Desmond Howard highlighted the sentiment among Ohio State fans during the 2023 Cotton Bowl against Missouri, expressing their regret regarding Kyle McCord’s departure. The former Buckeye quarterback transferred to Syracuse following Ohio State’s third consecutive loss to Michigan. This decision left Ohio State with a depleted quarterback roster, featuring only three scholarship quarterbacks: Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz, and Tristan Gebbia.

The Cotton Bowl Conundrum
The Cotton Bowl witnessed an unfortunate turn of events when Devin Brown suffered a lower leg injury, forcing true freshman Lincoln Kienholz to fill in as the quarterback. This abrupt change posed significant challenges for Ohio State’s offense.

Struggles on the Field
Throughout the first half of the game, Ohio State’s offensive struggles were evident, with the team managing a mere 203 yards and averaging a meager 3.6 yards per play. The lack of offensive momentum became glaringly apparent, highlighting the difficulties faced by the Buckeyes without a seasoned and established quarterback.

Desmond Howard, an ESPN college football analyst, observed Ohio State’s predicament closely, emphasizing the absence of Kyle McCord. He reflected the sentiments of many Buckeyes fans, who expressed a wish for McCord to have remained within the team, particularly as they grappled with quarterback shortages during critical moments in the Cotton Bowl.

The team’s reliance on a true freshman quarterback under pressure showcased the depth of the challenge faced by Ohio State. The departure of McCord and subsequent quarterback injuries amplified concerns about the team’s quarterback depth and its impact on the team’s performance, notably in high-stakes games like the Cotton Bowl.

As the game unfolded, it became increasingly evident that Ohio State’s offensive rhythm suffered significantly without a more experienced quarterback, ultimately contributing to their struggles in generating offensive yardage and maintaining momentum.

Desmond Howard’s commentary served as a reminder of the pivotal role played by quarterbacks in a team’s success, emphasizing the potential impact of losing a talented player like Kyle McCord on Ohio State’s gameplay, especially in crucial matchups like the Cotton Bowl.

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