’s hard to simulate going in to a hostile environment like we’re about to, so the leadership and the older guys have got to lead the way,” Day siad. “We’ve got to show composure and focus and obviously play hard. That goes without saying, but there can be a lot more distractions when you’re on the road.”
4. He expects a big challenge from Michigan State despite the Spartans’ three-game losing streak.
“I know they’ve lost a couple of games here, but we’re expecting a top 10 team when we go up to East Lansing,” Day said. “Well-coached. Really good players. They had an excellent season last year and those guys are still there. So it’s gonna be hard just like it always is. And we know that we’ve got our hands full this week.”
5. Wisconsin firing coach Paul Chryst after the Badgers started the season 2-3 did not raise the urgency Day feels to perform at his job.
“I don’t think it’s anything more or less,” the fourth-year OSU mentor said. “I mean, I feel that every day when I wake up. It’s just, you know, ‘We gotta win ‘em all.’ And that’s not always easy to live that way, but it’s just the way it is. And so we’ve embraced that. And that’s how it goes, but it is a tough profession.”
Ohio State at Michigan State, 4 p.m., ABC, 1410