Ohio State coach Ryan Day steamed about halftime 'mismanagement'

Bill Rabinowitz
Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State coach Ryan Day argues with officials after his team was pulled from the locker room because replay indicated OSU's Justin Fields hadn't run out the clock before halftime.

With a 21-3 lead in late in the second quarter of Saturday night’s game at Penn State, all Ohio State wanted to do was run out the clock before halftime. 

Somehow, it cost the Buckeyes three points. 

With the ball at the Ohio State 36-yard line and two seconds left in the second quarter, Justin Fields took the fourth-down snap from center Josh Myers and hesitated before dropping to a knee. He pitched the ball toward a game official and the Buckeyes jogged to their locker room.

But they were called back because replay officials ruled that Fields hadn’t fully run out the clock. Penn State took possession and Jordan Stout kicked a 50-yard field goal to cut Ohio State’s lead to 21-6. 

“Yeah, probably the most bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. He said he didn't want to go into detail what happened but called the situation “completely mismanaged.” 

Day said Fields waited four seconds before taking a knee. 

“We take the snap, and Justin waits, waits, waits, waits, waits,” he said. “And then takes a knee. I don’t know how that took one second.” 

A review of the play shows that Day’s depiction is an exaggeration, but Fields certainly didn’t immediately take a knee. It was a case of overzealous officiating at best, and likely a slow trigger finger by the Penn State clock operator.

“They said it came down from replay, and that’s all I know,” Day said. “So I don’t know what to say. It was obviously extremely frustrating but another thing that we just overcame.” 

Day said if more than two seconds remained on the clock, he probably would have punted or had Fields run around longer before taking a knee. 

“There was only two seconds, so I don’t know how that’s even physically possible. But we’ll move on and deal with it tomorrow.”