With the way Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has been cooking this season, there’s been little attention given to his backup in Kyle McCord.
Stroud has played late – at least midway through the third quarter – in all of Ohio State’s game, all of which have ended in blowout fashion other than the season-opening 21-10 win over Notre Dame. He’s accounted for 24 passing touchdowns and 1,737 passing yards through six games, and leads the nation with 10.9 yards per attempt.
This has left little opportunity for McCord to see action, appearing in just five games with limited responsibilities this season. He’s just 12-of-16 passing for 157 yards and one passing touchdown, and has rushed three times for 4 yards. The majority of his contribution, though, has been handing the ball off to the likes of Dallan Hayden or TC Caffey once the first-team offense has left the field.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said earlier this week that the lack of passing reps for McCord – the presumed starter next season once Stroud is off the NFL – simply has to do with the sanctity of the game.
“It’s obviously a good problem to have, don’t get me wrong,” Day said. “But it’s something that you want to make sure you respect the game. But at the same time, you want to get him going a little bit. You start to get inside of five or six minutes in the fourth quarter when you’re up in a lopsided game, I just want to make sure I respect the game in that area.”
Day said that the coaches want to get McCord in the game “at the end of the third quarter or early fourth quarter,” but those opportunities are dwindling with Iowa, Penn State and Michigan still on the schedule for the latter half of the regular season.
Even if McCord isn’t throwing the ball, though, Day still sees those snaps as valuable for the former five-star quarterback.
“It’s good to get (McCord) in the game and get whoever in the game, whether it’s the quarterback or anybody else,” Day said. “Getting those game reps under your belt, it’s different than in practice. But that’s just the way I have always believed the game should be played. When you’re rolling and you’re in the third quarter and beginning of the fourth quarter, go play.
“But when you start to get toward the end of those games and they get a little lopsided, I just think that’s the way to respect the game.”