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Kyle McCord takes majority of snaps as Ohio State football's quarterback at Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ohio State stuck with Kyle McCord at quarterback for most of Saturday afternoon.

McCord, who started over Devin Brown in a 23-3 victory at Indiana, lined up behind center for all but two series.

It was a departure from the plan imagined by Buckeyes coach Ryan Day, who expected earlier in the week that Brown would see some meaningful snaps early in the game.

As he looked back on the season-opening win, Day said he had intended for Brown to rotate for the third, fifth and sixth series against the Hoosiers, an opportunity to get a deeper evaluation of the passers replacing C.J. Stroud.

“It just didn’t quite work out that way,” Day said.

Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord was 20-of-33 passing for 239 yards, no touchdowns and one interception against Indiana.
Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord was 20-of-33 passing for 239 yards, no touchdowns and one interception against Indiana.

Brown’s first snap did not come until the fourth series, a sequence midway through the second quarter and following an interception thrown by McCord on fourth down on the previous drive.

The series lasted only three plays. Brown was dropped for a 3-yard loss in the backfield as he tried to run for a first down on third-and-1. He did not attempt a pass until he returned late in the fourth quarter for a series of mop-up duty.

The limited quarterback rotation was a result of circumstances, a game that never proved to be as lopsided as expected.

Ohio State, which has not lost to Indiana since 1988 and was favored by more than four touchdowns, took until the third quarter to build a lead of more than one score and maintained only a 10-3 advantage at halftime.

With an offense finding its way in the early goings, struggling to reach the end zone after its opening drive, Day didn’t want to be too disruptive to the unit.

“I would have liked to have seen Devin play a little more,” Day said, “but I was worried we weren’t going to be able to get in a rhythm. We already felt a little clunky early on. I didn’t want to risk putting ourselves in a bad spot by continuing to move those guys in and out.”

Ohio State quarterback Devin Brown played just two series against Indiana.
Ohio State quarterback Devin Brown played just two series against Indiana.

Day didn’t outline his rotation for the following week as the Buckeyes host Youngstown State, but he hoped for Brown to become more involved.

“Like I said from the beginning, we have to make sure we’re doing what’s right for the team and what’s right for Ohio State,” Day said.

McCord’s season-opening start wasn’t as flashy as the one of his predecessor two years ago, when Stroud threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns at Minnesota.

McCord did not throw a touchdown, completing 20 of 33 passes for 239 yards.

The closest he came to a scoring toss was in the third quarter when he found wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in the end zone.

But the 24-yard touchdown came off the scoreboard as officials called Harrison for illegal touching after he stepped out of bounds navigating the sideline.

“I’d like to see the film,” Day said, “but I thought that was a nice throw.”

The Buckeyes reached the end zone three plays later after consecutive handoffs to Chip Trayanum and Miyan Williams, a “good sign” for McCord’s direction of the offense.

“It can be deflating to throw a touchdown, come back and do it again,” Day said. “That was good.”

Day added McCord's 49-yard pass to tight end Cade Stover to set up the Buckeyes deep in Indiana’s territory earlier in the drive was a “really nice throw.”

“That was big,” he said.

McCord expressed a feeling of appreciation for seeing a majority of the snaps behind center against the Hoosiers.

“That means a lot, showing his trust in me,” McCord said. “It’s my job to continue to grow, continue to learn, continue to get better.”

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at jkaufman@dispatch.com and follow him on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State football quarterback Kyle McCord takes majority of snaps