COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — No. 3 Ohio State is four days away from its first game, and coach Ryan Day said junior Kyle McCord will be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback against Indiana.
“The last 10 to 14 days have allowed Kyle to be the starter because of his consistency,” Day said.
Day added sophomore Devin Brown will also play in the game, saying both players deserve a shot based on the way they played in the preseason.
“We have confidence in both of them,” Day said. “What we’re doing is fair based on what we’ve seen this preseason.”
Day added Brown made a strong push to be Ohio State’s starter about 10 days ago and McCord responded strongly to the competition.
“I think it’s not a sizeable gap [between the two], but it’s enough to be named the starter,” Day said about McCord.
Day said he’s not going to bench either quarterback because of one bad play and will allow both to play through mistakes to see how they respond.
Day said he disagrees with the sentiment that a team that plays two quarterbacks doesn’t have a really good one by pointing to Alabama’s quarterback room a few years ago that included Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones. All three are now starters in the NFL.
During his time at Ohio State, Day has coached Dwayne Haskins, Justin Fields and C.J. Stroud who averaged 4,179 passing yards, 45 touchdowns and only six interceptions in their first year.
Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. played with McCord in at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, but said he trusts both quarterbacks.
“I think they’re both going to do the right thing … make the right reads,” Harrison said. “I think they both definitely have the arm talent to be able to make any throw in the offense that’s asked of them. I don’t think too much will be different.”
Last week, Day gave some clarity about the offensive line, saying San Diego State transfer Josh Simmons is leading the way to start at left tackle, Carson Hinzman at center, and Josh Fryar at right tackle with freshman Luke Montgomery expected to play.
Another Buckeye who claimed a starting role is sophomore Sonny Styles, who will play at the nickel safety position for second-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles. Styles, 18, has had a rapid progression after he graduated a year early from Pickerington Central in 2021.
“X is the perfect example for what you want an Ohio State player to be,” Harrison said. “He kept working, never really complained about anything. Just his leadership on and off the field. He’s the kind of guy you want leading the team. Like I said, he’s just a great example for myself and the rest of the guys on the team, so I think he’s just the perfect person to wear the Block O.”
A few true freshmen who will see playing time include wide receiver Carnell Tate, safety Malik Hartford and Montgomery.