The competition for the Ohio State starting quarterback job is still neck and neck.
Coach Ryan Day said Monday that Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are running so close that a starter for the Sept. 2 opener at Indiana still hasn’t been chosen. Day said it’s possible he could end up playing both.
McCord and Brown split reps in Saturday’s live scrimmage, and Day thinks either one could handle the pressure-cooker job.
“To this point, as honestly as I can say, there is not one that’s won the job and there is not one who’s lost the job,” Day said. “There have been times over this camp where I felt like one was going to take over and the other one came back. Like a horse race. They kept pulling away, and the other one would catch up.”
McCord, a third-year player, may have the edge because of experience.
A right-handed, pro-style passer, the 20-year-old backed up two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud for two seasons, completing 58 passes for 606 yards and three touchdowns. He started a game in 2021 when Day rested the banged-up Stroud.
The 19-year-old Brown, a second-year player with a similar build and style, got some mop-up duty last season but has yet to throw a college pass. He is regarded as being slightly more athletic.
“Our staff feels comfortable with both of them,” Day said. “This is two good players getting after it. I think they’re making each other better.”
Day said he hoped a clear starter would emerge during camp, but he’s OK if that doesn’t happen.
“It’s going to go on this week, and we’ll go from there,” he said of choosing the starter for the opener. “Is there a chance both of them could play in the first game? I think the answer is yes.”
In the era of the transfer portal, Day knows how fortunate he is that the two quarterbacks – both nationally recognized as prep players – are still at Ohio State and that they were willing to sit and wait for a shot to start.
“One thing for Kyle, he’s been here now for three years. He’s seen it, and probably could have gone somewhere and played as a freshman or a sophomore, but he stuck in there,” said Day, who is 45-6 in four seasons leading the Buckeyes. “I give him a lot of credit for that. It was a pretty packed quarterback room when Devin showed up (last season), and he didn’t shy away from that competition.”
The Buckeyes finished 11-2 last year, losing to rival Michigan in the final regular-season game. They backed into a playoff spot, losing to eventual national champion Georgia in a wild one, 42-41.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll