Former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz responded to Ohio State’s Ryan Day on Tuesday, saying he understands why the Buckeyes coach went after him after the team’s 17-14 win over the Irish on Saturday.
appearing on Dan Dakich’s “Don’t@Me” podcast.“(Day) doesn’t want to talk about Michigan, 0-2,” Holtz said. He doesn’t want to talk about the upcoming big game against Penn State and against Michigan again.
“He’s a great coach. He’s done a tremendous job. He’s got a great offensive mentality… A good football team at Ohio State. I don’t think they’re a great football team. He can come after me all he wants.”
Before Saturday’s game, Holtz questioned Ohio State’s toughness during the game Appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” The claim that being pressured by more physical teams was a theme in the Buckeyes’ losses under Day.
“Notre Dame is a better football team than Ohio State,” Holtz said Friday. “Look at coach (Ryan) Day…he’s lost to Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Michigan twice, and everyone who beats them does it because they’re more physical than Ohio State.”
On the field after Ohio State’s last-second win, Day became emotional, praising his team’s “toughness” and calling out Holtz.
“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. I can’t believe what he said about our team,” Day said. “This is a tough team out here. “We are proud to be from Ohio… It has always been Ohio against the world and it will always be Ohio against the world.”
“I honestly felt like Notre Dame was a better, more physical football team and I’m sorry that Coach Day was offended by that,” Holtz added on Tuesday. “I hope he continues and has a great year… I don’t think they’re going to be a great football team, I really don’t think so. I felt like Notre Dame won the football game.”
Mick: Ryan Day is eager to defend Ohio State’s toughness. Can he prove it against Michigan?
The athleteReal-time analysis:
Are Holtz’s criticisms fair?
While Holtz’s comments are fair criticisms of Day’s program and Ohio State, they are not entirely accurate. Today he is 1-2 against Michigan, beating the Wolverines in his first year as head coach 56-27. Most of the talk about Day having a “soft” program comes from two losses in the last two years, which is why he’s 0-2.
In the last two meetings, Ohio State was outscored 49-17 in the second half and gave up 430 yards in the second half of both games. Day’s comments appear to have been well received by fans and the program, but the “soft” term that pundits have used to describe the program since losing those games to Michigan won’t go away if Day loses to Michigan for the third time in a row. — Teague Robinson
(Photo: Matt Cashore/USA Today)
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