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Ryan Day “Would’ve Liked” To Play Devin Brown More In Win Over Indiana

By September 4, 2023 (12:00 pm)Football

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said last week that he planned to play both quarterbacks – junior Kyle McCord and redshirt freshman Devin Brown – against Indiana, but that ended up not the case.

As expected, McCord started under center for Ohio State, but he went on to play in all but two of the Buckeyes’ offensive drives throughout the 23-3 win, finishing having completed 20 of 33 passes for 239 yards and no touchdowns while throwing for an interception.

Day said the reason Brown – who played in just two series for the entire contest – did not enter the game was because of Ohio State’s early difficulties establishing a groove on offense, and he did not want to exacerbate those problems by rotation between signal callers.

“I would have liked to have seen Devin play a little bit more,” Day said. “We went three-and-out there and then I was worried that we weren’t going to be able to get into a rhythm. We already felt a little clunky early on, missed some short yardage situations, didn’t convert on some third downs, and so I didn’t want to run the risk of putting ourselves in a bad spot by continually moving those guys in and out.

“But going in, you know, (I) really wanted to play Devin some more. (I) would like to do that moving forward. But like I said, from the beginning, we have to make sure we’re doing what’s right for the team, what’s right for Ohio State, and I felt like that was the right call at the time.”

During Brown’s two drives in the game, he played just six total snaps – two handoffs, one ill-fated rushing attempt that ended in a 3-yard loss and three passing attempts, two of which fell incomplete while the third went for a 2-yard loss. Day had been adamant throughout the week leading into the game that Brown would see the field, and while that wasn’t the case, he hopes that Brown will be able to play more significant snaps in the coming weeks.

“In my mind, I wanted to get him in (during) the third series, and probably the fifth or sixth, and it just didn’t quite work out that way,” Day said, “so we’ll reevaluate it this week.”

As for McCord’s performance, it was an up-and-down outing for the third-year quarterback, with several impressive throws combined with a handful of plays that both Day and McCord wish the offense could have had back. But after a shaky first half – not only for McCord, but for the offense as a whole – Day said McCord had a positive rebound in leading two scoring drives during the third quarter.

“I thought in the third quarter, during those couple of drives, we got into a rhythm,” Day said. “I thought the (49-yard) throw down the middle to Cade (Stover) was a really nice throw. That was big. There was some plays, certainly, that we want to have back. I think we’ll have to, again, look at the film and see. I think it was a mixed bag, overall – have to see if it was a mixed bag with a positive or negative. That’s part of watching the film. Sometimes you think coming out of the game that something happened and you didn’t quite see it that way on the film. So we’ll get on it, identify it and move forward.”

And whether it’s helping McCord to continue settling in at quarterback or mixing things up and getting more playing time for Brown, Day said there were plenty of lessons to be learned in the win.

“That’s the journey. That’s the part I like. Going back now and figuring out, OK, where are we at? What did we anticipate? What you can’t do is take a bunch of chances and be reckless and all of a sudden put yourself at risk of losing a game. You can’t do that,” he said. “(We) probably could have been a little bit more aggressive at times today, but the number one goal is to get the win and then move forward. There’s going to have to be times (where) we’re going to have to be more aggressive, for sure.”

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