The Coaching Staff – Confidence Level 10
Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles spoke with the media earlier in the week, and both talked about how simplifying things for their players on both sides of the ball has led to better success.
For Knowles and the defense, it has to do with allowing his athletes to play fast and free while not scheming himself into situations where safeties are one-on-one with receivers without having any help over the top. On the flip side, Day talked about simplifying the playbook for quarterback Kyle McCord and expanding it slowly as he gains more confidence and reps.
While this seems positive in theory, at the end of the day in a game like this where the Buckeyes have a better roster, a more vanilla approach to the gameplan isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This game is all about gearing up for what is ahead on the schedule, getting experience by putting more plays on film and staying healthy. If you are in a dog fight with the Hilltoppers in the second half of the game, something went wrong.
Western Kentucky’s head coach is Tyson Helton, who like Ryan Day, enters his fifth season as a head coach. Helton has led the Hilltoppers to three winning seasons during his tenure. He was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2019 and has a Bowl record of 3-1 during his four seasons. He was a quarterback at the University of Houston in the late 90s and is a student of the Mike Leach Air Raid offense. He is the younger brother of former USC head coach Clay Helton.
I do believe WKU’s offense will present the Buckeye defense with some challenges that they haven’t seen thus far. I expect the Hilltoppers to score, but I also expect the Buckeyes to score in bunches on Saturday. I have complete confidence in Ohio State’s coaching staff to do what needs to be done to get the players ready for what they are facing Saturday afternoon in Ohio Stadium.