Former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz understands why Ryan Day called him up after Ohio State’s win and stands by his belief that Notre Dame was the better team entering the Week 4 game.
The teams beat Ohio State, Holtz said before the game Because they are more physical than the Buckeyes And that “Notre Dame will follow the same approach.” The Buckeyes scored the go-ahead TD with two seconds left to win 17-14 in South Bend and Day used his postgame interview on NBC to respond to Holtz.
“I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now,” Day said after the game. “What he said about our team, I can’t believe it. This is a tough team out here. We’re proud to be from Ohio State. It’s always been Ohio versus the world. It’s always going to be Ohio versus the world. I love these kids and we have a tough team.”
On Tuesday, Holtz appeared on Dan Dakich’s YouTube show And be sure to mention again how Ohio State is 0-2 against Michigan since Day succeeded Urban Meyer.
“Well, that’s his choice and I can understand why he did it.” Holtz said. “He doesn’t want to talk about Michigan being 0-2, and he doesn’t want to talk about the big game coming up against Penn State and against Michigan again. He’s a great coach, he’s done a tremendous job, he’s got a great offensive mind, he inherited an outstanding defensive coordinator from Oklahoma State.” …Ohio State is a good football team, but I don’t think they’re a great football team and he can leave. After me whatever he wants.”
Although Holtz was right about Day’s record against Michigan, he did not “inherit” former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Knowles was hired to be Ohio State’s defensive coordinator after Day’s senior season.
The former ESPN analyst also stuck to his belief that Ohio State will not be a “great” football team in 2023. The Buckeyes appear to be in a three-way battle for the Big Ten title with Michigan and Penn State. Ohio State plays Penn State on Oct. 21 before ending the season against Michigan.
“I honestly felt like Notre Dame was a better, more physical football team and I’m sorry that Coach Day took offense to that and I hope he goes on and has a great year,” Holtz said. “I don’t think they’re going to be a great football team, I really don’t think so. I felt like Notre Dame won the football game.”
The winning touchdown was scored for Ohio State as Notre Dame had only 10 players lined up in the defensive formation on the final two plays of the game. Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said after the game that he did not want to risk a penalty by pushing the 11th man up the field and having the ball get close to the Buckeyes’ goal line.
Holtz said he called Freeman on Monday and apologized for being “unfair” by saying what he said to provoke Day and the Buckeyes while also noting that he would have used another coach’s comments like his for motivation.
“I called Coach Freeman [Monday] “And he apologized,” Holtz said. “Because I put him in a bad position, maybe. I don’t feel bad about saying that because I believed him. And Notre Dame was the best football team. Three times Ohio State got on fourth-and-1, ran the ball, and couldn’t get it. Other than down the stretch, it was average “He carried them under two yards. But if I was coaching I would say that and I would go to our team and say, ‘I think you’re better, I think you’re more physical, I think you’re more talented.'” Coach [unintelligible] He doesn’t think so. Go prove him wrong and prove me right. “But when I say something and I can’t control the outcome of the game, it’s unfair to Coach Freeman.”
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