The Ohio State football team hasn’t lived up to high expectations so far this season. They didn’t look good in Week 1 against Minnesota in a 14 point victory. The loss at Oregon created a lot of discussion about this team, particularly the defense. Against Tulsa, it was more of the same.
One of the reasons why the Buckeyes haven’t been able to play as best they can is because of the quarterback play. C.J. Stroud is a first-year starter and growing pains were expected. No one thought he would step up and be Justin Fields 2.0 right out of the gate.
Even so, there are some troubling trends that have arisen. Stroud has completed only 62% of his passes through three games. While he has thrown 8 touchdowns, he has thrown 3 interceptions and lost a fumble. What’s worse is that he hasn’t shown improvement.
Against Tulsa, Stroud was only 15/25 for 185 yards, 1 touchdown, a pick, and a lost fumble. He only threw one deep ball the entire game, and that was negated due to a penalty on the offensive line. He refuses to take deep shots, and it’s hurting the rest of the offense.
Based on the play calling and the personnel that’s in there on offense, Ryan Day clearly doesn’t trust Stroud to throw it deep. Teams are starting to bring their safeties close to the line of scrimmage and dare him to burn them by throwing it deep.
The problem is that he should be able to hit the deep ball. He has the most talented wide receiving corp in the country. Those guys are practically begging Stroud to throw it deep. I understand that he has a shoulder injury, and that is certainly hampering him. But he still needs to at least try to throw it deep.
Based on what I’ve seen through three weeks, Stroud does not give this team the best chance to win. He doesn’t run on read-option-type plays, so defenses crash inside every time they run that play, which further hinders the offense.
Kyle McCord is the quarterback who should be starting for this team. I’ve said it from day one that he is the best quarterback on this team right now. He isn’t afraid to make any throw necessary and has the arm to do it too. He also would run, even though he isn’t quite as fast as Stroud is.
Day needs to make the tough decision and bench Stroud. His performance against a bad Tulsa team was unacceptable. He’s getting worse, not better. He needs to make this decision before the season gets away from the Ohio State football team.