Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud to rest shoulder, unlikely to play vs. Akron

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Ohio State will start a different quarterback against Akron on Saturday.

With C.J. Stroud dealing with shoulder soreness, OSU coach Ryan Day said Thursday on his radio show that Stroud will only be used in an “emergency capacity.” Stroud, the starter for OSU’s first three games, has been resting in practice this week, Day said.

With Stroud resting that ailing shoulder, backups Kyle McCord and Jack Miller are expected to both see the field against the Zips. Day did not say if McCord or Miller will see the field first on Saturday. Neither have taken a snap so far this season. 

Through three games, Stroud has thrown for 963 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 62.4% of his throws. The redshirt freshman has shown flashes of brilliance, but has also been inconsistent with his accuracy and decision-making.

The Buckeyes are 2-1 this season. They opened the season with a come-from-behind win over Minnesota before losing at home to Oregon. Last weekend, OSU struggled against Tulsa. Tulsa actually had the ball with the chance to tie the score midway through the fourth quarter. OSU got the stop it needed and added two touchdowns in the final three minutes (including a pick six) in the 41-20 victory. 

In the win, Stroud completed 15 of 25 passes for a season-low 185 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also lost a fumble. 

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes passes the ball during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on September 18, 2021. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Through three games, C.J. Stroud has thrown for 963 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 62.4% of his throws. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Stroud beat out McCord and Miller for the starting job as the three competed in spring ball and fall camp. Miller and Stroud arrived at OSU together in the class of 2020 and served as the backups for Justin Fields. McCord is a true freshman who enrolled early in order to participate in spring practice.

The Buckeyes also have five-star Quinn Ewers on the roster. Ewers, previously the No. 1 recruit in the 2022 class, left high school early to join the Buckeyes. Day said he’s not sure if Ewers will get any snaps against Akron.

The Buckeyes are currently 49.5-point favorites over Akron at BetMGM.

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