Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord knows how big the rivalry is between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines, but he is trying to not let that get to him so he can go into The Game and just play football like he has all season with the goal to win a game.
“At the end of the day, on Saturday at noon, we’re going to put the ball down, and it’s going to be football,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of attention around the game, and rightfully so, but you just have to realize it’s just football.We’ve done a great job getting to this point, being 11-0. So, continuing to prepare the way we have, continuing to practice the way we have and treating it as a football game.”
He said he’s not going to be nervous about starting his first game against Michigan despite how much comes with it. The preparation they have done for this game all year makes it so he won’t have to think about the outside noise.
“The only time you’re nervous is when you’re not sure if you put the preparation or not,” McCord said. “During the week – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – that’s when you really win the game. Watching film, getting your body right, getting your mind right, going out and having good practices, that’s where you gain confidence. When you step out there on Saturday, it’s not anything that you haven’t done yet.”
McCord has thrown for 2,899 yards and 22 touchdowns with four interceptions this season through 11 games, but this game will be he ultimate test for him and how he has developed over the year. He believes he is much better in every aspect of his game than he was at the beginning of the year against Indiana.
“The biggest thing would just be that confidence level, having confidence in myself and my teammates around me,” McCord said about the ways he has improved this year. “That was the biggest thing, going back and watching that film from week one, I would say I had a little bit of uncertainty. You can get as many practice reps as you want, but nothing is quite like those game reps. Every week I’ve just been getting more confident, more comfortable in there.”
His approach to this game is a little different than some of his teammates, like Denzel Burke who is going into Ann Arbor with a villain mentality, but as the quarterback, McCord feels like he will be at his best if he is calm, cool and collected.