Gray Tops Scarlet in Front of 61,058 for Ohio State Spring Game

By Kyle Rowland on April 12, 2014 at 4:37p

Kirk Irwin Photography

60 Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The pre-game festivities began with J.T. Barrett on the Ohio Stadium turf. And he stayed there once the game began.

Barrett was pushed around by fellow quarterback Cardale Jones in the fan-favorite circle drill, then fell victim to the strip sack by Rashad Frazier on Gray’s first offensive play. Frazier beat offensive lineman Antonio Underwood, knocked the ball loose and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. 

  1 2 3 4 F
GRAY 3 7 0 7 17
SCARLET 7 0 0 0 7

It was the most exciting play in an offensively challenged game that saw 11 Ohio State starters sit out – five on offense, six on defense – including Braxton Miller. Gray topped Scarlet 17-7 in front of 61,058 fans, as the teams combined for 447 yards, eight tackles for loss and five sacks.

“The execution of the offense was not what you like,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “The offense line, we got a lot of work to do. I kept Taylor Decker out because he played over a thousand snaps last year, same thing with our four starting D-linemen. That's not what spring ball is for. It’s to keep beating on people, so I would be disappointed if we weren’t one of the better defensive lines with those four guys. They have had a good spring, their coach has really been coaching them.”

With Miller, Decker, Pat Elflein and the entire starting defensive line spectating, the Buckeyes looked nothing like the team that will take the field in late August in Baltimore. Barrett and Jones were both lackluster on the big stage.

Barrett completed 17 of 33 passes for 151 yards and had an additional 21 yards rushing. Jones’s numbers were similar – 14 of 31 for 126 yards and 28 yards rushing. Barrett was sacked three times and Jones twice. Corey Smith was the leading receiver with 72 yards. Michael Thomas had 64.

Miller’s injury history could thrust Barrett or Jones into a game this season. Based on the March and April performances, neither has approached Kenny Guiton status.

“Cardale was disappointing. I thought he made some misses today, but I'm not going to let that ruin his spring,” Meyer said. “He’s had a good spring for us.”

The day could have represented the emergence of future stars. Redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Worley recorded a game-high nine tackles and one tackle for loss, Tyquan Lewis had five tackles and two sacks and Frazier, a Purdue transfer, tallied two sacks.

“The D-line, they have pretty good depth,” Underwood said. “Younger guys got a chance to get in and show what they can do. Depth is not a problem.”

Team Gray’s two touchdowns came on the ground via short yardage runs from Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball. True freshman place-kicker Sean Nuernberger also connected on a 43-yard field goal.  Dunn and Ball are in position to help smooth over Carlos Hyde’s absence. Presumptive starter Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 16 yards on three carries, while Ball (55) and Dunn (35) combined for 90 yards. The teams totaled 170 yards rushing.

“It is very competitive. Nothing is concrete and everyone’s role is up in the air,” Ball said. “We are all working hard to find playing time on the field.”

Both of Gray’s touchdown drives came in the second half, with Barrett engineering a 15-play, 80-yard drive and nine-play, 80-yard drive.

“I have always been told the backup quarterback is the most important position on the team,” Jones said. “As far as a gap between Braxton and myself, or Braxton and J.T., that is for the coaches to decide. I have to keep getting better off the field and improving my game.”

Scarlet was stuffed on a goal-line stand in the third quarter. It had 1st-and-goal from the 3 and couldn’t score, getting stopped on a pass and three rushing attempts. True freshman Curtis Samuel was denied on all three running plays, including a fourth-down stop by Lewis and Raekwon McMillan, who finished with a crowd-pleasing five tackles.

The diminished offensive returns gave way to a Cameron Johnston show. He punted six times for 269 yards, an average of 44.8 yards. Three were downed inside the 20.

Before the season-opener at Navy, Ohio State is tasked with finding replacements for six offensive starters and four defensive starters. They were part of a group that won a school-record 24 consecutive games until hitting “a couple speed bumps,” as Meyer put it.

“There are some great story lines,” he said. “I would say we are faster and more athletic in a lot of positions.”

Meyer then walked out of the room, another spring practice complete. But it won’t be a summer away from the office. The Buckeyes have holes to fill on an offensive line that could form a bridge to Dallas.

Or Tampa.

60 Comments

Comments

nikolajz1's picture

I realize it is more than a year away from happening but I just don't see Jones or Barrett taking over for Braxton when he leaves. 

+2 HS
Rjpfish2's picture

I didn't see the 2nd half- Did Collier get any action? Torrance Gibson might work out nicely; if he ends up playing QB that is...

nikolajz1's picture

He got 2 snaps and Cardale came back in. 

+1 HS
oregonianbuckeye's picture

Collier came in for two plays. He handed it off once, and then had an incomplete pass on a quick slant. Was a little surprised they didn't let Collier finish out the game at that point, which was with like 3 minutes left.

+2 HS
Rjpfish2's picture

I'm equally surprised. Why didn't he get a quarter?  Maybe the pressure would've been too much with the mix-n-match lines?

luckynutz's picture

Meyer has done this since hes been at ohio state. His first spring game, guiton and miller played the whole thing. And last year, cardale got some reps late. But guiton played the whole game. Collier is most likely looking at a red shirt. Meyer wanted to see what his backup options had to offer in real time situations.

+1 HS
Zimmy07's picture

I was surprised to see Collier in without a black jersey.  I didn't know what to make of that.

UrbanPirate's picture

Just means that no outcome of any part of this season will be predicated by a potential Collier injury in April.

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+1 HS
DBell8's picture

I think Barrett is the more likely candidate but look for Torrance Gibson to start as a true freshman if he signs with tOSU

-2 HS
unknownmusketeer's picture

I think Ezekiel Elliot will complement Braxton Miller.

Edit: That was dumb a mistake. Apologies. 

+4 HS
Crimson's picture

I think Ezekiel Elliot will compliment Braxton Miller.

Ezekiel: Yeah, Braxton!  You the man!  Keep it up!

+14 HS
collards's picture

Coach did they they still needed to recruit a QB. I hope the message was well received.

Collards

The Clean North's picture

Does anyone have videos, pics, GIFs for those of us on the outer rim and didn't get to watch it?

B1G 10 Buckeye Stuck in SEC Country's picture

Not much worth seeing honestly

" Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid." - John Wayne 

+1 HS
stevebelliseeya's picture

Pay attention Michigan, this is what your Spring Game looks like when you're relevant...

Besides looking like they were in slow motion....I thought Eli Apple played very good, but then I dozed off...

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

+8 HS
TheTeam16's picture

I am a UM fan and I honestly don't know what all the hype is about spring football, I would never waste my time going to a professional or collegiate spring practice, let alone spend money to go. I mean the write up says it all, this OSU team will be nothing like it was today when the Buckeyes travel to visit Maryland. I think the biggest difference between the two schools in correlation with spring football practice attendance is the UM fan base comes from all corners of the state as AA is a much smaller community, OSU could easily fill the shoe with OSU fans residing in Columbus. Not to many people are going to drive 1-2+ hours to watch glorified practice, especially on the first nice day after one of the harshest winters in Michigan history. 

-10 HS
Raider85's picture

I drove nearly 3 hours and I will do it again because my family enjoys the atmosphere and we are true Buckeye fans!

Raider85

+10 HS
TheTeam16's picture

Understandable, and that's awesome that you are so dedicated. Just stating I would wager a majority of the fans at the OSU spring game were from the central Ohio area, >80% I would bet. 

-4 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

And you would quite likely lose that bet. Many OSU fans use the spring game as an affordable chance to travel to Columbus and bring their families to the SHOE, the single best stadium in college football. We don't know what the % is, so guessing it's 80% would be no more confirmable than me saying "50% of the fans today were from out of town!" And what would be the difference anyway? 60k for the spring game is under our average, but still puts us in the top 10 for spring game attendance. Meatchicken, is not in the top 25.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

TheTeam16's picture

I dont think you can say whether or not I would lose the bet unless you took a census of the population at the OSU spring game reffering to distance drove. I don't know what a meatchicken is, but I live in Westerville, Ohio and have lived in AA and I can say without a doubt that the obsession here is palpable on a day in day out basis...it is all anyone thinks about, probably due mostly to lack of other professional franchises in the city. Not saying that is a bad thing, it is just different than it is in AA and Michigan as a whole. You could place braxton miller on a toilet in the middle of the shoe and draw a crowd of 25,000 to watch him drop a deuce. Not saying a bad thing, it would just never work that way in Michigan.

The important statistic when it comes to fan turn out is during the ACTUAL season, and both of our schools are tops in the nation at fan attendance per season. I don't get why this, "Our school drew more fans to a practice than yours did" debate is so hot. Genuinely not trying to ruffle feathers, just trying to understand where the continuation of this lambasted argument comes from. 

-3 HS
Poison nuts's picture

A. If UM drew a larger attendance to their spring game than OSU, you would most certainly be bragging/proud about it as opposed to writing a justification ridden soliloquy on how it doesn't matter &...

B. Would I have to pay to watch Braxton make brown? If so, how much? Because I'm willing to spend up to $2.40 to see such a public pooping take place. Also, are cameras allowed? 

BTW, at least you this in Westerville - the finest of all the Columbus suburbs.

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

+3 HS
TheTeam16's picture

Absolutely haha number one suburb in america! But seriously...love it here

BuckeyeinToledo's picture

I made it from Toledo... But I agree, I heard none of my UM loving coworkers making the trip up... Either that or I'm nuts... 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

-Woody Hayes

+1 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

We drew over 37000 in Cinci last year at the spring game

Football is complicated...

+3 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

I made the trip down from Lake Orion, Michigan.  This is 30-35 miles north-northwest of Detriot, and I have made many spring games.  When you are a huge college football fan, you do this kind of thing... There are very few schools that can boast attendances like this.  UM is not on the same level as these programs... Nebraska is even light-years ahead of UM ....  UM also does not charge - and they only had 15,000???  WOW....  And you call yourselves UM fans.....

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

buckskin's picture

"I am a UM fan and I honestly don't know what all the hype is about spring football, I would never waste my time going to a professional or collegiate spring practice, let alone spend money to go."

This is your typical TTUN fan right here ladies and gentleman.

+4 HS
TheTeam16's picture

Maybe that is the case, nothing to be ashamed of. It is just a practice. don't understand why someone would want to pay 5$ to go watch a bunch of bench warmers for the most part practice. 

If it was a scrimmage against another school, you can bet TBH would be filled up just like a normal game day. No doubt in my mind.

-5 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

It's a chance to see players we don't normally see as well as the early enrollees. Some of these young guys getting time won't during the season but are the players of the future. I love evaluating the recruits like McMillan, Dixon, and Samuel so early. If you can't understand that then you are not a diehard fan. 

+3 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Maybe michigan fans are harder pressed for 5 bucks... But it's April, I'd eat the ass end of a skunk for some football right now! 

Just... Go Bucks.

    

nikolajz1's picture

Spring Game is a lot like going to a baseball game. It's usually one of the first gorgeous weekends so you can just bask in the sun and watch the last bit of football until September. Nothing too exciting or flashy but just relaxing.

+1 HS
AeroBuckeye2001's picture

And I drove 3 hours from Indianapolis to support the team and spend a beautiful afternoon in a historic venue. I guess that's the difference between us and M*chigan men. 

And how far away is Detroit from Ann Arbor?

The Ohio State University Class of 2001
BS Aero & Astronautical Engineering

+1 HS
TheTeam16's picture

That argument actually does not work out very well in this scenario. Very few UM grads living in Detroit comparably speaking, for obvious reasons haha.

-1 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Thanks for summing up why you will never be as great as OSU and never have the tradition that we do!  Your time has LONG since gone and you have nothing but what happened 100 years ago to hang on to!  You excel in average while we excel in greatness! 

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

+2 HS
Deadly Nuts's picture

This picture says it all.... Not even your own student body (who live right on campus, or very close) fill the stands for a REAL game.

 

LEBRON

+2 HS
TheTeam16's picture

If you knew the situation that occurred with the students ticket purchasing last year you would undestand why this was the case past season. Certainly not normal. Dave Brandon is a moron to the nth degree.

-1 HS
ohhiyo's picture

that we both agree on

+1 HS
Homey1970's picture

I loved the fact that scUM fans were in attendance for the football game.  If nobody knew a lacrosse game preceded the football game, can you imagine the picture that would paint?  Somebody do me a favor and post some pics of scUM fans at the game.   

+1 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

If there was a QB coming out as well rounded and polished as Deshaun Watson he would have a chance at competing for the starter position. The QBs wearing no-contact jerseys kind of takes away from what Barrett does best.We will be in good hands   though.With what this staff did with Guiton was damn right amazing and I don't expect that to be a fluke.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

-1 HS
Braxton2Devin's picture

Are we expecting any commitments? Or was the game just too darn boring to make an impact on the recruits?

+2 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

Some take-aways in my mind (not a CFB expert by any stretch of the imagination, but love the buckeyes):

1) The defense looks promising, very encouraging to see that

2) The backup QB's could not hit a long pass to save their life, every time they attempted a long ball looked like a heave in the general direction and a prayer

3) The Big Ten Channel did a bad job commentating IMO, would have liked to have more of a play-by-play call than the mindless drivel going on DURING the plays

4) Still, all-in-all, great to see the guys out there, we have an awesome coaching staff and some real talent, can't wait until the season starts, very challenging schedule this upcoming season.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+3 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Nice crowd nice weather - a lot to focus on until September

WezBuck28's picture

How about Collier getting that 15 yd penalty for pass interference..for those of you that watched the game at home..lol

+5 HS
Rjpfish2's picture

Very challenging schedule? At Navy is no cupcake to start with, VT is a solid test early on, and I'll give you PSU and MSU on the road...

  1. No Wisky, NW, or Nebraska
  2. Both B10 newbs (Rutgers & Maryland)
  3. The Game @ home
  4. Two Bye weeks

 I'd say we've finally got a good schedule for the first time in awhile. Tired of hearing, baseless or not, how we never play anyone!

 

 

ab1993's picture

everyone has two bye weeks......

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

And both of our byes happen in the first month and a half of the season, one before Cinci and the other before the Rutgers game. Neither bye proceeds a big game, and from mid season on we play 7 consecutive games prior to the B1G Championship game.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

-1 HS
Rjpfish2's picture

Good points, but very challenging is still too strong for me. 

LeftCoastBuck's picture

It was a bit of a snoozer....but I'll tell you one thing, the secondary was much tighter already and the backups could not hit the smaller open windows. A good problem IMO.

Thomas played well....not to the level of his mouth yet, but really encouraging.

liked what I saw out of Raekwon. He'll be a damned fine player with hard work and experience

"Have a Coke and a smile!.....along with $150 in UM football tickets"

+3 HS
bucknut94's picture

I thought the Bucks looked good for a sprig scrimmage. I've seen worse. They should be good to go by the Navy game.

OSUFlash's picture

Not impressed with Jones or Barrett. McMillan and Apple looked great! Michael Thomas was a spring game star again now lets see if he disappears the rest of the year.

osuflash

+2 HS
OSUStu's picture

The only player I can remember being impressed with was Eli Apple. Seemed like they tried to go to his side a lot and he held up. Of course, QBs were missing the open receivers all day.

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

+1 HS
buckskin's picture

My thoughts on QB play ( I only got to see 1st half due to son's baseball practice).  Barrett looked a lot more comfortable running the offense.  Yea he was late on some of his throws, but most were accurate while threading the needle.  He also made some good reads on the option.  A couple of times he had tremendous holes while everyone collapsed on the RB.

Let's just be thankful that the circle drill isn't part of the actual game.  That was brutal.

+1 HS
luckynutz's picture

Keep in mind that a bulk of the gray's secondary was comprised of returning starters, or guys that are in the running to start. Powell, burrows, reeves and conley were over there. Not to mention Tyquan lewis was applying steady pressure all day. But in terms of reads and delivering the ball, Barrett was the better qb today. But aside from Eli apple...the scarlet secondary wasnt as stacked as the gray was. And I believe that was by design.

Buckeye Chuck's picture

One thing about the long passes: while it's true that the QBs weren't on target, it's also true that folks weren't really getting open deep either. How much of that is improved coverage and how much is our receiving corps still not being elite, I can't be sure.

I thought Barrett helped himself quite a bit today. He certainly appeared to be the better QB, though surrounding offensive talent (and opposing defensive talent) might explain that to some extent. He bounced back nicely after a terrible first play.

There were some folks here a few months back, speaking out of post-Orange Bowl frustration, who said that they kind of hoped Braxton Miller went to the NFL because they "wanted to get a better passer in there." I don't think too many are going to be hoping for that now. Anyone who still doubts he's the best we have is out of their mind.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+1 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

McMillan definitely has the body and the instincts to come in and play from jumpstreet.  He was way better in coverage than Grant and even Perry have ever looked.  He also has the speed to get to the sideline.  I was impressed with him, Apple, and Lee.  It was interesting with the offenses being so out of tempo bc the players that were held out or didn't play but the young guys got some reps.

+3 HS
DBell8's picture

I would pay $5 bucks everyday of my life just to be able to be in the shoe all the time. Atmosphere is simply amazing inside that place!

+5 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Best news of the day no major injuries.   Lots to improve on that is what this game is for, a look at game situations, a measure against yourself and what they have been working on... More to do and time to do it in... with talented Freshmen coming in as well.

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Just a few of my observations (granted, this game really doesn't mean much as for what we're getting in Fall):

- I thought the defense looked better - definitely flying to the ball faster, better pass coverage.  Quite impressed with a few plays, particularly Armani Reeves' coverage on a deep ball.

- Wasn't really impressed with either QB.  There was only one real bad play by them - the fumble by JT - but just not much impact by either guy. 

- There may not be another Carlos Hyde in the backfield, but Elliott is going to be a stud, and there shouldn't be much drop-off with the stable as a whole.  Any drop-off will be more o-line related.

- O-line wasn't too impressive, but not everybody was in there.  With so much to replace, you can expect some drop-off.  They have work to do, but I trust that it'll happen. 

- All the starters on the d-line were out?  Holy shit, we're going to have a kick-ass d-line this year.  Hopefully that can translate into better pass D, unlike last year.

- McMillan looks like a badass. 

Boring game.  Started flipping to the Masters when it came on. 

Class of 2010.

+1 HS
TraptnMI's picture

 I was most impressed with Christopher Worthy. Stud should start. Apple was a fly on shit. One handed catch on sideline was incredible by Mr. Thomas. Corey Smith looked Ohh sooo smoooth! I was a little surprised with Dixens inability to locate the deep ball and the focus to catch the one in the endzone. I am quite sure he was a tad nervous. Both D's played their butts off with great effort and athletic ability. EXCITED!

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

Zimmy07's picture

I had to DVR the game & got to watch it late last night.

I don't think the offense was running like it will in real games as the QB keep part of the option didn't seem to be much of a real threat & that limited the RB's on the give.

The defense looked better than last years defense and there were starters not even in there.  The D-lineman were getting in the backfield quickly.  The CB's finally looked like they knew how to play CB.  The LB's looked like LB's.  This might be an awesome year.  I'm probably going to watch the recording another 10 times in the next 4 months.