COLUMBUS – There was no hesitating on Tuesday. Ryan Day was ready to announce who would be Ohio State’s starting quarterback.
In a decision most people expected, he chose Kyle McCord, who had dominated the playing time at that position in OSU’s first two games and who had been C.J. Stroud’s back-up for the last two seasons.
McCord completed 20 of 33 passes for 239 yards and no touchdowns in OSU’s 23-3 win at Indiana, then was 14 of 20 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-7 win over Youngstown State last Saturday. Freshman Devin Brown, who was the other candidate to be the starting quarterback, was 8 of 16 for 99 yards and no touchdowns in the first two games.
“After looking at the film we decided Kyle is going to be the starter and made that distinction. We still plan on playing Devin but Kyle has really stepped up and deserves to be the starter. So we’re going to go ahead and make that distinction,” Day said on Tuesday at his weekly press conference.
Asked what sealed the deal for McCord, Day said, “Just the overall consistency that I think he has been playing with. He made some nice throws. He kept the offense going. He came out of the gates playing efficient football and that’s what we will look for moving forward.
“I think he was much more poised in this game than in the first one. That’s natural. So we’ll see if he can build on that.”
Day said he knew who would be designated as the starter after the win over Youngstown State but waited until Tuesday to announce it. He said he informed McCord and Brown of the decision on Tuesday morning.
“I felt like it after the game, I just didn’t feel like it was the right time. I felt like after the game there was an overall poise and consistency that led us all to think, ‘OK, Kyle’s the guy right now,’ ” he said.
McCord will also get more time with the first team offense in practice as a result of Day’s decision.
“I think first off it gives Kyle peace of mind. He realizes he is the starter and he has earned that opportunity. Secondly, he will receive more of the reps (repetitions) in practice. Devin will still get reps with the ones but Kyle will get a little bit more than he has the last couple weeks,” Day said. “I think it’s good for the team to have that distinction and know that Kyle is the starter for right now.”
Brown’s playing time going forward will depend on how future games play out.
“He hasn’t played a lot and we’re going to try to get him more experience. Hopefully the next time he gets out there he’s a little more poised and has a feel for the game because the talent is certainly there,” Day said. “I don’t think it will be that we do the same thing every week. We’ll look at the opponent, we’ll look at the situation, we’ll look at the schematics of it all and see where he fits.”
McCord reacted to the decision with the same calm he shows on the field. “Kyle is not someone who shows a ton of emotion all the time. He was excited but he wasn’t exactly jumping on the table. This was more of a confirmation. I think he felt like the time was right and I think he was right about that,” Day said.