Ohio State football: Ryan Day says quarterback competition continues for Justin Fields, Matthew Baldwin

Joey Kaufman
Quarterbacks Justin Fields (1) and Matthew Baldwin (12) are competing for the starting job at Ohio State. [Kyle Robertson]

When Ohio State coach Ryan Day met with reporters Monday, he hinted at a possible revealing juncture in the team’s ongoing offseason quarterback competition.

Day said he planned to quantify the completion percentages for Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin through a majority of spring practices, a step that could affirm either as a favorite in his eyes.

Four days later, Day was asked what he found.

It wasn’t much.

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The results didn’t alter the pecking order between Fields and Baldwin entering the final week of spring practice as the passers vie to replace record-setting Dwayne Haskins as the starter for the Buckeyes.

“The completion percentage is pretty close right now with those guys,” Day said. “We’ve played a little bit more zone coverage so the completion percentage is kind of on par with what Dwayne was last spring. We want to keep working on that the last week here. I think we should be a little higher than we were last spring just because of the style of defense we were going against.”

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Since spring practice began in early March, Day has not offered much publicly when asked if Fields or Baldwin had separated themselves in the race.

Fields, a former heralded high school recruit who arrived as a transfer from Georgia during the winter, is perceived as the favorite among fans and other outside observers of the program.

During Friday’s padded practice, which was open to reporters, Fields, who is a sophomore, directed the first-team offense for a majority of the workout. Baldwin, a redshirt freshman, primarily saw second-team reps.

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Both passers put together their share of highlights.

In the final 11-on-11 period, Fields connected with walk-on wide receiver Garyn Prater for a long touchdown along the sideline. He earlier hit K.J. Hill in the corner of the end zone, zipping the pass on time.

Baldwin also dropped a nice throw to Prater by the sideline.

When Fields ran with the first-team offense, the unit was without right guard Wyatt Davis, who was out due to an illness. Branden Bowen took Davis' place.

Wide receiver Chris Olave also left practice early because of a tight hamstring, but is not expected to be out for a significant length of time.


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