Kyle McCord Named Ohio State’s Full-Time Starting Quarterback

By Andy Anders on September 12, 2023 at 12:02 pm
Kyle McCord
Lori Schmidt/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY Network

After a full spring practice, the spring game, fall camp and two weeks of regular season action, Ohio State has finally named its QB1.

Ryan Day officially named Kyle McCord as Ohio State’s starting quarterback on Tuesday going into the Buckeyes’ third game of the season against Western Kentucky, bringing an end to the quarterback competition between McCord and Devin Brown that had continued into the first two weeks of the season.

After reviewing the film from Saturday’s game against Youngstown State, Day said Ohio State determined that McCord should continue to be the starting quarterback going forward, though he still expects Brown to see some playing time over the course of the season. Day said he felt after Saturday’s game that it was time to make McCord the starter, but he wanted to review the film first before finalizing that decision.

McCord secured the starting job with a 258-yard, three-touchdown performance Saturday against Youngstown State in which he completed 70 percent of his passes and led Ohio State to a 35-7 win. Brown, who competed with McCord for the starting job all offseason, completed just seven of 13 passing attempts for 101 yards with no touchdowns against the Penguins despite playing more snaps than McCord.

McCord was initially named Ohio State’s starting quarterback before its Week 1 matchup against Indiana, but Day declined to commit to McCord as a long-term starter entering the season. McCord played all but six snaps against the Hoosiers but didn’t perform well enough to lock down the starting job, going 20-of-33 for 239 yards with an interception. Brown played in the fourth series of that game as well before reappearing on the game’s final drive, going 1-of-3 through the air for -2 yards.

Going into last week’s game against Youngstown State, McCord was named the starter again but Day left the door open for the competition to continue, saying Brown would play more against Youngstown State than he did against Indiana. Brown ended up playing five more snaps than McCord against Youngstown State, though most of his playing time came in the second half after McCord led six of Ohio State’s first seven possessions.

McCord’s performance in comparison to Brown’s against Youngstown State was ultimately enough for the more experienced quarterback to solidify himself as Ohio State’s starter, which means he’s in line to lead the first-team offense this week when Ohio State plays Western Kentucky in its third game of the season at 4 p.m. Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

Kyle McCord passing chart

Day said Brown will continue to receive some reps with the first-team offense in practice, but that McCord will take the majority of them.

That will give Ohio State’s offense the opportunity to get into a much-needed rhythm with one quarterback ahead of a major test next week against Notre Dame, who is currently ranked ninth in the AP Top 25.

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