Ohio St. head coach disappointed in calls, in the loss and for his players
|Sunday, December 29, 2019, 1:52 AM- -|
GLENDALE, AZ – Ohio St. head coach Ryan Day trudged into the postgame interview room and let everyone know he was disappointed. Disappointed in the loss. Disappointed in the officials. Disappointed for his players.
Ohio St. blew an early 16-0 lead as Clemson came back for a 29-23 victory in Saturday night’s Fiesta Bowl thriller.
“Yeah, tough to go into a locker room with such a great team who played their hearts out and not be able to celebrate a victory,” Day said. “But our guys played hard. Certainly feeling a range of emotions right now: Proud, sad, and certainly angry. But, again, I thought our guys left it all on the field. We played hard and played bold. But certainly, there were a lot of plays in that game that didn't go our way. Very hard to swallow right now. And going to have to really take a look at the film and figure out what really happened on some of those plays, because in a game like this where the margin for error is so tiny, one play can alter the game. It didn't seem like we got any of those plays. Anyways, we'll take questions from here.”
An early targeting call forced the ejection of Ohio St. defender Shaun Wade, and a Clemson fumble that was returned for a touchdown was later overturned and Day said it was probably best if he didn’t go into detail on his feelings.
“It is too close right now, and I'm probably too emotional to really talk about those. I'll have to look at the film and see what that was,” Day said. “But I know there were some plays that were called on the field and then overturned, and when they overturn it, there has to be undisputable evidence. If that's what they deemed it was, it's going to be something we'll have to take a look at. The thing about those plays were certainly that the catch that was returned for a touchdown was such a huge play in the game. The play with Shaun Wade, that was a fourth-down play.
“It was such a huge play in the game. That J.K. Dobbins catch, those were major plays and they didn't go our way. So not crying about it. But at the same time, those were big plays that didn't go our way. And certainly again, a range of emotions about that.”
Day said the Buckeyes were able to overcome what he thought were questionable calls.
“Yeah. Again, I think that it's a range of emotions because even though those things were happening, we were overcoming it. We just kept fighting and kept playing,” Day said. “It was like, Don't worry about those; just keep playing. I think when we look back on it, it is going to be overwhelming. Those game-altering plays that happen in a game, you need those things to go beat a team like Clemson where you're playing in a Semifinal game. You need those one or two plays. Then to miss a couple of them, that hurts you. Again, a range of emotions. We'll rest on it. Watch the film, and kind of go from there.”
As often happens when two great teams clash, the one that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins and Day said he was disappointed that it wasn’t his team.
“I just know when two great teams get together, it comes down to a few plays, and it did again tonight. But this was a very strange game,” Day said. “I thought our guys played really well. I thought we played well. Clemson, give them credit. They have a really good team, and the defending national champs. They do a great job. [Trevor] Lawrence came down and had a great drive at the end of the game, and they did a good job on defense. But again, I'm very, very disappointed we weren't able to win this game.”