Who is playing QB for Ohio State? Explaining the Buckeyes’ quarterback depth chart for Cotton Bowl

Ohio State has found itself in an interesting position at quarterback since Kyle McCord entered the transfer portal, though it was expected that the Buckeyes would be moving on to another starter at that position.

Will Howard and Cam Ward have been among the most popularly discussed names in that conversation for the next Buckeyes quarterback in 2024.

The Buckeyes have still yet to find their guy officially, but whoever takes the field should be expected to fall in place with a strong legacy that has included big names like C.J. Stroud, Justin Fields, Dwayne Haskins and (technically) Joe Burrow, though he saw most of his accomplishments at LSU.

MORE: Transfer portal QB tracker 2023

Here’s a look into the team’s situation at quarterback in the Cotton Bowl:

Who is playing quarterback for Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl?

Devin Brown will make the first start of his college career for the Buckeyes after McCord transferred to Syracuse. Freshman Lincoln Kienholz and seventh-year senior Tristan Gebbia remain in the mix behind him. 

Over five appearances for the Buckeyes, Brown completed 54.5% of his 22 passing attempts for 197 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he also put together 35 rushing yards and a touchdown, particularly effective in goal-line situations.

“I’m excited to go play and have fun with this team,” Brown told reporters of the opportunity. “I can’t believe my first start is going to be in the Cotton Bowl. It’s a big stage against a really good team. It’s a top-10 matchup, and I’m just excited to go out there and show what I can do.”

And, indeed, this will be a strong opportunity for Brown to do just that on a very high stage against some disadvantageous circumstances.

MORE: TSN experts predict CFP semifinals

Ohio State quarterback depth chart

With McCord gone and without a new standout figure, the Buckeyes are left with a group of three that doesn’t exactly include a household name.

Here’s a complete look at the depth chart for Ohio State at quarterback moving into the bowl game.

Place Name
1 Devin Brown
2 Lincoln Kienholz
3 Tristan Gebbia

Why is Devin Brown wearing No. 33?

Brown switched to No. 33 ahead of this season as a tribute to legendary quarterback Sammy Baugh.

While it’s not uncommon for players to wear a certain number as a tribute to another player, Baugh’s name isn’t one you will typically hear from college students today. A TCU great who was drafted in 1937 and spent his 16-year NFL career in Washington, Baugh played before the Super Bowl era and passed away at age 94 in 2008. Still, No. 33 has gone down the line in Brown’s family.

“My dad had always talked about it and so I put it on when I was seven years old and had never taken off until high school,” Brown told reporters in March, calling No. 33 “the original quarterback number.”

Brown switched away from No. 33 in high school because it was being worn by a running back already on the roster, and he wore No. 15 as a true freshman at Ohio State.

The Sporting News’ Dan Treacy contributed to this report

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