Ohio State plays Kyle McCord and Devin Brown against Youngstown St.

by Tom VanharenESPN staff writerSeptember 5, 2023 at 01:27 PM ET4 minutes to read

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Ohio State coach Ryan Day has remained firm on the approach that starting quarterback Kyle McCord will take against Youngstown State, but Devin Brown will play for the Buckeyes on Saturday as well.

Neither quarterback came out of postseason contention as the clear winner, but McCord was named a starter against Indiana and it was made clear that Brown would also get playing time throughout the game.

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

“I try not to draw too many hard lines when it comes to this now,” Day said. “Our aim is to be a really good midfielder and win games, and as those first few games start to develop we get a better sense of what that looks like. I learned some things about Kyle on Saturday, and saw some things that were really good.

“I’ve seen some things he has to improve. Again, I’m disappointed we couldn’t get more out on the field with Devin, but hopefully this week we can take stock and keep that going.”

Day said that part of the reason Brown took so few catches was to do with chances and he only had 11 saves throughout the game. He’d like to continue to get more game reps so Brown can evaluate quarterbacks in real time and in real situations to better assess who gives the offense a better chance of winning.

“I was hoping for Devine to be in the game, but as I said after the game, I wanted to do better to win the game. At the time, that was the first goal,” Day said. “I felt like it was the right thing to do. It was a bit brave, honestly. I can’t just sit here and tell you the analytics and the right way to do it, but this week we’d like to get Devin involved. More.”

Part of that instinctive decision was Day still working through the right way to let the quarterback get into his rhythm during the game. The execution of the attack as a whole was not where the coaches wanted it to be, and part of that had to do with the play from the midfielder.

Day said he would like to be at a point where he can say McCord is the starting player and the Browns won’t play, but the coach said the Browns played well enough to play. Until one of the quarterbacks breaks away from the group, coaches will continue to play both and let them solve the problem on the field.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, and I don’t know what it would look like,” Day said. “I wish I could, I know everyone wants to know what it’s like. We’re going to keep working on this thing and keep trying to get wins because we know it’s a long season. In the end, we have to find what’s best”. for our team.

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

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