C.J. Stroud, Kyle McCord Throw Two Touchdowns Apiece in Ohio State's 2021 Spring Game

By Dan Hope on April 17, 2021 at 1:57 pm
Kyle McCord

C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord each threw two touchdown passes while Emeka Egbuka had 123 receiving yards and Jack Sawyer had three sacks in Saturday's spring game.

Jack Miller started behind center for Team Buckeye and completed six of his first eight passing attempts for 51 yards – and one of his incompletions was dropped by Jameson Williams – but the game’s opening drive ended with Ryan Watts intercepting a Miller pass in the end zone.

C.J. Stroud started the game for Team Brutus and promptly put his arm on display on his second play in the game, completing a 40-yard deep ball to Chris Olave, who made a leaping catch over newly converted cornerback Demario McCall. Stroud completed his opening drive by throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

Kyle McCord checked into the game for the second Buckeye possession – the quarterbacks alternated series and switched teams throughout the game – and also put his arm strength on display right away, connecting with Garrett Wilson on a 55-yard deep ball. His first drive ended with a Jack Sawyer sack on 3rd-and-9, after which Jake Seibert missed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide right.

The offenses went 3-and-out on each of the next four possessions – two by Miller and one each for Stroud and McCord – before Stroud led his second scoring drive of the game, capping it off with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chris Olave.

McCord led a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive for Team Buckeye’s first points of the game on the subsequent series. Jaxon Smith-Njigba capped off the drive with an acrobatic 15-yard touchdown catch.

McCord finished the first half with nine completions for 130 yards on 13 attempts, while Stroud went into halftime with 11 completions for 127 yards on 15 attempts. Miller went 12-of-23 for 100 yards in the first two quarters.

Sawyer had two sacks before halftime, while Harrison had a team-high seven first-half receptions for 49 yards. Fellow freshman Emeka Egbuka had four first-half catches for 45 yards, while Wilson had four first-half catches for 85 yards. Smith-Njigba had five first-half catches for 50 yards, while Olave had three first-half catches for 57 yards. Teradja Mitchell and Cody Simon led all defenders with six tackles before halftime.

The opening drive of the second half – in which the Buckeyes abandoned the Brutus and Buckeye rosters for an untimed offense vs. defense scrimmage – culminated with the first rushing touchdown of the day, as Steele Chambers ran the ball in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown after a pair of connections from Stroud to Egbuka – for 31 and 12 yards – got the offense inside the 5-yard line.

Miller’s first series of the second half ended without points again after Jake Seibert missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide left. TreVeyon Henderson did show his playmaking ability on the drive, though, catching three passes for a combined 18 yards while he also had a 14-yard run (in a game where it was difficult to break off long runs since runners were ruled down as soon as they were touched).

Egbuka made another big play with a 35-yard catch-and-run on the next series, which McCord finished by throwing his second touchdown pass of the game to Joe Royer from 12 yards out.

Walk-on quarterback Jagger LaRoe capped off the spring game with a 20-yard touchdown pass to fellow walk-on Sam Wiglusz.

Stroud finished the game with 16 completions on 22 attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns, McCord finished the game with 12 completions on 17 attempts for 184 yards and two touchdowns and Miller finished the game with 17 completions on 30 attempts for 128 yards and zero touchdowns with one interception.

Egbuka finished the game with seven catches for 123 yards, while Sawyer finished the game with three sacks. Henderson led all running backs with six carries for 26 yards and five catches for 29 yards. Mitchell led all defenders with 10 total tackles.

Game Notes

  • Saturday's game was played with “thud” tempo, so players were not tackled to the ground. The quarters were 10 minutes long with a running clock in the second half.
  • Players who did not participate in Saturday's spring game due to injuries included running back Master Teague, wide receivers Julian Fleming, Kamryn Babb, Jaylen Harris and Ellijah Gardiner, tight end Gee Scott Jr., offensive linemen Harry Miller and Nicholas Petit-Frere, defensive tackles Haskell Garrett and Tyleik Williams, linebackers Dallas Gant, Mitchell Melton, Ryan Batsch and Cade Kacherski, cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown and safety Kourt Williams. Kacherski was seen walking on crutches, while Banks was walking with a cane.
  • With only five other healthy linebackers (Teradja Mitchell, Cody Simon, K'Vaughan Pope, Tommy Eichenberg and Reid Carrico), long snapper Roen McCullough played linebacker and wore No. 49.
  • Thayer Munford (Brutus) and Jeremy Ruckert (Buckeye) served as the captains for the pregame coin toss.
  • Between the first and second quarters, seven members of Ohio State's 2020 Big Ten championship team – Justin Fields, Jonathon Cooper, Justin Hilliard, Shaun Wade, Baron Browning, Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann – received their championship rings during an on-field ceremony.
  • Ohio State senior deputy athletic director Diana Sabau, who is leaving to become the deputy commissioner of the Big Ten, was honored at halftime. She had served as the lead administrator for Ohio State football since April 2017.

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