After a long and highly scrutinized offseason of competition, the Ohio State football program finally has its starting quarterback. After two games of playing both (sort of), it was clear that Kyle McCord was the more poised and talented option under center. We could all see it and so could head coach Ryan Day who named him the official starter going forward on Tuesday,
We get paid to give our opinions on these sorts of things, so of course we are going to weigh in on the news as Ohio State prepares to take on Western Kentucky on Saturday. No other position on the football field gets put under the microscope more than the quarterback position, so it probably won’t be the last time we debate this topic either.
For this week’s Buckeye Battle Cry roundtable, we decided to stay on the topic of quarterback on the banks of the Olentangy and were giving each of our writers a chance to put keyboard to screen. The question this week: Was Kyle McCord the right decision to start and was the timing what it should be?
As always, someone has to start this thing off so we’ll throw it over to Michael Chen to get this debate going.
Michael Chen, Featured Writer
— Buckeyes Wire (@BuckeyesWire) September 13, 2023
Even though Ryan Day really didn’t have a make a formal announcement, it wasn’t a surprise at all to see McCord named as QB1. The way the competition worked out, which is pretty much how I saw it in the spring, it always showed that McCord was the top option despite giving Brown the idea that he could win it.
As for the timing, it made perfect sense. With Western Kentucky being the last game before traveling to South Bend, having a picked leader was the right call. Day knows that McCord will need as many reps as possible to get ready for Notre Dame and beyond.
Evan Bachman, Featured Writer
Will Kyle McCord play his way into the Heisman conversation? pic.twitter.com/C9bZq6lezX
— Mr. Ohio (@MrOH1O) September 12, 2023
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The decision to make McCord the starting quarterback was the right one and I also have to agree with Michael’s point about how this is good timing being the Notre Dame game follows this week’s matchup with Western Kentucky.
It was made clear, especially last Saturday against Youngstown State, that McCord is more prepared to lead this offense. Not only is he more efficient as a passer but he also looks more confident and in control out there which will only grow with more reps.
Mark Russell, Featured Writer
Kyle McCord finds Marvin Harrison Jr. for their second TD connection of the first quarter.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) September 9, 2023
Yes, I also agree that Kyle McCord is the right quarterback to be named the starter. However, the timing was not good… this should have happened a long time ago. I just don’t know how the “ongoing competition” helped anyone and I have a hard time believing that Devin Brown — who came to Ohio State a year after McCord and missed a good portion of spring practice with an injury — could be that close to leapfrogging into the starting position. I understand the coaches see more than those of us who write, but it was clear that McCord was the more poised and polished of the two.
Josh Keatly, Featured Writer
Kyle McCord is clearly the guy. Now it's time to get him confident and comfortable by ending the quarterback "competition."
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) September 9, 2023
It is never ideal to go into the season without a clear number-one quarterback and I agree with Mark that I would have liked the decision to be made earlier. Honestly, I’m not too sure why this wasn’t announced after spring. An argument could be made that the bouncing back and forth stunted Kyle McCord’s growth as Devin Brown said the two were still rotating with the No. 1’s all through last week and Brown even played more snaps than McCord against Youngstown State.
Ryan Day has always seemed like a “this is my guy and I am sticking with my guy” kind of coach, but as a former quarterback with a resume that includes nothing but former first-rounders, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s in the best position to understand what is needed mentally for these guys to succeed, and for whatever reason, the battle heading into the season might be what McCord needed.
Phil Harrison, Publisher/Editor and Featured Writer
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 29, 2023
Yeah, anyone watching the performance of both quarterbacks in the Youngstown State game can see the difference between where Kyle McCord and Devin Brown are at this point. McCord has a lot more command and seems to be improving once thrown into a real game environment. His arm talent and ability to conduct himself within Ryan Day’s offense is just further ahead.
As far as timing goes, though I think most everyone would have liked to have seen this coming sooner for the development of McCord and the team around him, I have to trust the judgment of Day and the coaching staff. If there was clear separation, he would have made the call back in camp. Sometimes you have to see how guys do with the bright lights on, and so, here we are.
Hopefully, we’ll see even more improvement this week and the team is better prepared to head to South Bend next weekend because there’s a good chance Ohio State will need McCord to not just be serviceable, but make more than a few throws necessary to win that one in hostile territory against a really good opponent.