COLUMBUS – Ryan Day likes the growth he’s seen from Ohio State’s offensive line over the course of the first 10 games of the season and singled out one player on the line as someone who has made big strides.
“The offensive line is making progress every week. There were probably a lot of things along the journey that has taken us to where we are right now,” Day said at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Left tackle Josh Simmons, who came to OSU from San Diego State through the transfer portal, struggled at times early this season but appears to have put most of that behind him, according to Day.
“He certainly is progressing. You can see the talent, just some unbelievable (film) clips, power, hands, it’s all there,” Day said.
“Every week it’s coming together a little bit more for him. It’s the same thing as a quarterback, it slows down, all the things that go on. He can be as good as he wants to be,” he said.”
Some other thoughts from Day:
“There’s a chance he could come back this year. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to be any time in the next couple weeks,” Day said.
Linebacker Tommy Eichenberg is expected to practice but the decision on his availability against Minnesota on Saturday will be determined later in the week.
“We’ll have a better idea as we get toward the end of the week,” Day said.
Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka has been back in action the last two game after being injured against Purdue but still has not been 100 percent healthy.
“He’s getting stronger and stronger each week. We decided to hold him in the second half (against Michigan State) to continue that progress. He’s getting closer every week to being 100. The feedback I got is he feels better this week than last week and that’s the goal.
“He looked a little more explosive on film this week so we’ll keep bringing him along. He’s getting stronger every week. Hopefully we take another step this week and he’s as close to 100 percent as he can get.” Day said.
No. 2 quarterback Devin Brown, who was injured in pre-game warm-ups before the Michigan State game last Saturday night, should be available this week.
“He’s all right, just a bit of a setback there in the warm-ups. We’re hoping he can get back on the field and survive warm-ups,” Day said.
First for Keinholz, Thurman
Freshman quarterback Lincoln Kienholz was 2 of 3 for 18 yards against Michigan State for the first completions of his career. Freshman tight end Jelani Thurman got the first two catches of his career.
Day assessed Kienholz’s debut this way: “In the couple snaps he was out there it didn’t look too big for him. I just thought he belonged. He’s still trying to figure it all out. He got an earfull on the field after one of the plays, which was good. He had an answer, I liked it. He came right back with why he did what he did. We’ll see. It was just a start. It was good to see him out there and getting some plays under his belt.”
On Thurman, he said, “He’s going to get to the point where he gets on the field real soon. The talent is there. If he continues on the same path he is on he is going to have a special career here at Ohio State.”
Styles can do a lot
Looking at safety Sonny Styles’ season, Day said, “We don’t want to overload him but at the same time he can do a lot.”
Best offensive game
Ohio State scored on five of its first six possessions and led 35-3 at halftime of its 38-3 win over Michigan State.
“I think you saw what we’re capable of. It was good to see us play a full half and finish with a two-minute drive,” Day said.
Jim Naveau writes for the Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest.