While Ohio State football QB situation nears resolution, offensive line still a concern

Has Ohio State's quarterback competition finally been resolved?
The battle between junior Kyle McCord and redshirt freshman Devin Brown has been the biggest plotline with the Buckeyes ever since C.J. Stroud's departure to the NFL left them without an obvious successor.
According to coach Ryan Day, the two went back and forth in their competition, with neither truly separating himself.
But someone had to start against Indiana, and Day said McCord earned that right with his consistency late in camp. In making the announcement, Day made clear that Brown would have his chance to win the job with his play in early games.
After Saturday's 35-7 victory over Youngstown State, it seems like the next announcement will be that McCord has officially won the job.
McCord looked poised and in command against the overmatched Penguins. He connected with high school teammate Marvin Harrison Jr. for first-quarter touchdown passes of 71 and 39 yards. McCord finished with 258 passing yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing while playing barely half the game.
More: Bottom line: How did the Buckeyes grade vs. Youngstown State? How did OSU's offense grade?
He played the first three possessions before Brown took over for a 60-yard touchdown drive in which he completed 2 of 6 passes. McCord played one series in the third quarter before Brown played the rest of the game.
Afterward, Day came closer to committing to McCord as his starter than he has so far.
“We'll look at it over this weekend and try to see if he's taken that step,” Day said. “I'm not ready to make a decision right now.”
More: Sunday Rewind: Ohio State 35, Youngstown State 7
He then praised McCord's performance, something he had been reticent to do effusively about either quarterback.
“I think early in games like this, how you play matters,” Day said. “I like how he came out of the gates playing well. They're (the Penguins) fresh. They're playing their best football in that first quarter. You want to see us playing good football, and he made some nice throws early on. He got himself into a rhythm and showed that he can make some of those throws, and that's important.”
Day also said that Brown had some impressive plays, but he pointed out he thought Brown looked “a little anxious” when he first entered the game.
Actions speak louder than words, and that's the strongest indicator of where this race stands. McCord played eight of the first nine possessions against Indiana. He played four of the first five against Youngstown State.
Asked if he believed he'd done enough to secure the starting job, McCord took a page out of “Bull Durham.”
“It's not up to me,” he said. “It's a question for coach Day. The only thing I'm worried about is whenever I'm on the field making the most out of my opportunities. If that's every single drive, that's great. If it's every other drive, that's great. If it's one drive, that's great.”
Brown said he doesn’t consider the battle to be over.
“I’ve always felt I was in the race,” he said. “That’s never going to change for me. I’m always going to think I’m the guy. But we’ve just got to do what’s best for the team, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Brown gave himself a “C” for his performance Saturday. He made a nifty play to convert a fourth-down pass by moving out of the pocket. He also was inaccurate on some throws.
“I missed some throws that I definitely would have liked to have back,” Brown said. “But I didn't have any reads that I felt were wrong. No mental mistakes.”
Day has said repeatedly he wants his quarterback to make the routine plays. Through two games, McCord has done that better. Saturday, he did more than that.
While the quarterback situation appears close to a resolution, the offense’s other big concern remains exactly that. For the second straight week, the offensive line struggled. Against Youngstown State, penalties were the main problem.
Center Carson Hinzman and left tackle Josh Simmons, both new starters, committed holding penalties. Simmons, who committed 17 penalties last year for San Diego State, was also flagged for a personal foul when he pushed the helmet off a YSU lineman. That penalty nullified a 17-yard touchdown run by TreVeyon Henderson.
“We're not going to wait around and say, ‘Well, we'll get it next week,’ ” Day said. “We’ve got to get it fixed now. There were some good things today for sure. But I think it's just the consistency.”
It’s not a matter of talent, Day said.
“So we have to look at what we’re doing schematically and make sure it’s not too complex, make sure it’s simple," he said. "All we ask them to do is play really, really hard and execute.”
The execution has not been consistent.
“We have to identify if we’re doing the right things with them and where the breakdowns are coming from,” Day said.
Ohio State knew it had three games before the Sept. 23 showdown at Notre Dame to resolve the questions at quarterback and offensive line.
One appears close. The other isn’t.

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