Presser Bullets: Ryan Day Impressed With Buckeye Defense During Spring Game, Kyle McCord and Devin Brown Discuss Their Ongoing Position Battle

By Griffin Strom on April 15, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Ohio State's spring schedule is officially in the books.

Team Gray defeated Team Scarlet in Saturday's 2023 Ohio State spring game as defense reigned supreme during the 40-31 victory. After the exhibition, Day gave his thoughts on the play of his quarterbacks, offensive line, defensive line and secondary – among other things – as he capped off the spring in a press conference appearance.

Following Day, Buckeye quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Devin Brown took the podium in tandem to discuss their ongoing competition to replace C.J. Stroud under center. Both reviewed how they thought their spring went, and Brown – who missed the spring game due to a finger injury that required a minor medical procedure – said he should be healthy in about four weeks.

We took notes on everything all three Buckeyes said below.

Ryan Day

  • On quarterback play, Day says it was "similar to what you see in practice" from Kyle McCord. Day says there were some "sparks" but that not everything was as clean as he wanted it to be. Day said McCord would have benefitted from having Marvin Harrison Jr. on the field longer as well as Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming.
  • On the secondary play, Day says "we've seen that through 15 practices." Day says "everything's faster" on the back end of the Buckeye defense and that he's seen them play "more decisive."
  • On allowing Brian Hartline to call plays for the offense, Day says "we've seen some growth there as well" but that there's "a long way until the fall."
  • On Chip Trayanum's performance, Day says "you saw them put on some weight and be able to carry it. He has some top-end speed." Day jokes that Trayanum still wasn't the top rusher on the day, with Archie Griffin scoring a touchdown in the third quarter.
  • Day says the offensive line play was "inconsistent" but that the good thing is the Buckeye defensive line has been disruptive. "We need more consistency" up front, he says.
  • Day says the Buckeyes were "very vanilla on defense today" and "didn't blitz one time."
  • Day says the top priority for the defense was not giving up a lot of explosives on the back end this spring, and he thinks they accomplished that thus far. "There's reason for optimism, for sure."
  • On McCord's play, Day says his touchdown pass to Carnell Tate was a "step in the right direction."
  • Day says he wants this team's identity to be all about competing, and that he wanted that to "flourish" early in the offseason.
  • Day says "I feel good about where our leadership is right now."
  • Day says Kenyatta Jackson "stepped up" to create depth at defensive end this spring and says he wants more plays to do so on the defensive line, although he isn't particularly concerned about the unit.
  • Day says C.J. Hicks "flashed more" on Saturday and is "making plays, showing up."

Devin Brown

  • Brown (finger) says he was "just happy to cheer on my guys" in the spring game and should be back in about four weeks.
  • On the quarterback battle being unresolved at the end of spring: "We're trying to get each other better every single day. ... We just want the best for the team."
  • Brown says "obviously it sucked" to not be able to finish the spring healthy, but says he felt like he had another healthy practice days to make progress.
  • On whether or not he's ever considered transferring out of the program: "That's never crossed my mind. ... I've always said from the beginning I wanted to come here and compete."

Kyle McCord

  • McCord says he feels like he came "a long way" from where he was at when he got to Ohio State and feels like he's in a good place in his development. right 
  • On his touchdown pass to Tate, McCord says "it's a tribute of the talent of the guys" and that he, the offensive line and Tate all excelled on that rep.
  • McCord says Brown is "definitely making me better" and that the quarterback battle not being over yet will end up benefitting both players in the end.
  • On Brian Hartline, McCord says the offensive coordinator transition has been seamless. "He stepped up to the role and hit it out of the park." McCord says "it wasn't a crazy transition or anything like that" from Kevin Wilson to Hartline this offseason.
  • McCord says the starting receivers on the field for Ohio State Saturday are "still really deep" even without several of Ohio State's usual first-team talent on the field. "At Ohio State, regardless of who's in the game, they're gonna be a really good player."
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