Kyle McCord gets the nod as starting QB for No. 3 Ohio State after 2 years as C.J. Stroud’s backup


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Kyle McCord will be the starting quarterback when No. 3 Ohio State opens the season Saturday at Indiana.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day delivered the long-awaited decision on Tuesday, adding that both McCord and Devin Brown probably would play in the opener.

“I think that Kyle has done a great job over the last two weeks showing consistency,” Day said. “He’s played very well in practice. But Devin, throughout the body of the preseason, has shown that he deserves to play. So expect both of them to play. We have confidence in both of them.”

The competition started in spring practice. Day ultimately decided to go with McCord, the more-experienced third-year player, over Brown, who is beginning his second season in the program. As recently as last week, Day said the competition was too close to call.

A right-handed, pro-style passer, the 20-year-old McCord backed up two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud for two seasons, completing 58 passes for 606 yards and three touchdowns. He started a game in 2021 when Ohio State rested the banged-up Stroud.

Brown got limited mop-up duty last year and has yet to throw a pass in a college game.

“(McCord) has been in the program here for a few years — he’s seen the good and the bad and the ugly, really,” Day said. “And a big part of life is knowing what to expect, and so he’s been around, so he’s at least seen it. Now he’s got to go do it. It’s a whole different thing when you’re actually physically doing it (rather) than watching somebody else go through it.”

Day acknowledged that he would have preferred one of the candidates to emerge earlier as the clear starter.

“This is something that’s a little uncharted territory for me, but you just go on what you see every day in practice,” he said. “And I think that Kyle’s consistency in the last couple of weeks has allowed him to be the starter. And he deserves that.”

McCord will be surrounded by an outstanding collection of offensive weapons. That begins with All-American receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and wideouts Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming. Tight end Cade Stover returns for a fifth year after catching 36 passes for 406 yards, fourth-best on the team last season.

Explosive running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams both struggled with injuries last season but are healthy and are expected to share carries. Henderson rushed for more than 1,200 yards in 2021.

The Buckeyes finished 11-2 last year, losing to rival Michigan in the final regular-season game. They backed into a playoff spot, losing to eventual national champion Georgia in a wild one, 42-41.


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