Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced on Thursday that redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud has been resting his injured shoulder in practice and will only play in Saturday's game against Akron in an emergency role.
That means either redshirt freshman Jack Miller or true freshman Kyle McCord will start against the Zips, which will mark their first action after Stroud played every offensive snap in the first three games of the season.
“Going into this game, we’ve asked C.J. to take these last couple of days off and rest that shoulder,” Day said during his weekly radio show on 97.1 The Fan. “Kyle and Jack have done a good job, and so the plan right now is to – we’ll see how today goes – but probably use C.J. in somewhat of an emergency capacity on Saturday and play some of those other guys.”
Day did not name a starter, but it’s worth noting McCord has been the second-team quarterback in pregame warmups. He notably completed 8 of 11 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown in the spring game after enrolling early in classes.
“I have faith in both of those guys,” Day said. “It was the same situation we had with C.J. the first game. We have young quarterbacks, and that’s how it works. At some point, you have to get them out there and let them play and learn from their mistakes. We just trust what we see in practice. It’s all about their preparation. They’re going up against really good players every day in practice.
"We knew going into the season we were going to need the whole room. We talked about that coming in, that this probably wasn’t going to just be one guy. We’re going to need everybody. We certainly know the story on that in 2014, with J.T. (Barrett), Cardale (Jones) and Braxton (Miller). Maybe this year is similar to that.”
One thing for certain, though, is that true freshman Quinn Ewers will not play, as he’s still behind the others in his development after only arriving on campus midway through fall camp and will be unavailable.
“I think he would tell you that it’s been hard for him kind of jumping into this thing during the preseason and then being out for a little bit of a stretch,” Day said during his press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re trying to get him as much information as we can, but there’s a lot of catching up to be done there.
“He’s trying, he’s working at it, but once we get in the season, it’s very, very difficult to get guys to catch up and get them the reps, because we need to get the guys reps who are going to play in the game.”
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