Kyle McCord is officially Ohio State’s starting quarterback. Buckeyes coach Ryan Day announced during his Monday press conference that McCord will be first off the bench for the rest of the year, edging out sophomore Devin Brown for the job. Brown and McCord were locked in a competition that extended through the first two games of the season, but evidently McCord’s experience and comfort with the offense won out.
“Just the overall consistency that I think he’s been playing with,” Day said. “You know, he made some nice throws. He kept the offense going. He came out of the gates playing efficient football. That’s what we’re going to look for moving forward. Just overall consistency.”
McCord was the starter in both of Ohio State’s first two contests, though Brown actually played more snaps in Week 2’s win against Youngstown State. Still, McCord had a better day as a passer, completing 14 of his 20 attempts for 258 yards and three touchdowns.
Earning the starting nod also means McCord’s patience is finally paying off. The third-year junior spent the last two seasons backing up two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud, only seeing time in mop-up duty or if Stroud went down with injury — which did not happen frequently.
Big shoes to fill
Taking over for Stroud is no easy feat. Now with the Houston Texans, Stroud left behind 8,123 passing yards and 86 total career touchdowns. Under two seasons with Stroud at the helm, Ohio State averaged almost 45 points per game as the Buckeyes led the nation in scoring offense in 2021 and finished second last season.
So far, McCord has produced mixed results. He played a majority of the season opener against Indiana, throwing one interception without accounting for any scores while led the offense to just 23 points. That was Ohio State’s worst scoring performance against the Hoosiers since 1993.
McCord looked a lot more comfortable against FCS Youngstown State in Week 2, however. He did the smart thing in relying on star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who led all receivers with seven catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
McCord gets one final tune-up game Saturday against Western Kentucky before things get serious. The Buckeyes travel to South Bend, Indiana, in Week 3 to face a Notre Dame defense that is allowing an average of 10 points through three games, having held its first two opponents to a combined six points.
Ohio State could get creative with Brown
Even though Day committed to McCord as the starter, he still mentioned that Brown will still see playing time. While this means Brown is the No. 2 quarterback, Ohio State could get creative with how it uses the athletic young signal caller.
While McCord might be a more seasoned passer at this point with a better grip on Ohio State’s schemes through the air, Brown brings another dimension to the offense. A former basketball star, Brown can move the ball well with his feet and actually has as many rush attempts (8) as pass attempts in his two years at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes, though not running a true two-quarterback system, could still bring Brown in to run option or zone read plays to give opposing defenses a different look.
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