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Acting Ohio State coach says Buckeyes ready for season opener

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Ohio State quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, right, instructs quarterback J.T. Barrett last year. Day is OSU's acting coach for the first three games.

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COLUMBUS — After almost a month of silence, acting Ohio State coach Ryan Day spoke to the media Monday, answering questions and delivering a message of calm to fans.

“I understand there’s been a lot of pain and stress for a lot of people surrounding the last few weeks,” Day said. “Our program has been working hard, and our coaches and team have been working hard during that time to get ready for the season.”

The season can’t start soon enough for Buckeyes, who were dealt a blow two days before fall camp began. Urban Meyer was put on paid administrative leave Aug. 1 and is suspended through Sept. 2 for his role in the Zach Smith fiasco. He can rejoin the team after Saturday’s opener against Oregon State, but Meyer cannot coach in games until Sept. 22 when OSU hosts Tulane.

Day, Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said at times the past few weeks it’s felt like he was “drinking through a fire hose.” Co-offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, as well as upperclassmen, have helped Day through the process.

“We can actually get better from it,” Day said. “The team, the players, and the coaches have gotten stronger.”

Schiano, who has a combined dozen years as a head coach in college and the NFL, echoed Day’s thoughts. In the three weeks when Meyer’s status was uncertain, players stepped forward and eased the program’s turbulence.

“We have some great leadership, and all that combined is what’s going to allow us to be successful,” Schiano said. “So I’m looking forward to going out and coaching football again in a game. It’s been awhile. This has certainly been something that as much as we have worked to stay focused, when it’s people you care about, it’s hard.”

HASKINS, BURROW TO START: This spring, Ohio State had a quarterback competition between junior Joe Burrow and sophomore Dwayne Haskins.

It turns out both will be Division I starters in 2018.

Day confirmed Haskins will start for OSU, while LSU announced Monday that Burrow — who left the program this summer and has immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer — will get the nod for the Tigers.

Burrow played in 10 games for the Buckeyes over three seasons, throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns.

Contact Kyle Rowland at: krowland@theblade.com, 419-724-6110, or on Twitter @KyleRowland.

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