Ohio State's Ryan Day: Georgia Loss 'Going to Sit in Our Stomachs for a Long Time'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IV

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day during the college football Playoff Semifinal game at the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 31, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day lamented a missed opportunity in Saturday's 42-41 loss to the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Peach Bowl.

According to ESPN's Alex Scarborough, Day suggested the loss hurts more than most due to the belief that they should have found a way to come out on top: "I don't think there's one guy in that locker room who doesn't feel like we should have won the game. And I think, again, that's a part of this thing that's going to sit in our stomachs for a long time."

The Buckeyes had their opportunities, as they blew 14-point leads in both the first and second halves, and kicker Noah Ruggles missed what would have been a game-winning, 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Ohio State undoubtedly had its chances to put the game away, but it was unable to stop the Georgia offense late in the game.

The Bulldogs scored on each of their final three possessions, including touchdowns on their final two. One was a 76-yard strike from Stetson Bennett to Arian Smith on a busted coverage, and the other was a 10-yard pass from Bennett to Adonai Mitchell with just 54 seconds remaining.

For all intents and purposes, the Buckeyes could have closed it out on their second-to-last drive. They impressively held the ball for nearly six minutes and got into the red zone, but they couldn't punch it into the end zone and had to settle for a field goal to extend the lead to six with 2:43 left.

Georgia took advantage of the opening by scoring the go-ahead touchdown, and although Stroud got OSU into field goal position, Ruggles' 50-yard try was nowhere close.

Ohio State clearly came to play after its regular season ended in disappointment with a blowout loss to rival Michigan, but Georgia's experience in big games and clutch situations ruled the day.

The Buckeyes are 45-6 in parts of five seasons under Day, but they have yet to win a national title under his leadership, and have gone to the CFP National Championship Game only once during his tenure despite their immense talent.

While the sting of the loss to Michigan would have gone away if Ohio State beat Georgia on the same day that Michigan fell to TCU, it wasn't in the cards for the Buckeyes.

Now, Day and the entire Ohio State program have no choice but to regroup during the offseason and figure out who will replace the key players who are NFL bound, including a star quarterback in Stroud should he declare for the draft as expected.