Ohio State Backup Quarterback Devin Brown Out for “At Least A Couple of Weeks” with Ankle Injury

By Dan Hope on October 23, 2023 at 8:40 pm
Devin Brown

Ohio State will be without its No. 2 quarterback for at least the next two games.

During his appearance on the Buckeye Roundtable show on the Ohio State Sports Network, Ryan Day said Devin Brown will be sidelined for “at least a couple of weeks” after he was injured on a red-zone run against Penn State.

“He really went hard on that one play, just didn't quite get in, and then got twisted up,” Day said. “We’ll kind of see how the week goes, where that's gonna go. It’ll probably be at least a couple weeks.”

While Day only described the injury as a “lower extremity” on Monday, Fox’s Jenny Taft reported during Saturday’s game broadcast that Brown suffered a right ankle sprain. He was seen leaving Ohio Stadium in a boot and on crutches.

Brown had appeared in each of Ohio State’s last two games as a red-zone running specialist, scoring a touchdown in the red zone at Purdue while also throwing a 58-yard touchdown pass as a backup in that game. With Brown sidelined, Kyle McCord will be in line to take all of the snaps at quarterback with the game on the line.

Day said earlier this year that Tristan Gebbia would be the third-string quarterback behind McCord and Brown. Asked Monday who would serve as the backup while Brown is out, however, Day did not specify whether it would be Gebbia or Lincoln Kienholz.

“Tristan Gebbia and Lincoln will both work this week and those guys, both have been doing a great job,” Day said. “Tristan has really got a great understanding of what we're trying to do, and Lincoln's growing every day, I think he's got a bright future. So if need be, those guys will be ready to go.”

Neither Gebbia nor Kienholz has played in a game for the Buckeyes, though Gebbia has previous experience as a five-game starter at Oregon State.

As for Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson, wide receiver Emeka Egbuka and cornerback Denzel Burke, who all missed the Penn State game with injuries of their own, Day expressed optimism that all of them would be able to return this week.

“We're hopeful to get the guys back who missed last week, for sure,” Day said. “Feel pretty good about that, we'll see how tomorrow goes.”

During his appearance on Monday night’s radio show, Day also shared his thoughts on the Buckeyes’ performance against Penn State and the challenge of going to Wisconsin this week for the first time in seven years.

  • Day said he “loved our approach all week” leading up to the Penn State game. “Our guys were physical ... They really worked throughout the game. They didn’t let good plays or bad plays get in the way. When you’re in a matchup game like that, there’s kind of ebbs and flows, and you gotta just continue to fight for the fourth quarter.”
  • Day said Ohio State’s “overall efficiency on offense has gotta be better ... If we’re gonna go reach our goals this year, we gotta do a better job in that area.”
  • Day said he thought the Buckeyes were much better in short- and medium-yardage third-down situations against Penn State than they had been in previous games. 
  • Day said the punt returner is instructed to scream out “Peter” when the ball is on the ground, which Jayden Ballard did on the punt that hit Lorenzo Styles Jr., but Styles couldn’t hear him. “So he’s gotta be louder ... We gotta execute that better.”
  • On Wisconsin: “We knew when we saw Wisconsin on the schedule that this was going to be a challenging game.” This week will be Day’s first time coaching at Wisconsin, as the Buckeyes have not played there since 2016.
  • When John Cooper sarcastically asked Day if he knew the rules for scouting opponents, Day said “I wish I could, Coach Coop. What I'm gonna go back is I’m going to go back into the meeting room with the guys, I'm gonna go watch some of the film and I'm gonna get on the board, we're gonna put the game plan together and get ready for practice tomorrow.”
  • Day said he thought the Buckeyes “fed off the crowd” against Penn State. “They heard the message loud and clear, and they responded. And they delivered ... it made a difference in the game, and it certainly helped the Buckeyes.”
  • Asked how good his team is this year, Day said “We'll find out the end of the year. But the goal is one week at a time ... We gotta continue to win and be 1-0 on Saturday night and play our best football at the end of the season. That’s what the focus is.”
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