COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State football is back… sort of. For the first time since the painful loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship game, the Buckeyes will take the field on Saturday in the annual spring game.
It’s a new crop of Scarlet and Gray players this year with many of the familiar faces now gone. Names like Justin Fields, Luke Farrell, Jonathon Cooper, Tommy Togiai, Tuf Borland and Shaun Wade, among others, that Ohio State fans became so used to over the years are no longer with the team. The Buckeyes have used spring to begin to replace those key pieces and the spring game will provide another opportunity for other players — CJ Stroud, Matthew Jones, Taron Vincent, Teradja Mitchell, Lejond Cavazos, for example — to emerge.
And for the first time since the Scarlet and Gray beat Penn State on Nov. 23, 2019, there will be fans — not just friends and family — in the stands for a football game at Ohio Stadium. While it will only be just under 20,000 fans, this certainly is a step in a positive direction. The Spring Athletic Band, Brutus Buckeye and the cheerleaders will also make their triumphant return to the Horseshoe on Saturday.
While it won’t be completely real football — Ohio State won’t tackle but “thud” in the spring game and the second half will be “controlled” — we will take what we can get. You can get info on how to watch the game here and following along during the game with us with live updates and analysis.
- CJ Stroud gets the start in the second half. Looks like he’s out there with the first-team offensive line.
- That was the first half from a spring game with no tackling.
- If I’m ranking quarterback performances, I’m going CJ Stroud (11-15, 127 yds, 2 TD), Kyle McCord (9-13, 130 yds, 1 TD) and then Jack Miller (12-23, 100 yds, 1 INT).
- Both freshman wide receivers Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. really stood out with some nice catches and route running.
- Jack Sawyer won’t always just be able to touch a quarterback for a sack but I don’t think that’s going to matter. He looks great.
TOUCHDOWN (1:11) Brutus 14 Buckeye 7
- Kyle McCord places a perfect pass into Jaxon Smith-Njigba for a 15-yard scoring catch. An impressive throw from the freshman
- A nice catch by Cade Stover diving out of bounds.
- A third sack of this first half for Jack Sawyer.
- TreVeyon Henderson is not just a rusher. He gets his toe in to make a sideline catch.
TOUCHDOWN (5:03) Brutus 14 Buckeye 0
- CJ Stroud rolls to his right and hits Chris Olave in the corner of the endzone. That was a familiar looking play from CJ Stroud to Chris Olave. No. 7 at quarterback instead of No. 1.
- Freshman Emeka Egbuka with a couple of nice catches so far today. This Buckeye receiver room is loaded.
- Mitch Rossi getting a target out there from CJ Stroud.
- Jack Sawyer with his second “sack” of the day. Ohio State struggled getting to the quarterback last year. Sawyer — albeit while playing touchdown football — is doing that today.
- Kyle McCord starts the second quarter at quarterback.
- Garrett Wilson is back in for Team Buckeye.
- Safety Lathan Ransom with a nice play while sitting in zone on the outside and breaks up a pass.
- Jack Miller now in at quarterback for Team Brutus.
- Kyle McCord fumbles after he is “sacked” by Jack Sawyer. The 40-yard field goal attempt by Jake Seibert is missed.
- Garrett Wilson down after the play. Looked like he got the wind knocked out of him.
- Kyle McCord in now and takes a shot on his first throw. He hits Garrett Wilson for a 55-yard gain. Nice recognition after the play action.
TOUCHDOWN (3:44) Brutus 7 Buckeye 0
- CJ Stroud hits Marvin Harrison Jr. on a slant route for a five-yard score. That was a good throw and Harrison picked on fellow freshman Denzel Burke.
- CJ Stroud throws it up and Chris Olave picks on the inexperienced Demario McCall for a big gain. Nice play.
- CJ Stroud now on the field for Team Brutus.
- Not sure Jack Miller should have made that throw with such tight coverage by Ryan Watts, even on Garrett Wilson. Miller looked good other than that on the drive.
- Jack Miller’s pass is intercepted near the end zone. Ryan Watts with the pick.
- Jack Miller is the first quarterback on the field. Nothing to read into that, just that is which team is out there to start.
- Mock kick off and we’re off. Team Buckeye on the field first.
- Thayer Munford and Jeremy Ruckert are the spring game captains today. Still going with one it seems.
- Long snapper Roen McCullough will play linebacker and wear No. 49 today due to a number of injuries at the position.
- Ohio State without Marcus Williamson, Mitchell Melton, Ellijah Gardiner, Tyleik Williams, Haskell Garrett and Jaylen Harris today among others that were already ruled out this spring.
Here are some select articles from our coverage of spring practice for your pre-game enjoyment: