Day saw much less of Brown than he wanted


DALLAS – Like any college football coach, Ohio State’s Ryan Day does not pick a starting quarterback on a guess and a whim.

He wants to see data. He wants to see evidence. He wants video to review. He wants to see how a player performs under pressure and how he deals with adversity.

He wanted to see all of that and more from Devin Brown, the No. 1 quarterback at Ohio State for the moment, in his first college start in a 14-3 loss against Missouri in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night.

He got none of it. Or, at least, almost none of it when Brown was forced to leave the game early in the second quarter because of a high ankle sprain.

The freshman, who moved up to the top spot on OSU’s quarterback depth chart when this season’s starter, Kyle McCord, entered the transfer portal, completed 4 of 6 passes for 20 yards, was sacked three times, and rushed for a net of 2 yards on 6 carries before the injury.

Day admitted this was a bit of a setback in the search for next season’s starting quarterback.

“This is not what we were expecting where we didn’t have a game to look at and evaluate,” he said after Ohio State’s 14-3 loss to Missouri.

“We know what we see in practice but it’s certainly different when you play in a game. At this point we don’t have that. We’ll go back to work and figure out that part.

“Devin wanted to play in this game worse than anybody. Even after he hurt himself he wanted to get back in there and he actually did for a series. But it wasn’t fair to him, he couldn’t move. He wasn’t supposed to be in the game at that point,” Day said.

“I felt like he was going to have nerves early and we would be able to play through that a little bit. This was his first start, too. And then we lose him. We had a lot of things in the game plan designed for his style of play.”

Kienholz, also a freshman, completed 6-of-17 passes for 86 yards, with a long completion of 25 yards to Emeka Egbuka.

He didn’t make any big mistakes. But he also probably didn’t do well enough to rearrange where he and Brown stand in the quarterback competition.

Day said he limited what Kienholz was asked to do because of his inexperience.

“When you’re a freshman quarterback who comes in during the summer like he did, you don’t have the spring, you really don’t have much of a preseason. When Kyle was in there and Devin was getting reps with the twos, Lincoln wasn’t really getting much of anything. What I didn’t want to do was put him in a situation where he turned the ball over and maybe saw something he was not used to seeing and now we’re really battling uphill,” he said.

Kienholz called his first significant playing time at OSU an awesome experience.

“Just playing in the Cotton Bowl is crazy fun. Being out there was hard at first but just the experience of playing a lot and being out there throwing and running a little bit helps me build my platform for the next four or five years,” he said.

It’s possible the way Friday’s game played out that Day will look at adding a quarterback from the transfer portal if he thinks he can find a good fit.

“We’re going to look at everything. If it helps Ohio State wins these games and reach our goals, we’ll make those changes,” he said.

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