Ohio State concluded its spring football season inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
Ohio State quarterbacks C.J. Stroud, Kyle McCord and Devin Brown all threw touchdown passes while Miyan Williams and Evan Pryor each topped 100 total yards as the Scarlet offense topped the Gray defense, 34-26, in the Buckeyes’ 2022 spring game.
After connecting 15 times for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the Rose Bowl, Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba picked up where they left off on the opening possession of the spring game, as they combined for a 29-yard touchdown to put the first points on the board for Scarlet.
McCord took the field for the game’s second series and started things off with a touchdown pass, connecting with tight end Joe Royer in the end zone for a 24-yard score.
Stroud, who started the game wearing a Dwayne Haskins nameplate on his jersey in remembrance of the late former Ohio State quarterback, returned to the game for the third series, on which the defense put its first points on the board under the spring game’s modified scoring system by forcing a punt.
Brown made his debut on the fourth series of the game and connected with Xavier Johnson for a 23-yard gain on his first pass attempt of the day, which would also be the final play of the first quarter. The defense finished the series with another stop, though, when a fourth-down pass from Brown intended for Sam Wiglusz was broken up by Andre Turrentine.
Pryor scored the game’s third touchdown on the fifth series of the day when he turned on the jets for a 22-yard rushing score.
Williams followed that up on the very next offensive play with a 36-yard run, but the offense ended up settling for a 42-yard field goal attempt, which Jake Seibert – who handled placekicking duties in place of Noah Ruggles on Saturday – converted through the uprights.
The defense held the offense without points on each of its final three possessions of the first half. Second-year cornerback Jordan Hancock helped force one punt by breaking up a pass and then making a 4-yard tackle for loss on Williams on the next play, after which Jack Sawyer recorded a sack. Kye Stokes, the first true freshman to lose his black stripe this spring, also made a pair of pass breakups on the final two series of the first half.
The entire Ohio State football team remained on the field to watch a video paying tribute to Haskins at the start of halftime, after which team captain Kamryn Babb led the Buckeyes in a team prayer before they went back to the locker room.
Brown threw his first touchdown pass in Ohio Stadium on the Buckeyes’ second possession of the third quarter, when he delivered a perfect pass to Reis Stocksdale going toward the left boundary of the end zone for a 19-yard score.
Sophomore walk-on Garrison Smith made the score 34-14 with 2:19 to play in the third quarter when he made a 37-yard field goal in his first-ever kick in Ohio Stadium. True freshman walk-on Jayden Fielding missed a 38-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter wide right.
The lone interception of the day came with just 3:27 to play, when walk-on cornerback Cameron Kittle tipped a Brown deep ball intended for Caleb Burton up into the air and caught the deflection for a pick.
Stroud finished the spring game with 14 completions on 22 passing attempts for 120 yards and a touchdown. Williams ran for 101 yards on 15 carries while Pryor had nine carries for 62 yards and four catches for 44 yards. Johnson was the leading receiver with 50 yards on three catches. Tommy Eichenberg led all defenders with 10 tackles.
Ohio State has now concluded its spring practice season and will return to the practice field for preseason camp in early August. The Buckeyes will return to Ohio Stadium for their season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 3.
- This year’s spring game was played as an offense vs. defense scrimmage, with the offense representing the Scarlet team and the defense functioning as the Gray team. The first quarter was 15 minutes long while the second, third and fourth quarters were 12 minutes in length. The defense received three points for each stop it forced and also received points for takeaways and sacks (though the scoring system did not seem to be followed religiously).
- The starting offense for the Scarlet team consisted of C.J. Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Cade Stover, Paris Johnson Jr., Donovan Jackson, Luke Wypler, Matt Jones and Dawand Jones.
- The starting defense for the Gray team consisted of Zach Harrison, Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Taron Vincent, Jerron Cage, Tommy Eichenberg, Steele Chambers, Denzel Burke, Cameron Brown, Tanner McCalister, Ronnie Hickman and Josh Proctor.
- Kamryn Babb, Ryan Batsch, Ben Christman, Corban Cleveland, Marcus Crowley, Jantzen Dunn, Tyler Friday, Josh Fryar, Palaie Gaoteote, Zak Herbstreit, Cade Kacherski, Trey Leroux, Zen Michalski, Elias Myers, Lathan Ransom and Mitch Rossi were all unavailable for the spring game. Julian Fleming and Kourt Williams also did not play, although neither was listed as unavailable; Ryan Day said after the game that Fleming was “day-to-day” and held out for precautionary reasons.
- Mitchell Melton went back to the locker room after suffering an injury in the second quarter. Jim Knowles said he did not have an update on Melton’s health after the game.
- Former Ohio State players in attendance for Saturday’s scrimmage included Justin Fields, Cam Heyward, Kirk Herbstreit, Orlando Pace, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Tyvis Powell, Corey Linsley, Wyatt Davis, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Thayer Munford and Michael Jordan, among others. Harry Miller, who medically retired from the Ohio State football team last month, was also in attendance for the spring game.
- A multitude of Ohio State recruits were also in attendance for Saturday’s spring game, including five-star quarterback target Dylan Raiola.
- Attendance for Saturday’s spring game was 60,007.