Ohio State: Kyle McCord, Devin Brown QB battle stays tight

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With less than two weeks to go until Ohio State's first game against Indiana on Sept. 2, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said the team hasn't named a starting quarterback.

The offense is looking to replace C.J. Stroud, who was the No. 2 pick in this year's NFL draft, and have had a battle between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown going into camp. That battle is still ongoing, according to Day.

"It's college football. Every year has a different story, every year has a different challenge," Day said. "I know, in my heart, this thing will work itself out. I'm proud of the way the guys are competing, if I felt any other way, I'd say it.

"But, now they're going to have to go, keep pushing through, competing and if it goes into the season, it goes into the season."

Day said the staff is split right down the middle on the quarterbacks but doesn't see it as a problem. He and his coaches are confident that either could run the offense, and he said there could be a possibility that both would play in the season opener.

He compared the battle to a horse race with each player pushing the other and trying to catch up when one gets ahead.

"There was a point twice in camp where I thought one was pulling away from the other. Then two practices went by and the other one really played well and the other one kind of leveled off," Day said. "And I would let them know, too, right then and there. I'd say, 'You were pulling away, and he just kind of took over a little bit.' One thing's for sure is they can't take a down off, they can't take a play off."

McCord was an ESPN 300 quarterback in the 2021 class, ranked No. 31 overall, and Brown was an ESPN 300 recruit in the 2022 class at No. 81 overall. McCord has a year of experience on Brown, and, if the competition persists heading into the season, that experience might factor into the decision of who gets the start.

"If all things are equal, you probably go with the guy who's been in the program longer," Day said. "At least for the first snap."

Day didn't seem concerned when discussing the battle and has noted, this offseason, that the Buckeyes have dealt with quarterback changes in the past with Justin Fields, Dwayne Haskins and even Stroud coming in to play.

He hasn't named a starter yet and hasn't seen separation among the quarterbacks, but he believes that the season will sort the job out and that, once the players get into games, one quarterback will start to pull away from the other.

"We're going to keep working; we don't have to make that decision right now," Day said. "I can tell, I am pleased with their progress, and our staff feels strong with both of them playing. With where it goes, we'll keep putting one foot in front of the other."