LOS ANGELES – Michigan State should not hang out with a Ohio State team on November 21, 2015, but the Spartans have more than just left hanging. Mark Dantonio's team was annoyed with the Buckeyes and handed the defending champions the first outage of the season to end hopes of a repeat.
After this game, Urban Meyer said in a speech that Isaiah Prince is the boss's best boss during his four years in the state of Ohio. Since everyone was downstairs, someone had to gather the team, and Meyer did just that.
"We were just angry," Prince said Saturday. "It was such a talented team. Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott, J.T. Barrett, Braxton Miller. We had some really good players and we disappointed them. We came too short. We lost this game. We should not have lost. This anger was brought north to Ann Arbor the following week. Watching the boys play was crazy. "
The week following the Michigan defeat, Ohio went to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and posted a 42-1
Ryan Day has never lost a game as a head coach.
Sure, he was an assistant trainer on Meyer's staff when Buckeyes dropped out of the games to Iowa and Purdue.
Earlier this season, he won three games as assistant head coach, but both scenarios are different from the one they are in. He'll have to face up when the state of Ohio loses its first game.
Catching up losses was a constant, unchanging topic during Meyer's tenure.
Every time the Buckeyes have lost since Meyer became coach before the 2012 season, they turned to him to take the lead, and he delivered what they needed. After each of their six regular-season losses under Meyer, they recovered five times in a row or finished the regular season without defeat.
Nobody knows exactly how a defeated team will react under Day. He is loved by his players, but he just does not have the experience to fully answer that question.
Meyer's victory drive is only outweighed by his urge not to lose. The outgoing head coach can not bear to finish a game with fewer points than his opponent. He said he might not have retired if the state of Ohio had not defeated Michigan in November. The headaches caused by stress have only increased in recent years. It is almost unhealthy how much he refuses to lose, but his players are noticeable in his drive.
Day, who officially becomes Ohio head coach on Wednesday, must reach that point, although some of his players believe he's already there.
"We see it in practice during offensive periods, during the Boy Scout," K.J. Hill said. "If the offense does not go the way it should, it will be fine. He has this fire in him. He has this dog in him during the games as he talks to us, as he calls it. I definitely know he has it. "
J.K. Dobbins has learned that it's best not to make a mistake around Day.
"Feel something in practice or go the wrong way in practice, he's in the air," he said. "He is amazing."
Meyer, 54, began his coaching career in 1985, when Day, 39, was just 6 years old. He has been head coach for 17 seasons, longer than Day's 16-season coaching career and still has to be a head coach. The age gap of 15 years metastasizes in one of the players different performance.
"I feel like coach Meyer, he's kind of old-fashioned," Hill said. "Coach Day, he's a new school with it. The Coach Day may speak our language or something. "
Dobbins added, "I do not mean to sound weird, but I think he looks younger. He looks great. He does not look so stressed out. "
Dwayne Haskins, who spent the last three seasons with Meyer's team and the last two seasons with Day as quarterback coach, differentiated his ties with Ohio's two coaches. He said he has a "football relationship" with Day and an "emotional" and "leadership" relationship with Meyer.
As head coach, it will be difficult for Day to have these complicated football-specific relationships. Given his vast experience as quarterback coach, he will certainly continue to work in the position group, but he will also be responsible for the entire program.
These relationships with players may be more in the direction of the leadership and emotional ties that Haskins referred to as Meyer. Nevertheless, Day does not want to be a replica of his current boss.
"I think the guys appreciate me, and I'm who I am, and I will not try to be or be Urban Meyer," said Day. "I will not try to be another coach. I will just be myself. And I think they experienced that in the first three games of the season. "
These three games – victories over Oregon State, Rutgers, and TCU – were one of the main reasons Gene Smith felt comfortable adjusting Day, but they also did not show how he recovered from a loss.
His youthful energy quickly earned him the respect of Ohio State players. Does it have the same effect as Meyers if something goes wrong?
His players believe it, but listen in next fall to find out.