How Do You Measure Success?
Fall camp is in full swing for the Ohio State football team.
Plays are being charted. The good and the bad are piling up.
At quarterback, three guys are getting split reps until somebody steps forward and declares himself the starter.
In a perfect world, there would be a single particular statistic that coaches could turn to when trying to decide on the starting quarterback.
According to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich, however, it’s not that easy.
“Well, it’d be wins, but unfortunately, you don’t you don’t play anybody in the preseason,” he said. “You know, that’s the ultimate stat. And that’s the only stuff that matters. But I think after we get into it for a couple weeks, and we’re able to put some live scrimmages together, and try to simulate the game as much as possible we’ll have a better feel for what that timeline is and who that’s going to be.”
Can You Lead Without Ever Being Out Front?
With that search for a starting quarterback ongoing, so is the search for leadership at the position.
Only fifth-year senior Chris Chugunov has a start to his credit, and sophomore Justin Fields and junior Gunnar Hoak have only ever watched somebody start.
Whoever wins the job won’t just be managing his position, he’ll also be at the head of the offense as a leader.
While some might wonder how possible that is for a quarterback in the midst of a position battle, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said it’s quite possible. In fact, it’s pretty easy.
“I don’t think it’s that hard because of the nature of the position,” he said. “I think that all quarterbacks should be leaders, and I think whether it’s the starter, the backup, whoever, that’s his leadership role and that’s just part of the job. At the end of the day, your job as a quarterback is to lead 10 men down the field to a touchdown. So it goes with the job, with the territory, and Joe Burrow was never a starting quarterback here but he was always a leader when he was here. So I think that’s just part of the job, regardless of whether you’re a starter or a backup.”
Seemingly each time reporters meet with Ryan Day after an Ohio State football practice, he will mention that the defense had a large number of interceptions that day.
Sure, there are new quarterbacks throwing the football and mistakes are going to be made, but this is also a new defense designed to create more turnovers.
And so far, this new defense has been doing exactly what everyone had hoped.
““Yeah, I think it definitely helps you create turnovers,” junior cornerback Jeff Okudah said last week. “I know today we probably pushed north of five interceptions. We mighta had almost eight. So I think zone gives you a chance to make a lot of plays on the ball. And then on top of that, as far as fatigue and playing press man, every single play. I mean, obviously everyone wants to do it. But it’s not the most ideal thing.
“If you’re playing press man every single play, because it’s a lot of man-to-man beaters as far as crossing routes and we just keep getting… you saw us against the team up north. So when you’re able to mix it up. I mean, it makes it harder for the offensive coordinators.”