Despite all the success Ohio State has had on the football field, they’ve surprisingly gone more than a decade without returning a kickoff for a touchdown. And if it were up to head coach Ryan Day, that streak would continue…into eternity.
Day is no fan of kickoffs, and for the safety of the players, he would like to see the play eliminated.
During his weekly appearance on the appropriately titled The Ryan Day Show, the Buckeye coach admitted he’d like to see kickoffs removed from the college game:
FILE – In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day waits with his players before taking the field for an NCAA college football game against Nebraska, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
“I would vote for doing away with kickoff and kick return. For the safety of the players, I think that we should put the ball on the 25-yard line and start every drive right from there.”
In this, Day has an ally in Ohio State receiver Chris Olave, who recognizes the danger associated with kick returns.
“You go back on kickoff return, you’ve got to think about your life,” Olave said, per Cleveland.com. “There’s a lot of guys on kickoff running full speed.”
Chris Olave #17 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is congratulated by his teammates after his touchdown reception against the Clemson Tigers in the second half during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Though OSU’s head honcho would like to do away with kickoffs, he’s not ready to nix kicks altogether.
“If you want to do an onside (kick), that’s up to you. But once you get up there, you have to do an onside kick. That’s just my take on it moving forward. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know, but that’s my thought.”
Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave (2) celebrates his touchdown catch against Minnesota with tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ohio State won 45-31. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Eliminating kickoffs likely wouldn’t have much effect on the Buckeyes. The last time a member of the Scarlet and Gray took one to the house was 2010, when Jordan Hall raced 85 yards to paydirt as part of a beatdown on rival Michigan.