In an electrifying turn of events, Ohio State’s head coach, Ryan Day, didn’t mince words as he passionately addressed the critics, including former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, following his team’s thrilling victory against the Fighting Irish. The Buckeyes pulled off a last-second win in South Bend, and Day took the opportunity to fire back at those who doubted his team’s abilities in a top 10 showdown.
“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now,” a fired-up Day exclaimed. “What he said about our team, I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here! We’re proud to be from Ohio! It’s always been Ohio against the world, and it’ll continue to be Ohio against the world! I love those kids, and we got a tough team!”
Day emphasized that Ohio State’s toughness was the linchpin in their victory at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday night, completing a remarkable comeback with a last-second touchdown.
“Everybody’s questioning these kids all the time! We had one bad half the last couple of years! That’s it! Everybody wants to question these guys! These guys are warriors right here to come back and win,” Day said, his emotions running high. “I’m emotional about this for a reason. A lot of people question these kids and say a lot of things about them. I love them. When someone attacks your family, to come in and win like this is special. It’s a great win for our program and a great win for Ohio State.”
But what had ignited Day’s fiery response? Lou Holtz, who had previously led Notre Dame to its last national championship, made critical comments on “The Pat McAfee Show.” Holtz asserted that Ohio State lacked physicality and had suffered losses in high-profile games during Day’s tenure, adding that Notre Dame was the superior team.
Day’s retort didn’t stop at the press conference. He further elaborated, “It’ll always be Ohio against the world.” This statement encapsulated the Buckeyes’ unyielding spirit and pride in their Ohio roots.
Holtz’s comments had centered on the perceived physicality of Ohio State. He had boldly stated, “Notre Dame is a better football team than Ohio State.” Holtz drew comparisons between Day’s coaching and his own time at Ohio State under Woody Hayes, highlighting losses to formidable opponents like Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, and Michigan as evidence that Ohio State struggled with physicality. Holtz believed that Notre Dame would adopt a similar approach to gain the upper hand.
Ohio State’s rollercoaster of a game against Notre Dame saw them take a 10-0 lead early in the third quarter, only for the Irish to mount a comeback and secure a 14-10 lead with 8:22 remaining. It came down to the wire, with Ohio State’s last chance to clinch the game arriving with 1:26 left on the clock. Quarterback Kyle McCord led a remarkable drive, culminating in a dramatic one-yard touchdown by Chip Trayanum with just one second remaining, securing a 17-14 victory for the Buckeyes and advancing their record to 4-0 for the season. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s record dropped to 4-1.
Despite his impressive 49-6 record as Ohio State’s head coach, Day had faced criticism for the team’s performances in high-stakes matchups, particularly the losses to arch-rival Michigan in the past two seasons. With games against top-10 teams like Penn State and Michigan still on the horizon, this gutsy road win over Notre Dame and Day’s unwavering pride in his team should go a long way in shaping public perception among Ohio State supporters.
In conclusion, Ryan Day’s impassioned response to Lou Holtz’s criticism and Ohio State’s dramatic victory against Notre Dame have solidified the Buckeyes’ reputation as a resilient and tough team, ready to take on the world.