The Ohio State Buckeyes have made their decision for the starting quarterback position, with head coach Ryan Day announcing that Kyle McCord will be leading the offense in the team’s season opener. However, Day also confirmed that Devin Brown will have the opportunity to see action at some point during the game, indicating that the competition for the quarterback spot is still open.
McCord’s Consistency Earns Him the Starting Role
McCord, a third-year quarterback from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, has long been considered a favorite to earn the starting role for the Buckeyes this season. As the backup to C.J. Stroud for the past two seasons, McCord has gained valuable experience and has been honing his skills in practice. According to Day, McCord’s consistency in the past two weeks of practice has earned him the opportunity to start the season opener.
Day spoke highly of McCord’s performance, stating that he made routine plays consistently and took care of the football during practices. These attributes, coupled with his experience as Stroud’s backup, set him apart from his competition. However, Day also expressed confidence in both McCord and Brown, emphasizing that both quarterbacks have earned the right to play.
The Openness of the Competition
Although McCord has been named the starter for the first game, Day made it clear that the competition is still ongoing. The gap between McCord and Brown is not yet sizable, indicating that Brown has been pushing McCord throughout the offseason. The coaching staff will continue to evaluate both quarterbacks’ performances and make decisions based on their preparation and impact on the field.
Day’s decision to give both quarterbacks playing time reflects the team’s belief in their abilities and ensures a fair opportunity for each of them. While McCord will take the first snaps against Indiana, Brown will also have the chance to showcase his skills and compete for the starting role.
McCord’s Potential and Experience
McCord’s potential as a quarterback has been evident since his high school days. He was highly regarded as the third-highest-rated quarterback recruit to ever sign with Ohio State, behind Quinn Ewers and Terrelle Pryor. During his time at St. Joseph’s Prep High School in Philadelphia, McCord led his team to three consecutive state championships and set city records with impressive passing statistics.
Since joining Ohio State, McCord has had the opportunity to build chemistry with the team’s veteran receivers, including Marvin Harrison Jr., whom he played with in high school. This connection, along with his strong arm and pocket-passing abilities, has prepared him to step into the starting role and lead Ohio State’s offense.
The Importance of Game Experience
While practice performance is crucial, Day acknowledged that true evaluation comes from game experience. The ability to perform under pressure, move the team down the field, and make critical plays in live-game situations is what separates good quarterbacks from great ones. Day emphasized that the quarterbacks’ performance during games will play a significant role in determining the long-term starter.
Drawing parallels to other successful programs, such as Alabama with Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, Day expressed confidence that Ohio State will navigate this situation and find the right quarterback to lead the team to success. The coaches will closely monitor the quarterbacks’ strengths, rhythm, chemistry with teammates, and overall results as the season progresses.
The Buckeyes’ Offensive Talent
Whoever ends up as the long-term starter for Ohio State’s offense will have the luxury of working with a talented group of skill position players. The wide receiver room is stacked with potential first-round picks, including Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. Other receivers like Julian Fleming and Jayden Ballard have also shown their capabilities, giving the quarterback plenty of options in the passing game.
The running back position offers depth and experience, with players like Miyan Williams, TreVeyon Henderson, Dallan Hayden, and Chip Trayanum returning for another season. If Henderson can stay healthy, he has the potential to be an All-American caliber back.
However, one area of concern for the Buckeyes is the offensive line, as they need to replace both starting tackles and a center with significant experience. A strong offensive line is crucial for a new quarterback’s success, but with the offensive talent surrounding the position, any potential issues can be masked.
The Buckeyes’ Season Opener and Beyond
Ohio State’s season opener against Indiana presents an opportunity for both McCord and Brown to showcase their skills and make an impact on the field. The game against Indiana, as a 30-point favorite, allows the coaching staff to evaluate both quarterbacks in a real game environment. Day will observe their performance in critical situations such as third downs and red zone plays, which will help inform future decisions regarding the quarterback position.
Looking ahead, the Buckeyes have games against FCS Youngstown State and Western Kentucky, providing further opportunities for both McCord and Brown to gain valuable game experience. These early-season matchups will enable the coaching staff to assess each quarterback’s development and determine the best course of action moving forward.
The Future of Ohio State’s Quarterback Position
While the starting quarterback position for Ohio State remains undecided in the long term, the selection of Kyle McCord as the starter for the season opener highlights his consistency and readiness to lead the offense. However, the competition between McCord and Devin Brown is far from over. Both quarterbacks have demonstrated their abilities and earned the opportunity to play.
The unfortunate reality as a Buckeyes fan is the fact that neither QB really stands out from the other. Sure, you might convince yourself that the reason is simply that they are both so good that it’s hard to tell them apart or choose between them. However the reality is more likely to be that neither is really “that guy” and Ohio State fans will have to suffer through a season of subpar quarterback while simultaneously wasting a loaded roster. Hopefully I am wrong, but not having a definitive starter at this point is not a great indicator for success.