Ohio State Spring Game: Team Scarlet Tops Gray 31-14

By Kyle Rowland on April 13, 2013 at 5:35p
More of the same.

CINCINNATI – Ohio State fans have been cooped up for nearly five months, waiting for spring’s thaw to signal the start of the 2013 football season – even if it just a series of practices.

On the first play of Saturday’s spring game, Buckeye Nation got a glimpse of the souped-up Corvette that Urban Meyer said should be the best offense in the Big Ten. Braxton Miller connected with Evan Spencer for a 49-yard gain, and three plays later found Devin Smith open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. The scoring drive took all of 52 seconds.

The air raid had begun. This Corvette did not rust during the cold, snowy winter.

Before a hearty crowd of 37,643 fans in Paul Brown Stadium, teams Scarlet and Gray combined for 438 passing yards and four touchdowns. Pesky 21 mile-per-hour wind gusts did nothing to deter a passing attack that ranked 101st last season.

“It was a pass-heavy game, an area that we weren’t very good at last year, an area that we have to get better in,” Meyer said. “I thought at times that Braxton Miller and a couple of the wideouts, Philly Brown in particular, did very well. It’s been a continuation of what started all spring and Philly Brown is turning into a legitimate All-Big Ten candidate at wide receiver for us, which we need.”

Scarlet beat Gray, 31-14. On Friday, members of the losing Gray team – coaches included – will do some landscaping work at the Buckeye Grove, located south of Ohio Stadium. The area honors every Ohio State football All-American since Boyd Cherry was recognized in 1914.

“We need to build camaraderie,” Kenny Guiton, a member of the Gray team, said.

All eyes have been on Miller since he was named the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback as a true freshman. He doesn’t shy away from having the spotlight pointed squarely on him, and even in a spring scrimmage, everyone in attendance wanted to catch sight of the Heisman Trophy candidate.

Donning a black no-contact jersey, Miller completed 16 of 25 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Running the ball has long been his forte, but a two-hand touch sack rule greatly impacted his rushing numbers. He was sacked seven times and gained -13 yards on 11 rushes.

“I don’t know how many of them were sacks. They blew the whistle early,” Miller said, laughing.

For 14 practices, Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence’s names have become synonymous with Ohio State football. They lived up to the billing on the 15th, sacking Miller a combined seven times – Washington four and Spence three. In all, the Gray team had nine sacks, adding up to 39 yards.

The Scarlet team featured a bulk of the starting offensive line, though Jack Mewhort and Corey Linsley were held out of action. The lack of continuity seemed to have a big effect on the play of the line. Chase Farris got the start at right tackle, while Taylor Decker started at left tackle. Both struggled throughout the day, with Washington and Spence beating them around the edge.

“(Washington and Spence) work hard. They have to fill big shoes,” Miller said. “They proved we have to keep working at the right tackle position.”

Guiton, the savior of 2012, fared much better behind the Gray line, completing 9 of 14 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He was only sacked once.

With Miller dealing with pressure on an almost play-by-play basis, Guiton and the Gray squad were able to tie the game at seven on a five-yard pass to Chris Fields. He finished the game with five receptions for 37 yards and exhibited all the tools Meyer is looking at in a receiver. So confident is Meyer that he named Fields a starter for the Aug. 31 season opener versus Buffalo.

“I’m naming him a starter today,” Meyer said. “I told him I would if he finished the spring (well). He’s a wonderful guy that was very inconsistent last season. He’s earned a starting spot. I know Tom Herman feels the same way.”

Perhaps the highlight of the day for Ohio State was the two-minute drill Miller led before the half. It was an eight-play, 59-yard masterpiece that was capped with a three-yard back-shoulder throw to Philly Brown. Mixed in was an assortment of short passes accompanied with broken tackles.

Miller led three more scoring drives in the third quarter – one ending with a five-yard touchdown run from the quarterback, a 25-yard Drew Basil field goal and a six-yard run by Fields on an option end-around.

Smith (76 yards), Brown (25 yards) and Bri’onte Dunn (61 yards) each had five receptions for Scarlet. Dunn’s pass-catching ability was on full display during the scoring drive before halftime. He caught two passes on the drive, breaking numerous tackles.

A Michael Thomas four-yard reception was the lone second-half score for Gray. Thomas did finish with a game-high seven catches and 79 yards. It’s the second straight head-turning spring performance he’s put in.

Third-string quarterback Cardale Jones was the passer on Thomas’ touchdown, and he completed six more passes, finishing 7 of 16 for 65 yards. He was sacked once and fumbled twice.

A couple turnovers aside, Meyer deemed the day a rousing success.

“To have almost 40,000 people show up for a scrimmage, to have the Reds Museum treat us the way they did, there are so many things I wish we could do here,” he said. “Coach Hayes started the tradition years ago when they would go visit a place, he’d take them around and educate the players. I think that’s a great concept. It’s been a great trip.”


Comments Show All Comments

ATXbucknut's picture

Here are some video highlights of the game and post-game comments from around the web. Sorry that the one's from BTN are on autoplay. I can't do anything to change that.
[Ed - Moved videos to this page because autoplay is a buzz kill. Not your fault, that's how BTN rolls. Thanks for posting them.]

Hovenaut's picture

Good stuff all around. The only downer is that we have to wait for August.

Really happy to hear the names Spence and Washington, expecting more of that come fall.

Thanks for the recap, go Bucks!

btalbert25's picture

Sitting in the stands, I said this exact same thing!  Can't wait til Marshall and EZ E are on the team too!

JollyFatMan's picture

Shame I missed it but nice to see the DLine growing up. 

How firm thy friendship..

stevebelliseeya's picture

OK i was checking out some info on Michigans Spring Game and I found this photo of Taylor Lewan getting all up in Kyle Kalis' ass about how much he sucks. Brought me back to this statement when he decommitted from us...too funny.
"Ohio State is a great program," he told ESPN. "I'm just not sure how long it will take them to recover. I want a solid, grounded coaching staff with a safe environment. Where there aren't such tough questions."
L   O   L

"We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion." - Tool


There can be no question. TTUN sucks.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Kaceybrown's picture

Remember all the blood on the field Kyle? That wasn't yours?????? 8-5 Kyle. Eight and five. 

Hovenaut's picture

And that's an intrasquad scrimmage young Mr. Kalis.

Wait until late November.

sharks's picture

Hey Mr. Lewan...
Remember when you missed your assignment and your running back got to meet Jadeveon Clowney?
Me too.

A man got to have a code...

GABuckeye's picture

It was actually the tight end that missed his blocking assignment.

HolyBuckeye1093's picture

With what will probably go down as Urban Meyer's least talented team at OSU, installing a brand new offense, limited scholarships and a bowl ban, Ohio State beat TTUN and went 12-0. They also have had top five recruiting classes each of the past two years. I'd say they've recovered pretty nicely!

Basso Profondo's picture

It was interesting to see the offense operate without Hyde or Smith, they definitely had spunk, but it was not the same in the rushing department.  The passing game still had a few gaffs, but you could see it coming together; with Spencer working hard and Michael Thomas busting his butt to make those four receptions look very impressive.  Devin Smith had an a bad drop, but also hauled most in when he needed to.  As long as the receivers and QB's continue to put in a ton of time I could see the attack being pretty devastating, combined with our starters in the backfield: onwards and upwards!

Kevbo714's picture

My thoughts from the spring game... the helmets looked naked without Buckeye leaves.

Tom Crean listens to Nickelback...

Kaceybrown's picture

Mid January thru mid/late August SUCKS! Almost as much as meatchicken. 

btalbert25's picture

There was a series of downs for Gray where a player came off the field.  He was physically very impressive looking.  I told my friend who went to the game with me, that dude looks like a freak. It was Dodson.  I never realized how huge big that kid is.  He's going to be really good.  

sharks's picture

I'm surprised- I thought I saw Fields drop two balls; including the prettiest pass of the day (Cardale Jones, no less).

A man got to have a code...

BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Looked like Brad Roby was trying to game up the good looking sideline reporter during the interview.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

Grant Edgell's picture

Cool to see Tyvis make the header photo! Quick, unofficial comments from him this afternoon:

"It was a great day. We unfortunately lost to the Scarlet team but individually I did well. I had one bad play but my man-to-man coverage was good all game."


btalbert25's picture

I never realized Cardale was so big.  Other than his fumbles he looked pretty good. 

Kaceybrown's picture

Hearing what coach Herman has to say about el guapo, I'm really inspired. So much looking forward to 2013. GO BUCKS!!!! O-H!!!

Spirit's picture

Any one notice itch again had to watch the end of our spring game on BTN before theirs was broadcast? Soon Kalis will be 0 and 2 against the Bucks. And their fans got to see a great team, at 9 pm.


Urban Ohio's picture

He loved the old 3 pointer.

Newcomerstown Trojans between Woody and Beaver.

Urban Ohio's picture

Eric Collins talking about Jim Tressel

Newcomerstown Trojans between Woody and Beaver.

teddyballgame's picture

Washington looks like a beast.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Washington and Spence are going to kill people this year!!!  This team is going to be scary if it plays up to their ability and Urban and crew get them completely whipped into shape and they are highly motivated!!!
Going to be awesome to watch!

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

Buckeyeholicwompa's picture

I think Cardale Jones is going to be a good QB. I liked what I saw today from him. Anyone know if JT Barret got some snaps? To my understanding, Cardale is more pro style while Barret is dual threat? (also highly regarded). Never too late to see what's after Brax cuz who knows if he has a stellar year and comes close to or does win the Heisman he might bolt for the NFL or the United Football League.

avail31678's picture

I don't know that JT is doing much runnign at all.  Not sure he's fully recovered from his injury (torn ACL I think?).  I'm pretty sure he has a redshirt coming this year. 
Anyone, please feel free to correct me where I'm wrong.  I'm going off of awful memory here.

wjpalumbo's picture

Barrett has been limited in practice because of the knee and held out of the spring game and I am assuming with Braxton and Kenny at one and two on the depth chart that he will red shirt. 
I saw pretty much what I was expecting out of the Bucks at the game.  D line will be a force again this year and the d-backs looked to have good coverage even on completions.  The offense will look completely different in the fall when the running game is installed and the qb's can run.  Most of the sacks wouldn't have been sacks in a regular game.  
The one thing that concerned me going into this game was if someone would emerge at the middle linebacker spot.  I think that concern has been put to bed.  Enter (finally) Curtis Grant.  There wasn't much running yesterday but when there was a run he was right there.  Grant looked in control of the defensive calls and moved to the ball with good pursuit angles and always seemed to be on his man in pass coverage.  With all the physical attributes Curtis has he can be a force behind that defensive line if he looks as good as he did yesterday.



HolyBuckeye1093's picture

Does anyone have a link to a video of the spring game circle drill this year?

osubuckeye4life's picture

Two guys not getting a lot of talk that I thought had good days:
Eli Apple (some nice coverage and a good strip on Jones)
Armani Reeves (sure he had two PI's but he was working)

b_pbucksfans's picture

Overall, I was very impressed with how our offense handled themselves with so many 1st stringers sitting out. Defensive line was impressive for two hand tap! One thing I want to see Urbz do is make Michael Thomas more of a possession receiver. For being a bigger wideout, I think he has more wiggle than our other WR's. He has looked good in his two spring games with running quick outs and slants. Hopefully our offense will continue to run these plays in the fall. Can not wait for 8/31/13! O-H!

MediBuck's picture

Glad to hear our two young DE's stepping up. The Big Ten is going to be a miserable place to play QB this upcoming season :)

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes