After a lengthy quarterback battle this offseason, Ohio State coach Ryan Day announced Kyle McCord as the starting quarterback for the first game of the season against Indiana.
McCord had been in a battle with Devin Brown as the team is looking to replace last season's starter, C.J. Stroud, who was the No. 2 selection in the NFL draft. Day had not named a starter and said as recently as last week that the players were still being evaluated.
"I think that's significant that we have two guys that we feel confident playing in the game," Day said. "This is something that's a little unchartered territory for me, but you just go on what you see every day in practice. I think that Kyle's consistency the last couple of weeks has allowed him to be the starter."
Day said McCord deserves to be the starter, but Brown's play throughout the offseason will give him the opportunity to see the field as well. The biggest challenge, according to Day, will be find a rhythm and flow for each quarterback and will go off of how the preparation for the week goes to determine playing time for both.
Day had said the battle had gone back and forth with Brown making a big push as of late, but he saw McCord step up and continue to play consistently in practice. Now, despite being named the starter, McCord needs to show Day the same consistency during the season.
"I think the first thing is you just have to go watch them play in the game, and it's one thing in practice, you see certain things but to get tackled and to move the team down the field," Day said. "Finish off drives, do well on third down, do well in the red zone. That's going to continue to play itself out during the season and there's been teams that have done this similar before."
Ultimately the goal is to win a championship, and Day says how their story plays out will be written by each quarterback. With little experience for either signal-caller, Day says they both need each other right now and that they'll continue to ride the roller coaster together throughout the season.
"I just don't have a crystal ball on this and I'm not sure how it is going to shake out," Day said. "But, I think what we're doing is fair based on what we see in this preseason."
Day originally said he'd like to see a sizable gap in play between his quarterbacks, but he described McCord's play as good enough to earn the starting job. He believes the more games they play this season, the more the coaches will see in terms of strengths, rhythm and chemistry, along with results.
However, the position plays out, with McCord hanging on to the starting job or Brown eventually taking over, Day seems confident in both quarterbacks. He points to the Alabama team with Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts as teams that have navigated this situation before and believes his team will figure it out as well.
"Now, it's time to go play in games, though, and we certainly have seen enough in practice to believe that both guys can perform in a game," Day said. "Now it's time to go put it on the field and when you're in the game, you really get an idea of what is going on. In practice, you try to give controlled setting and you try to make them as game like as possible, but again, now it's time to go play."