Ohio State Spring Game Review: Kyle McCord

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The Ohio State Spring Game was over a month ago, but Kyle mccord got their first live reps for over a year during the game.

McCord, like most of the Ohio State recruiting class in 2021, was unable to play his final season in high school. This means that the last time he took significant reps was in 2019. While the Spring Game is basically just a fun practice, it was the closest it was to playing a live game for McCord. in a year and a half.

It was also the first time Ohio State fans could see him in anything other than his high school Hudl videos.

McCord is fighting for the open quarterback with CJ Stroud and Jack miller, and as the only true freshman in the mix, he has an uphill battle. Stroud and Miller both have a year in the system.

To describe McCord’s spring game as succinctly as possible, he was better than expected. He is a very talented player and that has never been a problem. But he only spent a few months on campus, which was his biggest hurdle to overcome. Nonetheless, McCord made a good impression.

We did a review of Miller’s Spring Play a few weeks ago, which you can see here. This time it’s McCord under the microscope.

Here’s what we saw of McCord in the Ohio State Spring Game.

Ohio State Spring Game Review: Kyle McCord

McCord on the first ride

Everyone knew that McCord’s greatest strength was his arm, and he showed it right away. His first pass attempt was a 55-yard bomb for Garrett wilson.

It was a short ride, however, and he only had one more attempt in his first possession. The next pass was about 20 yards outside the end zone and was knocked down Jaxon Smith-Njiba.

This reversal was a frustrating failure, as Smith-Njigba immediately beat his defender. The receiver had ten meters of free space in front of him, but McCord put it over his head.

McCord ended the run as the first casualty of Jack Sawyer’s match.

McCord in the rest of the half

While McCord didn’t throw much depth for the rest of the half, he still showed his arm strength.

His only other deep attempt was that of his high school teammate Marvin harrison jr. McCord tried to squeeze the ball between the cornerback and safety, but it ended up being too low for Harrison to shoot it. If he tried to throw it over Harrison’s shoulder instead, then McCord might have had another 40+ pass added to his CV.

McCord’s last practice of the half started five minutes from time, so it was a good look at Buckeye’s late-half attack with McCord under center. On that route, McCord completed seven of his nine assists and led the offense into the end zone.

The first thing that stood out about his performance in this ride was his mobility. McCord is arguably the least athletic quarterback on the Ohio State roster. His high school images are reminiscent of an old school pocket. Still, McCord looked relatively smooth on his scramble alone and used his feet to save time on a few passing attempts along the way.

Second, his willingness to reject control was a good sign. Going into a three-horse race for the quarterback spot as the only true freshman, it would have been tempting for McCord to play with a touchdown or bust mentality. But he threw on the check down several times, showing he was reading the pitch and not putting the ball in danger.

Finally, his arm was alive, whether he threw it deep or checked it. When he made the decision to throw the ball short, the ball rushed out of his hands. He didn’t have to sacrifice power for accuracy as he made a good percentage of his throws. When he missed, he didn’t miss much.

The last pass of training was a touchdown for Smith-Njigba. It was very similar to the one he knocked down on his first ride, except the cover was even tighter.

It was an important pitch as it showed McCord had the touch to complete this pass. It was great to see him get a second chance at a pass he missed early on, and get it the second time around.

McCord in the second half

The real freshman only got one record in the “controlled scrum” portion of the Spring Game.

He completed his three passing attempts and threw another touchdown. Most of his passes were aimed at wide open receivers, but his vision and precision helped games translate into huge mileage after the capture.

Ohio State Spring Game Overall Performance

McCord’s numbers for the day were 12 of 17 completed passes, 184 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and two sacks. It all adds up to a 200.3 quarterback rating.

Stroud had an extra yard to claim the passing crown, but he had five more attempts and four more successes, and a quarterback score of 173.4. By the raw numbers, McCord had the best day of the three-quarters.

McCord certainly has the talent to lead the Buckeyes to winning a lot of games. Whether Ryan Day thinks he’s ready now remains to be seen. The most logical course of action would be to let McCord sit for a year while he tries to work on his touch and precision.

If there is one thing he can do to help, it would be to work on his footwork. When he throws his back foot is completely off the ground, which means he loses some power from his swing. The fact that he does this and still throws as much as he does shows how impressive his arm strength is. But if he can work his mechanics with his feet, his inconsistencies in precision will be easier to correct.

McCord is still an underdog in the race for the starting quarterback at Ohio State, but he will make a high-quality football player whenever he gets the chance to start.





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