The question of who will start at quarterback for Ohio State when it begins its season at Indiana on Sept. 2 has dominated the offseason in Columbus, but it’s becoming increasingly likely no decision will be made at all prior to the game.
During his Monday press conference, head coach Ryan Day said he is not yet ready to make a decision between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown with less than two weeks remaining until the regular season gets underway. Coming out of Saturday’s scrimmage, Day expressed an increased sense of confidence in both quarterbacks after they both graded as champions following the practice but noted there still hasn’t been the separation he needs to see in order to elevate one to starter status.
“To this point right now, as honestly as I can say it, there’s not one who’s won the job and there’s not one who’s lost the job,” Day said. “There have been times during this camp when I felt like one was going to take over, and then the other one came back. It’s like a horse race where one would pull away and the other would catch up.”
Day said the staff feels confident with either McCord or Brown, which he called exciting in that he has two quality players who are making each other better. He added that, following the latest scrimmage, his staff even voted on who they thought is performing better during camp, and the vote came back with a nearly even split.
“What does that mean? I think it’s going to continue to go on this week and we’ll go from there,” he said. “Is there a chance both of them could play in the first game? I think the answer is yes, there’s a chance. But we’re going to keep working. We don’t have to make that decision right now, but I can tell you that I am pleased with their progress, and our staff feels strong with both of them playing. Wherever that goes, we’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
He later added, “There have been situations in the past where you have two really good quarterbacks on the roster, and these things have a way of working themselves out … I’ve been in situations where you don’t have a quarterback and that’s not a very good feeling. We’re going to have a quarterback. And we may have two. If they deserve to play, they’re going to play.”
Regardless of how the battle ultimately shakes out, Day knows he has two good quarterbacks capable of helping Ohio State win this season. Whether one —or both —of them can be great doesn’t come with as much certainty, perhaps offering some insight into why Day is still holding out on identifying his best quarterback.
“We have confidence these guys can go in and play and play at a high level,” Day said. “Now, how high? The expectations are pretty high around here, and I think that’s where we’re not sure.”
While it’s becoming a safe bet both quarterbacks will see the field early against Indiana, Day wouldn’t rule out the possibility of one guy still separating himself this week. Asked if it’s still reasonable to believe a sizable gap could materialize between the two with the time Day has left before the season, he said emphatically, “1,000%.”
“When I met with the guys yesterday, I told them that,” he went on to say. “One guy may just kind of take a step forward and then play the whole game. That could happen, so we’ll see. Everything is an evaluation right now. But as I sit here right now, both deserve to play.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.