2012 Spring Game Preview

By Jason Priestas on April 21, 2012 at 6:00a
The first spring game of Urban Meyer's Ohio State career is a mere hours awayAll smiles in Columbus this April.
Ohio State Buckeyes SCARLET 1:30 PM ET - BTN —— Ohio Stadium Columbus, OH Ohio State Buckeyes GRAY

What a difference a year makes.

Last April, Ohio State as a football program was limping into it's annual spring game with a coach fighting for his job, a star quarterback injured and taking in the spring game as a spectator and a fanbase feeling as if all of the greatness of the previous decade was slipping away.

It would only get worse. Jim Tressel was forced out for lying to the NCAA, the 2011 spring game would be the last time Terrelle Pryor would suit up in a Buckeye uniform and the team would turn to Luke Fickell as an interim coach on the way to stumbling to a 6-7 record, the program's first losing record since Ronald Reagan was in office.

In late November, a white knight rode in and in one introductory press conference, helped erase 12 months of stink. Today marks the first time Urban Meyer will take the field at Ohio Stadium, in front of fans, to lead his team.

Assuming the weather cooperates -- and it looks like it might -- today's spring game may play out perfectly as the opening of a new era at Ohio State. One filled with the confidence and excellence we're all so used to.

While the 2011 spring game used an offense vs. defense structure, this year's event will resemble more of a traditional game, with both squads fielding offensive and defensive units.

Offensive coordinator Tom Herman will lead the Scarlet squad, while his defensive counterpart, Luke Fickell, takes charge of the Gray team.

Herman's side will feature Braxton Miller, and he alone may be good enough to provide the edge in this matchup, but Miller won't have the full compliment of his playmakers as most of them will suit up for Gray.  Running back Jordan Hall, tight end Jake Stoneburner and wide receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith will catch passes from Kenny Guiton (the star of last year's spring game) and newcomer Cardale Jones.

We're to expect a lot of passing today, so Miller will try to connect with wide receivers Chris Fields, Michael Thomas and Tyrone Williams as well as tight ends Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett. Should Scarlet choose to run the ball, Miller will hand off to Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith, two guys that have quickly become veterans on this team.

What Miller and Team Scarlet lacks in playmakers on the edge, they make up for on the offensive line. With Reid Fragel, Marcus Hall, Corey Linsley and Jack Mewhort, Tom Herman's squad will trot out four starters to help protect against a Gray defensive line that features Adam Bellamy, Garrett Goebel, Steve Miller and the destroyer of worlds, John Simon. It's worth pointing out that Miller will also have Zach Boren on his squad, so opportunities to get the running game going will be there.

The Scarlet defensive front will feature Michael Bennett, Chase Farris, Joel Hale, Johnathan Hankins, J.T. Moore and Se'Von Pittman, which is essentially a group that could start at half of the schools in the Big Ten, so don't sleep on this group (although Pittman has been injured and is not expected to play today).

Here's hoping Simon doesn't cripple the entire Scarlet squadTeacher's pet

At linebacker, Herman's Scarlet team will feature Connor Crowell, Storm Klein, RYAN DEAN SHAZIER and Stewart Smith. Klein is out with an injury, so Smith will see plenty of action, but how effective can he really be when Shazier is stopping everything on the field (including the wave-particle duality of light)?

The Gray team linebackers, Curtis Grant, Ross Oltorik, Joshua Perry, Andy Reed, Luke Roberts and Etienne Sabino are young, but talented. True, Sabino is a vet and has been proving his leadership on and off the field all spring, but this will be the first chance for fans to get a good look at Grant, Roberts and Perry (although Perry is dinged up and his status is questionable).

Defending Miller in the Gray secondary are Corey Brown, Adam Griffin, Orhian Johnson, Tyvis Powell and Bradley Roby. Roby has earned praise from the staff all spring and is poised for a monster campaign, while Johnson is looking to reassert himself as a contributor on defense.

Scarlet's secondary will feature C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, Doran Grant, Zach Domicone, Travis Howard, Ron Tanner and Jamie Wood. Barnett and Bryant are both dinged up, as are Wood and Domicone, who is out for the rest of spring ball.

Today's scrimmage is a cause for excitement and I'm hoping fans show up in force to take things in, but ultimately, it's a spring game, which means we'll learn a little -- mostly about how Meyer and Herman's scheme will look -- but nothing too substantial. The ghost of spring playmakers past -- from Bam Childress to Joe Bauserbombs -- encourages you to not get too excited about what you'll see, but as long as we come out of today without any major injuries, we'll all be winners.


Comments Show All Comments

Northbrook's picture

It is 06:23. I want a gray box of goodness.

TMac's picture

One Today, One Tomorrow and One Monday; Heuerman, Anzalone and Bosa, in any order and no injuries today, would make for a great weekend!!


ONE Not Done!

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

What a difference a year makes. I'll say it again. What a difference a year makes.

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Triv's picture

Heuerman may commit but his gray box won't come until the 27th if he holds true to his announcement date. I'm looking for boxes of Bosa, Anzalone, and Quick :)

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

ARMYBUCK's picture

I dont usually do this and I apologize in advance but if CJ Barnett and Christian Bryant are able to go they arent going to make Miller earn anything because they are on the scarlet team, which you state.  No biggie I just had to do a double take on the teams again.  Thanks for all you guys do and Go Bucks. (err, go Gray?)

NCBuck1's picture

I'm getting ready to leave for the game. Anyone here know the best place to park? My dad doesn't get around as good as he used to and I'd like to get somewhat close if at all possible.

Jason Priestas's picture

Exit Ackerman or go to the West Campus lots. Stadium and St. John Arena lots are full, per OSU.

wellejj's picture

RUN DAVE!!!! /ducking

Northbrook's picture

Dave's not here, man. /old school and a day late

Pam's picture

If I get the reference it's really old school.

Triv's picture

Lax team up 3-0 after 1

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

GhostofWoody's picture

Thank you BTN for televising the spring game so can watch from here in NC.

LAX up 5-0 now

Triv's picture

8-0! Boys came to play today

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

OSUStu's picture

Anyone know where I can watch online besides BTN?  I have Comcast and they BTN2Go doesn't support that.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

ziplock007's picture

you need a username and password from your cable provider to use btn2go.com
however, if you have comcast which doesn't support btn2go, then you're outta luck

if you had "...Bright House Networks, Charter, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FiOS" then you could use it... but NOT comcast, sorry

There is one other way.  All you need is a friend that trusts you who has the BTN from one of the above providers.  They can give you their username/password for their tv supplier, viola!  you now have the BTN on your cpu.

There's also apps for the iPhone or iPad... but not the Droids.  You think Google would've made one by now, they sponsor the damn Droid.

Hope this helps.

Go SCARLET!!!! Teach them grays the power of Scarlet and Gray.

falconlax13's picture

Here it is: the spring game! Idk about y'all but i am pumped!! Love the one on one