The home stretch of the regular season begins now.

After the Buckeyes’ bye week, they have just six games left before the playoffs, and the rest of Ohio State’s schedule begins Saturday with a noon game against Iowa.

During his first press conference of the week at Woody Hayes Athletic Center, Ryan Day discussed Ohio State’s preparation for the Hawkeyes and talked about the Buckeyes’ goals for the rest of the year.

After Day, Ohio State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and offensive co-coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson took to the podium to give updates on the team returning to action this weekend. end. For points on everything both Buckeye coaches said on Tuesday, check out our notes below.

Ryan Day

  • Day says the Buckeyes “had a lot of rest” over the bye week, but won’t be posting specific injury updates at this point.

  • On Iowa’s defense: “They’re very good at what they do.” Day says “there’s a reason they’re so highly ranked, and year after year they’ve been one of the best defenses in the country.”

  • “There were some very good things, but it was the first half of the season. … Nothing that we did in the past matters anymore.” Day says all of the biggest challenges are still ahead of the Buckeyes.

  • Day says CJ Stroud’s “changed body” in the offseason has allowed him to do more out of pocket this year.

  • On cornerbacks: “They’ve worked hard. They understand where they need to improve. We’ll find out on Saturday.”

  • Day says the focus this week will be on Iowa, but the team will continue to work on fundamentals and techniques “because that’s what Iowa is good at.”

  • On Iowa’s struggling offense: “They’re not looking or interested in scoring a million points or racking up a ton of yards.” But Day says the Hawkeye recipe on offense has worked in the past.

  • Would JSN still be game if he returned healthy for the Buckeyes? “Yeah, I would say that.

  • Day says he “didn’t have a lot of expectations” for Steele Chambers coming at linebacker, but now “we’re counting on him to be a starter for us.” Day says “we’re going to need these guys if we’re going to achieve our goals”.

  • “The punt can be a huge weapon for you.” Day says on-court positional battle-type games are coming for the Buckeyes.

  • Day says “there’s a whole bunch” of things Buckeye’s offense can improve on after the first six games. “We have to bring it every week.”

  • Day says Ohio State can’t focus on touchdowns for guys like JSN when they return to the Ohio State roster. Day says the Buckeyes will have to “avoid” trying to target a guy on offense just to get him going.

  • On the caliber of the Iowa defense: “We’ve been there before, we’ve seen it live and in color against these guys.”

  • Day says Paris Johnson Jr. has “done a lot” both on the court and “in life.” References Johnson Foundation. Day says “in three short years he had a major impact on this team.”

  • Whom Day decides to go to for Friday night games in terms of recruiting, Day says he relies on his assistants and input from Mark Pantoni.

  • Day says there has been a lot of energy and momentum around the team since returning to WHAC after the bye week.

  • Day says he had “the TV on” to watch as many games as possible on Saturday when he had a week off.

  • Day says Jim Knowles “had an affinity for Columbus” and “has a lot of friends here.” Day says “the goal was to keep him here as long as possible.”

  • Day says Knowles “seems to be really enjoying Ohio State.”

  • Day says he’s “proud of (Luke Lachey) and the way he played” for Iowa. Day says he knows Luke and the Lachey family.

  • Day says that each week there’s a back-and-forth with the Big Ten each week about specific penalty calls, and some “hit a little closer to home” than others.

  • On Iowa’s defense: “They don’t do a ton of it, but when they change it’s very, very effective.”

  • On the upset loss to Iowa in 2017: “It’s a scar, that doesn’t go away. I felt it this week, for sure.”

Jim Knowles

  • Knowles says JT has on the outside what Mike Hall has on the inside of the Buckeye defensive line, even though the sack productivity hasn’t been there.

  • On Iowa’s offense, tight ends are used a lot: “That’s a problem. That’s the best tight end, two of them, since Notre Dame. … You’re giving too much space to these guys, they’re going to kind of bug you.”

  • On what the Iowa offense does well: “The blocking patterns, I mean, well practiced. … It’s different. We’ve seen a bit of that this year, but it’s different in how We are training.” Knowles says “I think it’s about understanding how these types of offenses work.

  • Knowles says “defense is an attitude, a mentality”. Knowles says Buckeye’s offense sometimes makes it difficult for Buckeye’s defense to maintain his mentality even when the score is not tight, but he tries never to let the score affect him.

  • Knowles says growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, he always thought “high school football in Ohio was superior.”

  • “Positive results help, because they see themselves making plays. … But those are habits. It’s just habits and training and everything Coach Mick does in the weight room and our culture and all that Coach Day preaches.”

  • On Tuimoloau: “Coach Johnson is doing a great job with these guys being one unit, one group. We’re all stronger together than any of us separately, and it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.” Knowles says football is “the greatest team game that ever existed” and that “they don’t care who gets the glory”.

  • Knowles says he’s “pretty tough” with Buckeye’s defense when it goes against Ohio State’s offense because “it’s the best offense in the country.”

  • On cornerback play on the bye week: “You even learn plays you don’t make. You can practice. I thought we had a good week, we challenged.”

  • On Tennessee: “I saw them, and my daughter went to Tennessee, so I sent a lot of money to Tennessee.” Knowles says “that’s a lot of what I faced the Big 12 against.” Knowles says he systematically built his defense for this type of offense.

  • Knowles “really liked” Jordan Hancock’s performance before his injury. Knowles says his return to the mix will be a big deal for the Ohio State high school.

Kevin Wilson

  • On the Iowa game in 2017: “They played amazingly well that day and followed us well.”

  • “When you play for the brotherhood and not for yourself, you will get your games.” Wilson says when guys get selfish, things usually “implode” for them.

  • On what stands out from the Iowa defense: “They’re playing vision defense, vision breaking. The underlying thing, they don’t blink, but they have better quality players than this what they are credited with.” Wilson says “you’re in the back half of the Big Ten, so it’s not easy. You play this time of year with elements.”

  • “We’re in on it when you find out what kind of football team you have.”

  • Wilson says Dawand Jones “isn’t anywhere near where he can be, and he’s fine.” Wilson says “I think he has a high ceiling and I want to see him end well for us.”

  • Wilson says the Buckeyes did a great job of not turning the ball over in the end zone and running the ball well there.

  • Wilson says Luke Wypler is “one of our best workers,” despite not being “very important” on the Ohio State offensive line. “He definitely started his career well.”

  • Wilson says Iowa’s defense is not a “bend but don’t break” style defense. “It all starts up front. … I just think it’s a credit to the scheme again, and they have some really good players.”

  • On whether Iowa’s defense is the toughest they’ve faced so far: “The tape shows they’re really, really good. When you’re a strong offense, when you play a really good defense , it shows what you really are.”

  • Wilson says Ohio State coaches need to “check their egos” when throwing ideas around the boardroom. “This is not a single-horse parade.”

  • On Smith-Njigba: “I miss him because he just has fun playing the ball because he has a natural energy to him. … Just the energy he brings as a practice player .” Wilson says “without forcing, when it’s meant to be, he just brings a lot of positivity and good karma to our team.”