And it was directed at a Notre Dame legend.
Day took exception to comments made by Lou Holtz, who won a national championship as Notre Dame’s head coach back in 1988.
“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. What he said about our team, I cannot believe,” Day said. “This is a tough team right here. We’re proud to be from Ohio. It’s always been Ohio against the world. And it will continue to be Ohio against the world. I love those kids and we’ve got a tough team.”
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 24, 2023
What did Holtz say that had Day so riled up? He questioned Ohio State’s physicality.
"Notre Dame is a better football team than Ohio State,” Holtz said on The Pat McAfee Show. "You look at coach [Ryan] Day, and I coached at Ohio State under Woody Hayes. We won the national championship when I was there. I’m proud of that. However, [Day] has lost to Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Michigan twice and everybody beats them because they’re more physical than Ohio State. And I think Notre Dame will take that same approach."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2023
Ohio State had a 10-0 lead over Notre Dame early in the third quarter, but the Irish stormed back and took a 14-10 lead with 8:22 to play. Ohio State’s final chance to win the game came with 1:26 to play and Kyle McCord led the offense all the way to the Notre Dame 1-yard line.
And with just one second remaining, Chip Trayanum plunged in from a yard out to give the Buckeyes a dramatic 17-14 win to improve to 4-0 on the year. Notre Dame, meanwhile, dropped to 4-1.
Day improved to 49-6 as Ohio State’s full-time head coach with the win. Despite that incredible record, he has taken some criticism for the way the Buckeyes have performed in the biggest games. He’s especially taken heat for losing to rival Michigan the past two seasons.
There are still games versus top-10 teams Penn State and Michigan on the schedule this season, but getting a gutsy road win over a program like Notre Dame — and showing so much pride after doing so — should help Day’s perception among Ohio State diehards for the time being.