Ohio State to play Kyle McCord, Devin Brown vs. Youngstown St.

Ohio State to play Kyle McCord, Devin Brown vs. Youngstown St.

Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff WriterSep 5, 2023, 01:27 PM ET

CloseESPN staff writerJoined ESPN in 2011Graduated from Central Michigan

Ohio State coach Ryan Day remained steadfast in the approach that quarterback Kyle McCord will start against Youngstown State, but Devin Brown will play for the Buckeyes on Saturday as well.

Neither quarterback emerged from a postseason competition as the clear-cut winner, but McCord was named the starter against Indiana and it was made clear Brown would also get playing time throughout the game.

McCord went 20-for-33 for 239 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in the 23-3 win over the Hoosiers. Brown threw the ball only three times, completing one pass for minus-2 yards.

“I’m trying not to draw too many hard lines when it comes to this right now,” Day said. “Our goal is to be a really good quarterback room and win games, and as these first few games start to develop, we get a better feel for what that looks like. Learned some things about Kyle on Saturday; saw some things that were really good.

“Saw some things that he’s got to improve on. Again, disappointed that we couldn’t get more on the field with Devin, but hopefully this week we can and continue to evaluate it.”

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Day said part of the reason Brown took as few snaps as he did had to do with opportunities and having only 11 drives throughout the game. He’d like to continue to get more game reps for Brown to be able to evaluate the quarterbacks in real time and in real situations to make a better assessment of who gives the offense the better shot at winning.

“I would have liked to get Devin in the game, but like I mentioned after the game, I wanted to do what was best to win the game. At the time, that was the first goal,” Day said. “I felt like that was the right thing to do. A little bit was gut, honestly. I can’t sit here and tell you the analytics and the right way to do that, but this week we’d like to get Devin in more.”

Part of that gut decision was Day still working through the right method for allowing one quarterback to get into his rhythm during a game. The execution from the offense as a whole wasn’t where the coaches want it to be, and part of that has to do with the play from the quarterback.

Day said he would love to be at a point where he could say McCord is the starter and Brown won’t play, but the coach said Brown has played well enough to play. Until one quarterback separates himself from the pack, the coaches are going to continue playing both and letting them sort it out on the field.

“I do not have a crystal ball, I don’t know it’s gonna look like,” Day said. “I wish I did, I know everybody wants to know what it’s going to look like. We’ll just keep grinding on this thing and keep trying to find wins because we know it’s a long season. Ultimately, we have to find what’s best for our team.

“We felt like we had to go get a win on Saturday. I wish it was cleaner across the board. It wasn’t, but we got the win. Now we identified the things we have to get better at and see what it looks like this week.”

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