Ohio State heads into Saturday’s game against Akron as a 49-point favorite, which means that backup quarterbacks Kyle McCord and Jack Miller will likely see their first action of the season in relief of starter C.J. Stroud.
On the other hand, don’t expect true freshman Quinn Ewers to make his college debut this weekend – or, quite possibly, in any game this fall.
“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,” head coach Ryan Day said during his weekly 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.”
The former five-star prospect from Southlake (Texas) Carroll reclassified from the class of 2022 in order to enroll early and profit from his name, image and likeness, something he wasn’t able to do as a high school athlete in the Lone Star State. But the time he arrived on campus in mid-August, the Buckeyes were already two weeks into fall camp.
Ewers then missed a few days of practice with an undisclosed injury, and that – coupled with the fact that Stroud, McCord and Miller have been competing since the spring – has him behind the others in terms of his development.
“He’ll get some reps today, but I can’t sit here and tell you he gets enough reps to be able to prepare to play in a game right now,” Day said. “It’s really impossible once you’re into the season to give somebody reps, and these young quarterbacks need as many reps as they can just to get ready to play in the game.”
That said, Stroud has played every offensive snap for the Ohio State through three games. But if there’s one game this season where both McCord and Miller could play, it’s against the Zips, who have won just three games over the last four seasons.
“This week, we’ll take a look at the circumstances and see if it makes sense to have some other guys take some reps,” Day said. “I would love to get some of those guys in there and see what they can do.
“Finding the amount of reps to give those guys in games, that is a challenge. Certainly, those guys understand it, but the better those guys practice, the more opportunities they’re going to have. If those guys want to play, they have to practice well. They have to prepare every day because they have to gain the confidence of the guys that are in that offense. And that’s part of it.
“The minute you can start to put that in practice, you’re going to get more opportunities in a game. That’s just how it works. You don’t just walk in and deserve reps, that’s not how it works.”
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