Although he went 3-0 in a small trial when Urban Meyer was suspended last season, the jury is out on Ryan Day.
Will the first-year Ohio State head coach who has made a quick ascent to the top of one of college football’s blue blood programs become a Lincoln Riley or a Mark Helfrich?
Riley had big shoes to fill after being promoted from offensive coordinator to replace Bob Stoops, but has kept the Sooners among the nation’s elite behind a dynamic offense. Riley’s offense has produced the last two Heisman Trophy winners.
Helfrich initially got off to a good start when he moved from offensive coordinator to head coach at Oregon when Chip Kelly left for the NFL. Helfrich took Oregon to the BCS championship game in his second season, but he was unable to sustain the consistency Kelly created and was fired after a 4-8 season in 2016.
In Columbus, Day takes over for one of the college game’s all-time greats in Urban Meyer. Following a similar path as Riley and Helfrich, Day created a name for himself as an innovative offensive mind.
Day coordinated an offense last year that saw quarterback Dwayne Haskins destroy record books.
Day must prove, though, that he is more than just a good offensive coach. Will his leadership style, which resembles more of a “player’s coach” mentality than Meyer, translate into success? Can he push the right buttons on his defensive staff to rebuild a unit that was mostly bad last season?
BUCKEYE INSIDER, exclusively in Friday's Examiner.
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