The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently favored against the Akron Zips by 49 points, so it might not matter who they put in there at quarterback. That is perhaps part of the reason that head coach Ryan Day has announced he will hold redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud out of the game to rest a nagging shoulder injury.
BREAKING: Ohio State will rest C.J. Stroud against Akron and only use the starting quarterback in an "emergency" role. https://t.co/gn4uHQnnDR
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) September 23, 2021
While Stroud has certainly shown some flashes of great play this season, he’s also struggled with inconsistency, perhaps due in part to the limited practice reps he had during training camp as he struggled to deal with shoulder pain. And while getting reps against the Zips might be just what would help him, Day would prefer to give his top QB some rest and let backups Kyle McCord and Jack Miller gain some experience of their own in the comfy confines of The Horseshoe.
“If it works out, we’ll [play other quarterbacks],” Day told the media earlier in the week. “But when C.J. Stroud gets in there, we also want him to find a rhythm as well and get that execution of the offense. That’s the No. 1 goal is to make sure that we’re executing at a high level and finding that rhythm.
“At the end of the day, that’s what we’re trying to find. If something presents itself where we can get other guys in the game, we certainly want to do that.”
It seems like Day decided afterward that it would just be better to let Stroud take the week off. It’s unclear if McCord or Miller will be the actual starter at this point, but we’ll likely find out as the game, scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CST, gets closer. Neither QB has accumulated any stats so far this season.
Given the history of the two programs, it seems like as safe a bet as any. OSU leads the all-time series 7-1 and won the last showdown 42-0 in 2011. The Zips come into the game with a 1-2 record, which includes a blowout 60-10 loss to Auburn and a 45-24 loss to Temple.