July 23, 2024

Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord had his offence clicking as he found himself down six with the ball on the road in the Big House and a chance to win one of the biggest iterations of the greatest rivalry in college football. The Buckeyes had a chance to rekindle the rivalry in dramatic fashion after making some big passes to Julian Fleming and Marvin Harrison Jr. to get them into Michigan territory. The time passed by, and every second seemed like a minute.

 

One question was going to be answered in those sickening moments: Did Ryan Day make the right choice in hand-selecting his quarterback as one of his first actions as Ohio State’s coach?

Unquestionably, Day has outperformed everyone else in the sport when it comes to selecting and developing quarterbacks. A potential first-round NFL Draught pick leading the offence is the one thing Ohio State will have on its roster.

Next, McCord made an intercepted pass. Final: Michigan 30, Ohio State 24.

When I saw Michigan’s second defensive back, Rod Moore, grab the game-winning interception, my mind went back to May 2019 in Chicago.

That’s when, as a recruit, I went to see J.J. McCarthy following his

had promised to attend Michigan. A blond child, who appeared childlike, caught my attention. He had a radiant smile and the self-assurance to tell me that Michigan would change significantly after he left.

Why?

Because of what Day and his staff had done to him, he detested Ohio State.

McCarthy visited Columbus on recruiting visits and grew up admiring Ohio State. But once Day decided he preferred McCord, he felt Ohio State had lied to him during the recruiting process.

More than four years ago, in his high school coach’s office, McCarthy uttered the words, “I understand it’s a business.” But being misled is always unpleasant. And that’s also sort of where my rivalry and hatred began. However, what will you do? Since it’s a business, they must take the necessary actions. They told me falsehoods, but now everything is OK.

Against Ohio State, Michigan has won three straight games, the last two of which McCarthy started. At the time of his commitment to Michigan, it was simply unfathomable that the Wolverines would win three straight games in this rivalry. He has been driven by contempt and hatred for his opponent, just like a great deal of the characters in this series.

At the time, McCarthy was merely a teenage boy. He was making a joke about how he was waiting for his underarms to grow hair. Then he told Day exactly how he felt, in a firm and confident manner.

These are the recruiting decisions that a coach must make correctly, according to stories published in May. Although it currently seems like a non-issue, time and change will eventually reveal themselves.

McCarthy is now a man. Potential pick in the NFL Draught is him. He succeeds.

Day? As the coach of the Buckeyes, he has to accept the possibility that he might have lost to Michigan for the third time in a row because he made a decision that turned out to be incorrect, even though he has consistently been correct.

The narrative of McCord’s tenure as Ohio State’s quarterback is still being written. Earlier in the season, he led a drive that won the game away from Notre Dame, and he appeared prepared to do it again on thelargest stage that is feasible. But instead of being outstanding, he threw an interception that ended the game.

He might start at quarterback for Ohio State the following season. Maybe in November of next year, he’ll defeat Michigan. Alternatively, Day might feel compelled to access the transfer portal and correct the assessment mistake he made.

McCord didn’t play poorly in this match. However, he threw a tough interception in the fourth quarter that ended the game and a mind-numbing interception in the first quarter that led to a touchdown for Michigan. Between came moments of brilliance and moments when it seemed as though the Buckeyes were unable to complete a pass. Harrison on your side means that is not going to happen.

As the last seconds passed, Day appeared to be in complete agony. I can’t imagine how he was feeling at the time. However, you do so knowing that the outcome of this game will be the only criterion used to evaluate you as Ohio State’s coach.

Everything has been going very badly.

You can pick him apart for calling a more cautious game than he would have if the opposition had been Minnesota or Maryland, or for playing for a 52-yard field goal before the half. You can also criticise him for bringing in a $2 million coordinator who put together a strong defensive unit statistically throughout the season, only to be destroyed when a stop was crucial in the closing minutes of the game.

What Ohio State supporters most likely didn’t plan on was getting angry with Day over his quarterbacking and/or recruiting. It has been his lifeline.

Ain’t no Patrick Mahomes, is McCarthy. It’s not as though he is the best quarterback in history. However, in the second quarter, he completed 16 of his 20 passes for 148 yards, including a perfectly timed touchdown pass between two defenders.

You can criticise him all you want, and some of it is justified, but the football game was won by him.

I find myself thinking about McCarthy’s last words from that May day in 2019.

He remarked of Ohio State, “I used to love them.” “I want to kill them now.”

 

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