One of the biggest stories of the CFB off-season is the quarterback battle between C.J. Stroud, Kyle McCord, and Jack Miller III. Stroud and Miller were both redshirt freshman last year and haven’t thrown a single pass in College. McCord recently enrolled in classes this past January and is very inexperienced.
The annual spring game gave us a glimpse of the ongoing quarterback battle. Stroud and McCord looked promising, throwing for 185 and 184 yards. Additionally, they both threw for two touchdowns. Jack Miller looked the least impressive passing for 128 yards with one interception. Miller only completed 17 passes in 30 attempts.
Stroud from my point of view looks like the starter. He seemed cool, collected and he could sling it. He started his drive off with a 40-yard reception to Chris Olave. He had confidence in his receivers and seemed confident. Stroud knew his limitations and decided to check down to the running back numerous times and showed he can read the field.
McCord out of the gate demonstrated his arm strength with a 55-yard reception to Garret Wilson. He had a questionable moment with receiver Jameson Williams where the ball went nowhere near him but it looked like a miscommunication. He came back from the play and ran with it for the first down and finished his drive with a touchdown to Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Miller’s first drive was relatively good. He seemed comfortable in the pocket and was able to navigate the pressure he was receiving from deadly defensive end Jack Sawyer. Completing 6/9 isn’t too bad but he struggled in the red zone where there wasn’t much space for
him to not have accurate throws. After his interception, he seemed mentally drained and lost any confidence he had.
Coach Ryan Day didn’t seem surprised by the performances in his press conference he said “This was very similar to what this whole spring has been. Some good, some not so good, and a lot of learning opportunities there. There are flashes here and there, and then there are just some learning opportunities. The race is on over the next few months to see who can make the next stride.”
Stroud and McCord seem to be the favorites to be under center for the Buckeyes this fall. McCord is a former five-star recruit and Stroud was on the edge of being a five-star recruit. Both are labeled as pro-style quarterbacks and both seem to have a very similar skillset with Stroud slightly edging out McCord in terms of athleticism.
It’s a long way until September 2nd where the Buckeyes will have their season opener against Minnesota so we’re gonna have to wait a bit longer to see how this shakes out. Either way, Buckeye fans should be excited.