Is Will Howard an upgrade at QB for Ohio State? Star transfer gets first chance to prove worth in spring game

When Ohio State takes the field for its spring game on Saturday, the college football world will get its first glimpse at the changes made by the Buckeyes over the offseason. Chip Kelly gave up a head coaching job to become offensive coordinator in Columbus. Ryan Day and his staff were very active in the transfer portal, bringing in more talent to add to what already a loaded depth chart. Wide receiver Jeremiah Smith, the No. 1 recruit in the nation who is already raising eyebrows with highlight catches in practice, will get the chance to show everybody why he was rated so highly.

While all that is interesting, the focal point of Saturday’s scrimmage should what Will Howard — who transferred from Kansas State to replace Kyle McCord, who’s now at Syracuse — brings to the table at quarterback. Landing Howard out of the portal was among the most interesting moves by a national title contender this offseason.

Is Howard, who may have been on the verge of losing his starting gig to Avery Johnson at Kansas State, a clear upgrade over McCord? Well, that depends on what you’re looking to upgrade. When it comes to being a traditional QB and distributor of the football, I’d argue not. Howard is a more mobile QB who should fit better in Kelly’s offense than McCord would have, and that alone could mean he’s a solution to Ohio State’s biggest problem on offense last season.

Ohio State could not finish drives last season. Here’s a look at how the Buckeyes fared in the red zone compared to the four College Football Playoff teams and Georgia in the regular season.

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Compared to the rest of…


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