Your 2013 Ohio State Football Spring Game Primer

By Vico on April 13, 2013 at 6:00a
Brutus Buckeye hits Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium for Ohio State's 2013 spring game

Today is a special day for Ohio State football as it kicks off what ostensibly is the start of the upcoming football season by playing its annual spring game scrimmage in front of thousands of Ohio State students and Ohio State fans.

In lieu of the traditional Saturday Skull Session, this Saturday morning post will serve as a primer for everything you will need to know about Saturday's practice, including what you can expect to happen and how you can watch it.

What is the spring game? The spring game is one of 15 practices allocated to college football teams during the spring. When put this way, it is not much of a "game" at all, though colleges are given autonomy in how they go about structuring the practice. To that end, college football programs take one of their 15 spring practices, use it to approximate an actual football contest, and promote it as such to its fan base. It transforms a normal practice into something that can generate revenue for the program.

The weather forecase for Ohio State's spring game at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium

When is the spring game? The spring game will kick off at 1 p.m. today.

Where is it? Well, it's not in Columbus this time around. Ohio Stadium is undergoing some minor renovations, derivative of the last stadium expansion completed in 2001. Don't get too excited about these renovations, though. They're more structural than cosmetic.

As a result, Ohio State's spring game is relocating to Cincinnati this year. It will be played in Paul Brown Stadium, current home of the Cincinnati Bengals and so-named after, among other things, Ohio State's first national championship-winning coach.

How can I watch it? Well, you can't. At least, you will not have many options to watch the spring game live unless you are in Paul Brown Stadium.

The Big Ten Network instead opted to show Illinois' spring game on tape delay at that time. It will then lead to a lacrosse game between Penn State and Towson. BTN will show Ohio State's spring game on tape delay tonight at 7 p.m.

Following the Game Live

BTN2Go is offering the option of watching the game online, assuming your cable provider is among the network's partners. The list does not include the nation's largest carrier, Comcast, but does include Time Warner, which serves much of Central Ohio. Here's the full list of providers that support BTN2Go.

You may also have luck at any of the hundreds of Ohio State game watch locations across the country.

Failing that, you will have to wait until 7 p.m. when the network airs the spring game.

You can follow events as they happen by following our own Kyle Rowland on Twitter (@KyleRowland). Kyle will be on hand to bring you updates as the spring game unfolds. Walt (@mwaltonkeys) will also be on hand to shoot the game, and he may provide a bit of color, as well.

What will be the format of this "game"? The spring game will not perfectly mirror the spirit of an actual football game. There will four 10-minute quarters instead of four 15-minute quarters. There will not be much of a role for special teams. There will be no kickoffs and all punts must be fair caught. As such, Kerry Coombs' piranha tank will not be on display in Cincinnati.

Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton will be wearing black no-contact jerseys. Thus, they are above tackling during this game, unless Noah Spence didn't get that memo. Referees will whistle a sack or down by contact if it looks imminent from their vantage point.

Cardale Jones will not wear a black no-contact jersey, though. So, he's fair game for Noah Spence.

Who is on what team? The teams were divided into Scarlet and Gray. The coaching staff was even divided as well. Ed Warinner will be head coach of the Gray team while Everett Withers will be head coach of the Scarlet team.

Braxton Miller will play quarterback for the Scarlet TeamBraxton Miller will suit up for Scarlet.

Your rosters are here: Scarlet Team and Gray Team. The Scarlet has the advantage in most facets. Their tailbacks are Jordan Hall, Brionte Dunn, and Warren Ball. Gray has Carlos Hyde and will apparently compensate for not having Rod Smith (injury) by adding Warren Ball in stretches. Corey Linsley is the only first-team OL that is on the Gray roster. Scarlet's has three higher profile WRs (Philly Brown, Evan Spencer, and Devin Smith) to Gray's two WRs of note (Chris Fields, Michael Thomas).

This mostly holds at every position, except for DL and CB. Gray has both Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence. Gray also has Bradley Roby, Doran Grant, and Armani Reeves.

What should I make of the spring game, after I eventually see it? Not much, honestly. Spring games are very noisy signals of what the football team will actually resemble in the upcoming season.

The reasons for this are straightforward. Ohio State's team will be divided into two teams equally composed of offensive players and defensive players. The coaches themselves will be divided as well. Don't be surprised if this means that an offensive guard might have to play offensive tackle, for example. Further, Ohio State's early enrollees will not be enough to compensate the recent departures to the NFL.

As a result, it is precarious to say that the "offense looked good", or the "defensive struggled". Much of your observations should be more microlevel (e.g. "Adolphus Washington looked fantastic in that practice"), while also mindful of the fact that some of the one-on-one matchups may not entirely be fair.

Is there anything about the scrimmage in particular that deserves my attention? Though not many conclusions can be reached, there are still a lot of questions to ask and a lot of things that merit scrutiny for the Ohio State fan in attendance in Paul Brown Stadium, or eventually watching on BTN.

The big question might be the defensive line. As you know, Ohio State is having to replace four starters on the defensive line for the first time since the mid-1980s. I think we will feel comfortable about our defensive ends after observing Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington practice (on a bigger stage, at least). What of our defensive tackles, though? Tommy Schutt is injured right now and is missing some valuable spring reps. How solid will Michael Bennett look in action? Does Joel Hale look like a starter? What of the Chris Carter project as well?

Ohio State's linebacker corps has question marks as well. No one doubts Ryan Shazier is an all-conference performer at weakside linebacker, though we won't get to see him during this game. It's now or never for Curtis Grant to demonstrate command at the middle linebacker position. Camren Williams' name has appeared in print over the last few practices. What can he show us in Paul Brown Stadium?

Bradley Roby vs Braxton Miller at Paul Brown StadiumBradley Roby leads the Gray defense.

Who is our right tackle for 2013? It's the only position on offense that needs to be replaced from the 2012 season. It would seem like it's Taylor Decker's position to lose, but Chase Farris has taken like a duck to water in moving from defensive line to offensive line.

Bradley Roby has a lock on one of the corner spots for this team, but the other position is open to anyone who earns it. Doran Grant seems like he is ahead of everyone else for the position, though he has to hold off Adam Griffin from last year's two-deep. Further, two of the freshmen currently enrolled are competing for that same position. This will be your first exposure to Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows, who both have very promising futures for Ohio State football.

Finally, will we have any pleasant surprises at wide receiver? Wide receiver, more than any other position at Ohio State, seems to coincide with spring game excellence to be followed by a vanishing act in the fall. Bam Childress and Taurian Washington come to mind. If we see Michael Thomas perform well enough to justify some of the hype he has enjoyed in the past few weeks, will we see enough to have confidence this will carry into the upcoming season?

Who wins? Scarlet or Gray? This one is easy. I'm on Team Gray, ride or die. Gray will overwhelm Scarlet because Scarlet is morally deficient. Gray will not only prevail, by a wide margin, but Gray will also set a wonderful precedent of winning with character and scruples. Children everywhere have much to emulate from the lion-hearted Gray team.



ATT2121's picture

Thanks for the preview! Heading out to the game in about an hour and I can't decide if I'm more excited about seeing Braxton or Noah. Hope a lot of you can make it!


"It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close."
Jesse Owens

cplunk's picture

I must disagree with your prediction. The members of Scarlet are descendants of the Gods, and as such transcend the abilities of the mere mortals that are the Grays. Scarlet will crush their enemies, see them driven before them, and hear the Lamentations of their women.

ATT2121's picture



"It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close."
Jesse Owens

cplunk's picture

At least 476-0. Gray can take solace though in knowing they are still the second best spring football squad in the nation.

Poison nuts's picture

Asta La Vista, Gray.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Poison nuts's picture

I put little stock into the Spring Game. To me it is a time to watch football at a time when there is none. And that is a a great thing..The sadness will creep in after this game though, the long wait until September...hurts just thinking about it.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Oyster's picture

It's a nice venue for taking the young kids to though.  They get the experience of game day to an extent, not very expensive and you don't feel bad if you leave early because they are getting antsy.  We took both our kids to the games when they were young, and left them at home with the grandparents when the season actually starts.

3M hoards the KoolAid like Elaine hoards sponges.

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Idaho Helga's picture

I had posted the same opinion last fall.  I don't think the fall games are a place for anyone under at least 13.  Tailgates can get rowdy.  I don't care whose stadium you are in (including NFL).  Unless you're sitting in the Gordon Gee section,  there are unfortunately going to be at least a few beligerent drunks throwing F Bombs etc nearby. 
There are no "bad guys" to curse at in the spring game.  And if the 4 yr old has become a nusiance to those around you because they're bored or tired, then you can leave early without self-loathing.  Kids should have a positive experience, don't risk the negative especially at the fall prices.

Poison nuts's picture

Oh - I'd love to go see it, I'm saying I don't see the performances as something to put tremendous stock in...but I wish I was in Cincy right now for sure!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Oyster's picture

I don't put much on the performance either, it's just a fun time for everyone.  Considering how ugly it is today, I'm not at all upset that I have drill this weekend and won't be seeing the game.  It's the beautiful weekends that it really sucks.

3M hoards the KoolAid like Elaine hoards sponges.

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Toilrt Paper's picture

Urban puts HUGE stock into the Spring Game. He says the depth chart will be SET by performances in the Spring game. Summer and Fall practices starts the process of winning games, not winning positions.

Hovenaut's picture

You are not alone.....they excel in suckage.

We have filled the Braxton Miller position.

Leanenaud's picture

Service outages are a norm for them. I've wasted too many hours of my life on their support line.

Leanenaud's picture

Thanks for providing the list of Buckeye bars. When in the Tampa area I go to Mugs 'n Jugs or as I affectionately call it Butts 'n Guts.

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

The player who I think is going to surprise the most throughout his career at Ohio State is Tracy Sprinkle. Kid is going to be a stud!!

"We've always had the best damn band in the land, now we've got the best damn TEAM in the land" 

bodast67's picture

"Sprinkle me man, sprinkle me man"....




     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

cinserious's picture

Tra-cy Sprin-kle...da,da,da-da-da
He's the ma-an!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

osu07asu10's picture

Excellent Primer.
Actually, the renovations going on at the shoe are going to be more cosmetic than structural.

They are doing some patch concrete work to the underside of all the decks, which happens yearly (if not daily) and wouldn't have prohibited the game from being played in the shoe.
The reason it can't be used THIS year, is that ugly gray rubberized coating with the yellow "glue" back that does anything but stick to the concrete, is being replaced.

That means for any portion of the Shoe that was there prior to renovation (so AA you're safe, and so is "D" Deck and the top of C-Deck (rows 27-41) are also safe) will see all of its' bleachers removed, rubber coating scrapped and removed, and a brand new coating laid down.

Hardly structural, and to the untrained eye probably not really cosmetic either, but if you've been going to buckeyes games at anytime in the last two decades and have sat in the "old" part of the stadium, you know that coating is a huge pain in the ass and it will be a truly marked improvement when finished


Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Sweet - just activated the Big Ten Network here in Toronto so I can see the game tonight. 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Nope - the Great White North, eh!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

osu07asu10's picture

haha right on eh!


FitzBuck's picture

Illinois football > Ohio State Football?
my mind is officially blown.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

osu07asu10's picture

more to do with scUM holding their game at the same time and neither tOSU nor scUM wanting to swap out. So everyone gets tape delayed equal coverage, including illinois


Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Buckeye game sells advertising!  BTN knows that and put them on for prime time!!!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

dmurder's picture

Two questions:

So some restaurants and bars have access to a live feed?

Bradley Roby I thought was hurt and going to be held out?

Gray 31
Scarlet 28

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

cinserious's picture

With Hyde, Roby, Spence and Washington, its easy to see why the Gray team has way more character than Scarlet. We can all learn from the values taught by Gray. Not so much scarlet!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

unknownmusketeer's picture

Here we come Cincinnati

d1145fresh's picture

Does anyone know of another site to try to watch the game live. I know BTN2Go will have it but I can't get on there. I didn't know if it would be on any other site. Thanks!

TatumRuled's picture

Go Bucks!

"Hell, Woody didn't recruit me; he recruited my mother!" -Jack Tatum                       

harleymanjax's picture

I'm so hyped up! Just switched from Comcast to AT&T UVERSE and it comes with BTN here in Florida!

"Because I couldn't go for 3"