Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

With The Game three days away, Ryan Day went on the air to preview the rivalry matchup against Michigan.

The Ohio State coach was followed by offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who also commented on the Buckeyes’ approach in their battle with the Wolverines.

Here are some highlights from The Ryan Day radio show on 97.1 The Fan:

Ryan Day

On team preparation for The Game this week

  • “(There is) nothing left to chance.”

  • “You want to do everything possible to put your players in a position to be successful this week.”

  • Day said Ohio State is undefeated but has fallen short of any of its goals: beating Michigan, winning a Big Ten Championship and winning a national title.

About Ohio State’s victory over Maryland

  • “You never know when you enter a game what to expect.”

  • Day said Ohio State’s halftime adjustments were a significant factor in Maryland winning the game. “I think we did a good job going out in the second half and had a good third quarter.”

  • Day said he was proud of how his players showed competitive stamina to outrun the Terrapins in a four-quarter game at College Park.

On Dallan Hayden’s performance against Maryland

  • “The number one job is taking care of that balloon.”

  • Day said Hayden’s efforts against Maryland sparked the Ohio State offense that helped the Buckeyes win the game. “It was good, seeing him hit those holes and run through the contact.”

  • Day said he hopes the Ohio State running back’s room can return to full capacity this week so all four ball carriers — TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams, Hayden and Chip Trayanum — are available for Saturday’s game of Michigan. “They had a good day of practice yesterday. I’m really looking forward to getting a couple of guys back in that room.”

About the scout team’s responsibility to prepare everyone for Michigan

  • “It’s a huge responsibility. The better it looks, the better the offense, defense and special teams will be.”

  • “I think our guys have done a good job in the scout team this year.”

  • Day highlighted Kenyatta Jackson, Hero Kanu and Jackson Kuwatch for their efforts on the scout squad this season and how they played in Tuesday practice this week. “They have a bright future ahead of them because of the hard work they are putting in.”

  • Day said the scout team who wore Michigan’s winged helmets during practice made him “buckle up for this week” when he began coaching in the program in 2017.

On the Michigan defense

  • “Very well. The statistics speak for themselves.”

  • Day said Michigan’s defensive coaching staff “did a great job” this season creating one of the best defenses in the country. He said there are many of the same elements he’s seen from the Wolverines in recent seasons, but there have been some changes made under the new regime.

On what sets CJ Stroud apart

  • “It’s the daily preparation.”

  • Day said Stroud’s experience in last year’s Michigan game (and other big games, for that matter) will help him in this season’s matchup with the Wolverines. “When you’re in these big games, a big part is understanding how important each game is, and nobody understands that better than him.”

  • Day said Stroud had a great workout on Tuesday and he looks forward to seeing Stroud put together more quality workouts over the next few days.

On Cade Stover

  • Day said Stover “embodies toughness” for the Ohio State program and that other players on the team take note of how Stover approaches every practice and game. Also, they note how seriously he takes things like nutrition and weight training, even during a busy season like the starting tight end at Ohio State.

  • “There ain’t a tougher guy in the country than Cade Stover.”

About Tommy Eichenberg

  • “There’s the production. There’s the talent. But there’s also the dirty work.”

  • With Eichenberg’s willingness to do the dirty work, Day said he should have been featured as one of five finalists for the Butkus Award. “It’s a shame because that’s what I think the Butkus Award is.”

  • Day said Eichenberg continues to demonstrate why he is Ohio State’s leading defense with the way he comes to practice every day ready to play, make plays and improve as a player.

On Lathan Ransom, his punts blocked

  • “It’s hard work. You don’t come to Ohio State to play against special teams…but I think our guys understand that playing against special teams is important and part of the plan to win.”

  • Day said the best Buckeyes players earn their ranks playing on special teams. He said Ransom’s efforts have shown that some of the biggest plays in a game can come on special teams, which Day said the younger kids on the team have noticed in recent weeks.

About playing with emotion against Michigan

  • “It’s about playing with emotion and not letting emotion play with you.”

  • Day said discipline, toughness and skill will be the most important things for Ohio State to defeat Michigan on Saturday. If the Buckeyes can win in those three areas, Day said that will give them a very good shot at winning.

The day of the elderly on Saturday

  • “(The seniors) love Ohio State … They’ve done a lot of things for Ohio State.”

  • Day said he loved reflecting on the different trips that have taken place for all the players who will be rewarded during Senior Day on Saturday. “It’s a chance to acknowledge all that they have done.”

  • Day specifically named Kamryn Babb and Zach Harrison as players he thought of this week in regards to their travels as the Buckeyes. He added that Harrison “is one of the most powerful and productive defensive ends in the country right now.”

On Ohio State players helping those in need on Monday

  • “It’s a great opportunity for them to help people.”

  • Day said this week “is a special week for a lot of people” and said his players have a lot of passion for giving back to those in need in the Columbus community.

On Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry

  • “When you put the Block O on your shirt, it’s your identity, it’s who you are.”

  • Day said he knows what this rivalry means to Ohio State fans and knows that everything about the Buckeyes’ season is determined by how they play against the Wolverines at the end of the year.

Jim Knowles

On Ohio State’s resilience in overcoming adversity this season

  • “This is the competitive excellence Coach Day is always about.”

  • Knowles said Ohio State “hasn’t been perfect” in terms of competitive excellence and competitive strength and in many other areas this season. However, he believes the players have continued to grow and improve as a program with competitiveness and tenacity.

On Michigan’s offense, his goal is to wear down the Buckeyes

  • Knowles said Michigan’s running game is the kind that grinds on a defense during the game. “They’re a team that wants to wear you down and take you into the fourth quarter. I think we have the answers for that.”

  • Knowles said Ohio State’s depth, particularly on the defensive line, has primed the unit to be ready for whatever the Wolverines throw at it this weekend. He hopes to see that depth and experience pay off when the defense takes the field on Saturday.

About Tommy Eichenberg

  • “Tommy is athletic, but really what he’s been is tough. He’s a brave.”

  • Knowles said he was impressed with how much Eichenberg has learned and applied to his play as Ohio State’s top linebacker this season. He said that Eichenberg always tries to learn more in order to improve.

  • “I was really happy with his performance.

On the Ohio State defense, using depth on Saturday

  • “We need all of them. We need every one of them. This is going to be a game where they have to fight and compete.”

  • Knowles said the message to the Ohio State defense this week is that “everyone’s a tackler.” It doesn’t matter if it’s the defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks or safeties. Knowles said every player will be counted to make tackles on Saturday.

  • Knowles said the Buckeyes need to be disciplined and fundamentally sound on Saturday, especially when Michigan running back Blake Corum is on the field. Otherwise, the Wolverines’ offense will make them pay for their mistakes.

  • Knowles added that Corum is “a great running back” for Michigan. “He’s got the vision, he’s got the burst, the quickness in short space.” Knowles reiterated that the state of Ohio will need to be disciplined this weekend.

Kevin Wilson

On Dallan Hayden’s performance against Maryland

  • “It was necessary.”

  • Wilson said Maryland prepared Ohio State for Michigan and said the Terrapins were sturdy and tough defensively. “It was a difficult challenge for us.”

  • “Dallan has done a great job. He’s lost some guys… He has a special future.”

On Cade Stover

  • “Great leader. Great teammate. Does a lot of dirty work.”

  • Wilson said he was “extremely proud” of the player Stover has become for the Buckeyes.

  • Wilson said the Ohio State offensive coaching staff has asked Stover to do a lot this season, and they will do it again on Saturday. “We will need the best of him this week … It will be a phenomenal challenge and a great opportunity to show what kind of player he is this week.”

On the win in the trenches against Michigan

  • “Both sides of the ball this week, their edges against our edges are going to be huge.”

  • Wilson said Ohio State must win the trench battle against Michigan. If not, the Buckeyes could have a long afternoon as the Wolverines wear down OSU’s offensive and defensive line.