Ryan Day was outcoached by Nick Saban in the national championship on Monday night.
Nick Saban made Ryan Day his whipping boy in the 2021 National Championship in Miami, winning his seventh national championship as a head coach, 52-24.
See, the margin for error to beat a juggernaut football team like Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide will take a nearly flawless effort out of a most worthy competitor. While Day’s Ohio State Buckeyes had their moments in this title bout, a few boneheaded decisions made by the second-year head coach was the team’s unfortunate undoing. He was exposed against a living legend.
3 mistakes that cost Ryan Day from winning the national title3. Settling for a field goal in the first half instead of going for it.
It may have only been a fourth-and-goal from the Alabama six-yard line, but you cannot afford to attempt chip-shot field goals against an offense of this caliber. While it was cool for Jake Seibert to kick his first 3-pointer through the uprights, that is when we knew Alabama was going to eventually take over in this one. That was the first huge mistake Day made.
2. Wasting a timeout and then going for it on fourth down in the third quarter.
Despite being down 18 points at the half, Ohio State was still within striking distance of the Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, Day made two costly errors in the third quarter to hurt Ohio State. He wasted their first second-half timeout for pretty much no reason while Alabama on offense. Once Ohio State got the ball back, the Buckeyes went for it on 4th and 1 but came up short.
1. Having no answer whatsoever for DeVonta Smith defensively in the first half.
Even though 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith exited the game with a hand injury early in the third quarter, the Alabama wide receiver lit up the Crimson Tide secondary. He had 12 catches for 215 yards and three trips to pay dirt before we even got to halftime. If Day wanted to win this game, he needed a better game plan out of defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs than this.
Overall, this is what tends to happen when good coaches like Day go up against outstanding ones like Saban. Every decision made by Saban’s challenger is second-guessed several times over. While the talent on the field will eventually win out, oftentimes Saban’s opponent beats himself well before the end of the ballgame. No wonder Alabama easily hung a 50 burger on Ohio State.
Look for Day to learn from the worst loss of his brief, but promising head-coaching career.