Scarlet Tops Gray in Jesse Owens Spring Game

By Jason Priestas on April 23, 2011 at 4:38p
"There is only one sort of discipline, perfect discipline."

An overcast sky and a dominating defense brought fears on two fronts as the Jesse Owens Spring Game got underway in Ohio Stadium this afternoon, but in the end, the rain held off (just barely) and a young and inexperienced offense came to life as the Scarlet (offense) defeated the Gray (defense) 59-27 in a "game" played under one of those unique scoring systems that seem to surface every few years or so.

Longtime backup Joe Bauserman earned the start with Terrelle Pryor on the sidelines in a headset still recovering from postseason surgery and through the first couple of series, the script followed what we saw at last weekend's closed scrimmage when the defense completely dominated a young and banged-up offense. Things started with an incomplete pass to tight end Jake Stoneburner and then a one yard run from fullback Zach Boren. A false start setup a 3rd and 14 leading to a Nathan Williams sack of Bauserman and groans from the crowd.

On the next series, running back Boom Herron busted loose for a 17 yard gain, but again, Bauserman was sacked -- this time for a loss of nine yards by Dominic Clarke and before you could say "Oh Brutus", the first team offense found themselves in a 2nd-and-34 situation (there's a play for that on the card, right?) thanks to the awesome holding+delay of game combo on back-to-back plays.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Graham came out on the next series to try his luck with the first team offense and didn't fare much better. An 8 yard completion to Verlon Reed and two Carlos Hyde runs led to a first down, but that was quickly followed up by an 8 yard sack of Graham out of linebacker Jordan Whiting. Graham would find freshman tight end Jeff Heuerman for a 7 yard gain on 2nd-and-18, but would overthrow Carlos Hyde out of the backfield to kill the possession.

Ken Guiton was in next and it was more of the same. A first down on the opening two plays thanks to a 4 yard run from Jordan Hall and a 7 yard completion to T.Y. Williams, but three quick incompletions led to another stop for the defense and another change at quarterback for the offense.

Hyped freshman Braxton Miller got the next crack and handed off twice to Rod Smith to move the chains before a series of incompletions led to another stall. Miller, in his first action in front of Ohio State fans, was elusive early and just narrowly missed overthrowing DeVier Posey on a scrambling attempt, but clearly had a case of the nerves, causing him to tuck the ball and move when he probably had a little bit more time to work in the pocket.

Bauserman would enter to lead the next offensive series, which started at the defense's 25 as the team got in some situational work to practice for overtime ball placement. After 3 yard Jordan Hall run, Bauserman found Chris Fields on a nice pass to the left sideline for 15 yards, setting up a a first-and-goal. A 22 yard completion to Heuerman and then two incompletions would follow, setting up the first real scoring of the day, a 22 yard field goal from Drew Basil.

Rushing No Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Hall, Jordan 8 37 0 37 1 9 4.6
Herron, Daniel 6 40 3 37 0 17 6.2
Smith, Rod 7 36 0 36 0 11 5.1
Miller, Braxton 4 19 0 19 0 6 4.8
Berry, Jaamal 2 16 0 16 0 12 8.0
Hyde, Carlos 6 11 4 7 0 4 1.2
DeLande, Spencer 1 7 0 7 0 7 7.0
Boren, Zach 1 1 0 1 0 1 1.0
Bauserman, Joe 3 5 15 -10 0 5 -3.3
Graham, Taylor 5 0 30 -30 0 0 -6.0
Passing Comp Att Int Yds TD Lg Sack
Miller, Braxton 7 12 0 73 1 20 0
Guiton, Kenny 5 11 0 43 1 17 0
Bauserman, Joe 4 11 0 42 1 16 2
Graham, Taylor 4 9 0 91 1 68 5
Receiving No Yds TD Lg
Williams, T.Y. 3 83 1 68
Heuerman, Jeff 3 14 0 7
Posey, DeVier 2 26 0 20
Reed, Verlon 2 25 1 17
Hall, Jordan 2 21 0 17
Berry, Jaamal 2 14 0 8
Stoneburner, Jake 2 11 0 6
Ross, Ryan 1 16 1 16
Fields, Chris 1 15 0 15
Brown, Corey 1 15 1 15
DeLande, Spencer 1 9 0 9

Graham would would be up again with a chance to punch it in from the 25, but he was sacked by Joel Hale on first down for a loss of six. Boom ripped off a 13-yarder on 2nd down to setup a 3rd-and-3, but a low pass led to an incompletion to Corey Brown. Ben Buchanan entered to try a 35 yard field goal, but missed "wide low" and it was time for another quarterback.

Miller showed more quicks in his appearance, following up a 4 yard run from Jaamal Berry with a 6 yard keeper setting up a first down at the 15. An option to Boom netted a loss of one and two incompletions brought Basil back in to attempt and make a 27 yard field goal.

Guiton, made quick work of his opportunity from the 25, connecting with Berry for an 8 yard gain on first down and then quickly following it up with a nicely thrown pass and catch to Verlon Reed from 17 yards out for the first touchdown of the afternoon. As good as Guiton looked, it's worth pointing out that he was going against a 2nd team back seven.

After the simulated overtime possessions, the quarterbacks were given a chance to show what they could do on a long field, starting their drives at their own 8 yard line. Bauserman was in first, but his appearance didn't last long as two quick three-and-outs sent him to the bench in favor of Miller.

Three straight Jordan Hall rushes moved the chains to the 24 before the freshman quarterback found Hall out of the backfield for a 17 yard gain, thanks to a missed tackle near the line. Rod Smith would follow with a bruising 11 yard run and then Miller would find Hall for 4 more before hitting Posey on a nice 20 yard completion over the middle to setup a 1st-and-10 at the Gray's 24. After a couple of runs netted just four yards, Stoneburner plucked a Miller dart out of the air with one hand to keep the drive alive and then Jordan Hall put the finishing touches on it by rushing three times for the remaining 14 yards, the last a five-yarder into the endzone following a killer Boren block on freshman safety Jeremy Cash. This was clearly the best drive of the afternoon with Miller using his feet and arm to keep plays alive and the chains moving.

Guiton would enter next and would see his series sputter, despite a nice 9 yard run out of Boom and a 12-yarder from Berry. Graham, in next and also taking over at his own three, would have better luck. Rod Smith, who looked great all afternoon, cranked off 14 yards on three carries to start the possession before Graham found T.Y. Williams for 8 yards. After a 7 yard run from Spencer DeLande moved the chains, Graham would throw to incompletions before hitting T.Y. Williams beautifully in stride for a 68 yard touchdown down the right sideline. Williams had created separation between his man and himself, leaving Graham to just throw it up for the 6-5 redshirt frosh.

The offense was spotted the ball at the defense's 25 again and Braxton Miller wasted little time on his next possession, finding Corey Brown on a 15 yard out for six in his final appearance of the afternoon. After a bumpy, but by no means horrible start, he would end the day with touchdowns on his final two possessions, the first a 14-play, 92 yard masterpiece.

Graham and Guiton were unable to do much with their final possessions from the 25. Graham, in particular, was sacked on three straight plays, reinforcing the notion that he has a nice arm, but can be a statue in the pocket. Bauserman would wrap things up by converting a 4th-and-1 for a 16 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Ross on the final series of the game.

With that, the players sang Carmen Ohio to the fans remaining in the south stands before making a beeline to the locker room to avoid the rain.

In the end, it's hard to take too much out of these games. Braxton Miller certainly looked good (7/12 for 73 and a TD) as did Rod Smith and a few other players (in addition to the defensive front, which looked solid). I don't think we're any closer to finding out who will start game one in Pryor's absence, though it was nice to see what each of the four quarterbacks could do under simulated conditions.

Here is Jim Tressel's thoughts on the afternoon:


Comments Show All Comments

Roger's picture

Now someone PLEEEEEASE upload this to youtube. Thanks and f5.

ERIC OSU's picture

Thanks for the recap gentlemen! Unfortunately I had to work today and couldnt watch the game.. Very in-depth, appreciated... Hypothetically, based on todays game/early workouts/etc...IF the season started tomorrow how would you list the depth chart of QB's 1-4?

F5, miss you Jermil & Mr.April

Alex's picture

Personally, after watching today, my order would be:






Keep in mind that's mostly based on what I saw today. I got a complete MAN CRUSH on Braxton today and it'll take a lot of convincing to change my mind that he's the best option for this time right now. If KG could get more consistent or TG could move a little more, I'd like them a bit more because of experience in the system, but right now BM seems to have the full package and two games against Akron and Toledo should have him prepared for Miami.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Braxton looked so much more poised than I expected. While he was clearly nervous at the beginning, he still went through his progressions and delivered some great throws. 

Conroy's picture

Etienne Sabino really stood out on defense.  Simon too.

Colin's picture

I know my opinion doesn't count for anything, but now that I've seen them play...and basing off of the WWTD (What Would Tressel Do) fashion my order would be:

Miller - Too talented not to start once he learns the offense a little more.

Bauserman - Too experienced not to be the main backup.

Guiton - I wasn't overly impressed with him today but he has experience and knows the playbook, he's mobile so he wouldn't screw up too bad but there isn't enough there to start. Similar skillset to Miller but probably worse in every category.

Graham - Has a good arm but is just too immobile, it would be like Todd Boeckman National Chamapionship or USC 2008 all over again. Will take too many sacks and kill his effectiveness.

This is still my opinion so if it was truly Tressel fashion #1 and #2 would flip.


Denny's picture

2nd-and-34: Brett Bielema's sheet says to 'go for two'.


NoVA Buckeye's picture

two burgers at the concession stand? or am i thinking of charlie weis?

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Johnnycake's picture

Graham will learn more pocket presence but it won't matter.Braxton is the man. You could see it in film when he was 15. Best arm to come out of Ohio since Roethlisberger and Schlicter



BuckeyeChief's picture

Wow. Best, huh? I haven't seen any highlights from him, but with comments like that, I'm expecting great things.

"2014 National with it!!!"

Normal Buck's picture

Dude throws a nice ball.  Gotta work on the touch a little.  I, too, was presently surprised how good he looked today. 

robert goulet's picture

And Zwick, right? From what I saw, Miller did nothing to drop his stock. At worst, how many times has Pryor come out firing fast & high, even up to last season? Simply put, Bauserman is not at the level that Boeckman was in 2008 and Miller is a more polished passer than Pryor was as a frosh. Pryor started game 3 that year - I'll be surprised if Miller doesn't see more than 50% of the snaps in Miami and is starting by the Colorado game.

phxbuck's picture

If you recorded the game, go back and watch #55 Tommy Brown. How this guy got a D1 scholarship offer from OSU is beyond me.

Kasino Royale's picture


poop's picture

Bollman must have some dirt on Tress or something. He should have been fired years ago.

Nick Buckeye's picture

Sigh, this drives me nuts.  I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day thinking about the different spring game format due to the lack of O lineman and how much that position group under recruits and under preforms all other position groups.  It hit me that it's likely that in the last 5 years, Indiana has probably done a better job with OL than Ohio State, which is pathetic.  

Bucks's picture

I have no love for Jim Bollman but blaming him for every offensive woe is getting old. He even had some O-line duties removed 2 years ago I believe. The only time the line got better was after time & experience took hold, as well as injuries resolved.

The O-line especially has been a problem since well... the past decade. That isn't just the Coordinator, there are underlying issues there from recruitment to coaching.


Bollfail is definately a person I wish would go away, but everything is hardly his fault.

Bucks's picture

I know Ramzy had the opinion that Miller would be fun to watch against walk-ons & women but he looked promising against the 1's. Pleasantly surprised by that. I considered him getting a starting nod to be unlikely, but no more.

Bauserman. Lordie. I cannot grasp someone being as incapable as he keeps appearing to be. It almost angers me that this guy has been a #2 for two seasons. I don't give two flying monkeys how good he looks when in practice against noone, the guy has proven he is terrible in game time. I'd rather have any of the other QB's behind Pryor, even as a freshman.

The backs had some good looks at times, but also suffered from some serious issues on O-line. Having to say a RB made the line look decent-good has already surpassed getting old.


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Is there going to be any video from the Spring Game on 11Dub by chance? 

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Jason Priestas's picture

We are not allowed to post game footage, but we have a lot of interviews up on our YouTube page:

Powers's picture

anyone see The Villian with the game clinching free throws!?

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

He played his rear off in that game.  Proud of ET!  I hope he learns a lot from this.