Ohio State names Kyle McCord starting QB for opener vs. Indiana

Ohio State has finally named a starting quarterback.

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day announced Tuesday that Kyle McCord will get the start in Saturday’s season opener vs. Indiana. McCord beat out Devin Brown for the starting job, but Day said Brown will also see the field vs. the Hoosiers.

Day said that McCord’s consistency throughout preseason camp ultimately led to him earning the No. 1 quarterback role.

“Kyle has done a great job over the last two weeks showing consistency. He’s played very well in practice. But Devin has also shown through the preseason that he deserves to play,” Day told reporters. “We have confidence in both of them. It’s significant that we have two guys we feel confident playing in a game. This is a little bit of uncharted territory for me, but you just go with what you see every day in practice.”

Ohio State has a track record of excellent quarterback play with C.J. Stroud as the latest star to roll through Columbus. Stroud finished in the top four of the Heisman Trophy voting the past two seasons before becoming the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft.

McCord, who has been at OSU a year longer than Brown, was Stroud’s backup last fall. McCord was thought to have a leg up entering fall camp, especially after Brown missed time during the spring with a finger injury. However, Brown made up ground and made the decision difficult for Day.

Last week after a team scrimmage, Day said he took a straw poll of his staff and the results were almost 50-50 between McCord and Brown. That extended the QB competition into this week with McCord ultimately winning out.

Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord plays in their NCAA college football Spring game Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord plays in their NCAA college football Spring game Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

For his career, McCord has completed 41-of-58 passes for 606 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Brown, a top-40 recruit in the 2022 class, did not attempt a pass during his first season with the program.

Notably, McCord was high school teammates with star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is coming off a season where he caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns. Harrison headlines a stacked receiver group that also includes Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming. Additionally, OSU returns TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams and Dallan Hayden at running back.

The main concern for OSU is replacing three starters on the offensive line, including tackles Paris Johnson and Dawand Jones, both of whom are now in the NFL.

The Buckeyes have lost to rival Michigan in the last two seasons to miss out on the Big Ten East title. Even after last year’s loss to the Wolverines, the Buckeyes earned the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff.

In the CFP semifinals, Ohio State had a 14-point lead over No. 1 Georgia entering the fourth quarter but ended up losing 42-41 in heartbreaking fashion.

Will the Buckeyes be able to get back to the CFP in 2023? That begins with Saturday’s road game in Bloomington.