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Ohio State, Ryan Day Gives Message With Gritty Win Over Notre Dame


Ohio State, Ryan Day gives message with gritty win over Notre Dame. Ohio State's celebration began as Chip Trayanum lay on the goal line with the ball and culminated with Ryan Day's rant on national television against Lou Holtz, toughness, criticism, and contempt.

It’s Ohio against the world!- Ryan Day

The play that decided the most important game of the season thus far, a 17-14 victory for the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes against the ninth-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, pitted only 10 Irish defenders against the offensive attack.

Ohio State was only a yard away from the end zone when Trayanum scored the game-winning touchdown with one second remaining, taking advantage of a gap in the Notre Dame defense caused by a lost lineman.

The Irish coaching staff, including defensive coordinator Al Golden, will have to accept that result, which might have repercussions in the rest of the College FootballPlayoff race.

Day's feelings had been on the rise all week, stoked by legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz's assertion that Ohio State frequently loses major games due to a lack of physicality on the field. On Friday, Holtz said on "The Pat McAfee Show" that "Notre Dame will take that same approach" to beat Day again in a major game.

Instead, Day's sixth-ranked Buckeyes beat No. 9 Notre Dame 17-14 in an outcome he couldn't have planned. Replay showed that Ohio State marched down the field and scored on Chip Trayanum's 1-yard touchdown run with zero seconds remaining.

Day said this about Holtz on Saturday when the 1988 Notre Dame team won the national title and was celebrated:

I'm really upset ... about what Lou Holtz said publicly about our team and Ohio State and Buckeye Nation. We're not going to stand for that. That's not even close to true. We had one bad half a couple of years ago up in Ann Arbor, the second half. Every game we play in, we're physical, we are. I don't know where that narrative comes from, but that ends tonight.- Ryan Day

Holtz pointed to Ohio State's recent losing streak against in-state rival Michigan and the Buckeyes' College FootballPlayoff defeats to Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson as evidence of a soft squad.

The 86-year-old's words, along with those of others who shared similar sentiments, were broadcast on video boards all around the Ohio State footballfacility in the days leading up to the Notre Dame game.

Not until the game's last drive would Ohio State have been able to silence its detractors. With only 4:11 remaining, the Buckeyes threw away a 10-0 lead and were unable to convert on an end around at Notre Dame's 11-yard line.

Ohio State, though, was able to convert on third-and-10, fourth-and-7, and third-and-19 on its last possession. Ohio State had one last play from the Notre Dame 1 and went to Trayanum after a failed pass. There were just 10 Notre Dame defenders on the field.

I made the call. There were three seconds left, so I'm thinking that's the last play anyways. ... Not only do we need to get that yard for this program, but it was the right thing to do schematically.- Ryan Day

Day said he thinks the victory will go down in team history as one of the most significant. Trayanum came to Ohio State from Arizona State to play linebacker, but he was confident that his long pass sent the ball over the goal line.

Trayanum's touchdown was the latest from scrimmage in an AP top-10 regular season game since Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree caught the ball against Texas in 2008.

As a running back, you live for runs like that. The nitty-gritty runs, the runs where you're fighting with your body to stay up and making sure nothing touched. You envision that as a running back. This feeling, it's still surreal, but it's definitely a good Buckeye win.- Chip Trayanum

Team’s Alleged Lack Of Toughness

Day is definitely fed up with people saying his team is soft. While he admitted that his squad physically backed down in the second half of 2021's Ann Arbor defeat to Michigan, he strongly denied that his team lacked guts.

An Ohio player standing
An Ohio player standing

A lot of people took a lot of shots at this team over the last 48 hours. That hit home with me. … You think we’re not physical and not tough? You’re wrong. We’re not going to stand for that. That’s not even close to true. I don’t know where that narrative comes from. That ends tonight. I don’t know where [Holtz] gets off just saying those things. I’ve got some more things I’d like to say, but I’m not going to say it because I’m more respectful than he is.- Ryan Day

He continued:

It’s always been Ohio against the world, and it continues to be to this day. A lot of people make a lot of comments [about a lack of toughness], put the film on and watch what goes on.- Ryan Day

Final Words

The Buckeyes' first-half drive ended at the Notre Dame 1-yard line, as will be shown on tape. After reversing a violent, smash-mouth play by sending Emeka Egbuka on a jet sweep toward the sideline on fourth-and-one, they are stopped at the Notre Dame 11 in the second half.

The film will reveal that the Buckeyes had to fight for every last yard against a 10-man defense that was missing a lineman, which may not be as convincing an endorsement of his team's physicality as Day believes it to be.

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