Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day

Ryan Day Talks Quarterbacks, Overall Depth Chart

COLUMBUS – Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with reporters on Monday to provide updates on his football team. This past Saturday was the Buckeyes’ second scrimmage of fall camp, so he addressed what happened there. He also answered questions about the ongoing quarterback battle between Devin Brown and Kyle McCord. The highlights of everything he had to say can be found below.

  • No quarterback has been named starter yet. Both quarterbacks graded out as champions in Saturday’s scrimmage. The staff feels good about both of them. He asked the staff their thoughts and it was split right down the middle. The competition will continue this week. Is there a chance that both will play? Yes, but they don’t have to make that decision right now. The staff feels good about both guys.
  • Getting feedback from all of the coaches is key but the decision on the QB will be his.
  • “These things have a way of working themselves out.” The quarterbacks have agreed themselves that there isn’t one guy who has a large gap on the other.
  • Practice is good and it gives you a snapshot of what you’ll see in a game from a QB, but you don’t truly know until you’re live. But he feels confident they have a quarterback they can win with. They may have two.
  • The offensive line has improved. Josh Simmons will start at left tackle for the Buckeyes most likely. Donovan Jackson will start at left guard. Coming out of camp now, Carson Hinzman is a little bit ahead of Victor Cutler. Matt Jones will be at right guard. Right tackle will start out with Josh Fryar, “but Luke Montgomery will play football this year.” They are excited about him. They feel like they have decent depth will Tegra Tshabola, Zen Michalski, and Enokk Vimahi.
  • Day does not believe the adage that if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.
  • He doesn’t know what it would look like if both QBs played in the game. What he sees in practice is that both have a handle on the running game. They are making good decisions in the passing game. They are getting the feel and timing down better and better. They are feeling the rush and anticipating it better and better.
  • The QBs were successful in the scrimmage on Saturday and they have both improved during the course of camp.
  • Surprised that one QB hasn’t stepped forward past another? No. They’re both doing really well.
  • What’s the tiebreaker? If it’s all equal, “you want the guy that has ‘it.’ You want the leader.” You want the guy that leads the team into the end zone. The guy who can handle being backed up or being down on the scoreboard. You want the guy who can rally the team. “And ultimately the best competitor.”
  • It is still 1000% reasonable to expect one of the quarterbacks to create a sizable gap. Right now, both deserve to play.
  • The competitiveness of camp has made both QBs better, but this is not a manufactured thing for competition’s sake. Both guys can play. Look at Max Duggan at TCU who started the season as a backup.
  • “It was a pretty cool moment,” watching his son RJ win his first game as a varsity QB with a TD throw in the final minute.
  • The guys know Kyle McCord and believe in him and trust in him. Devin Brown has stepped up in that area in the last six months. They have different styles of leadership, but Day has watched how they lead closely. He’s not seen the team lean to one guy or the other. They believe in both of those guys.
  • Kyle McCord has been loyal “and I give him a lot of credit for that.” Devin Brown showed up to a pretty stacked quarterback room. Both guys have qualities. Same with Lincoln Kienholz and Tristan Gebbia.
  • Game week is when they need to have a plan. If the QB situation is still even, then they have to plan on both playing.
  • Every year is different when it comes to having a starting quarterback. He’d be surprised if the QB competition/playing two guys continued throughout the season. You’d prefer to have one guy play the whole game, but they both deserve to play at this point.
  • Why only three captains this year? When there’s a vote, you try to see where the gap is in the votes and do what is appropriate. Tommy Eichenberg and Cade Stover were at the top, then there was a sizable gap, then Xavier Johnson, then another gap. But there were a lot of guys with 10-15 votes. There are going to be plenty of leaders on this team. “Proud of those guys. Think it’s the right group.” Every team is different in terms of how many captains you have. It worked out to have an offense, defense, and special teams (and offense) representative among the captains.
  • Should the tie go to the younger guy? “No, I wouldn’t say that. If all things are equal, you probably go with the guy who’s been in the program longer. At least for the first snap.”
  • Xavier Johnson came in as a walk-on, earned a scholarship, has made big plays in big games, on offense and special teams. He’s played over 700 snaps on special teams in his career. He is self-made. He’s going to be a big part of the team this year.
  • Anything that surprised him during camp? “We’ll see where the O-line’s at…” but they made some progress there. There’s more depth at defensive end than he expected to have. “I will say that Carnell Tate continues to impress.” The defense has more length and size than they’ve had in the past. They continue to get their hands on footballs.
  • How do they get Carnell Tate on the field? They have to figure that out. There’s a lot of snaps. They can rotate guys.
  • There’s no update yet on who the starting kicker is, but there will be soon.
  • Josh Simmons has the chance to be as good as he wants to be. Really good movement and athleticism. He’s competing every day. Definitely not a finished product, but he has experience, which is helpful.
  • Did they hit home runs in the portal this year? “I don’t want to say that yet because we haven’t played a game.” But he is very excited in how they have all played and the fit each has filled. “It’s been very encouraging.” Davison Igbinosun has played against real teams every week.
  • On the freshman WRs: “Excited about them.” They have kind of hit the third-week blues of camp. Brandon Inniss had his black stripe removed today. Had a good scrimmage on Saturday. They’re still freshmen, but it’s been mostly positive.
  • Overall thought on the secondary? Davison Igbinosun, Denzel Burke, and Jordan Hancock have been consistent throughout camp. At safety, Lathan Ransom, Josh Proctor, and Malik Hartford have stepped up. You’re going to see Hartford play this year. Ja’Had Carter can do some things. Cam Martinez and Sonny Styles will be there, though Martinez has been slowed a bit recently.
  • How are the QBs handling this? “It’s college football. Every year has a different story. I know in my heart this thing is going to work itself out.” If he felt that things weren’t going well, he’d say it.
  • He’d feel good with either QB right now if there was only one guy available. They have confidence that each guy can play at a high level. “How high?” They have pretty big expectations around here.
  • How do you keep the process from going wrong? Ultimately, it comes down to how the QBs play in practice and then in the first game possibly. Then it goes from there. He’d be surprised if both guys are playing at the same level in week six. He thought they’d be separated by now. There’s been two points in camp where the other guy was starting to pull away and the other guy caught up. They can’t take a down off. They’re pushing each other. “They’re going hard.” “The bottom line is that finish line isn’t right now. We’re gonna keep going and keep running.”

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