The Ohio State Spring game was held at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. A surprisingly small crowd of only 37,643 watched as the Scarlet team beat the Grey, 31-14 on a sunny but cool Saturday afternoon, perfect football weather. Last year the spring game at “The Shoe” in Columbus drew 81,000 plus for Urban Meyer’s first game at Ohio State. One would think that after last year’s 12-0 season, coupled with the BCS bowl anticipations for this year, the 65,535 seat stadium would have been packed.
For the second year in a row the game was not much of a game and more of a practice/scrimmage. In the past, the game was more free flowing, kind of a fun game and reward to the players for a month of hard spring practice. It was a good way to continue building the competitive spirit in a game environment. The media keeps writing that the game is the last chance for the coaches to get a look at the players and the players a last chance to win or lock-in their starting positions. I don’t buy that. It is difficult for me to believe that after a month of practice less than 40 minutes of action in this game will change anything. A less controlling atmosphere would be more entertaining for the fans.
|Ben St. John (67) from Woodmore blocking for Kenny Guiton as Coach Urban
Meyer watches (Press photo by Harold Hamilton/HEHphotos.lifepics.com)
As for the action, it was, surprise, surprise, dominated by Braxton Miller. On his first play, he threw a 49-yard pass to a wide-open Evan Spencer who caught it in stride, but stumbled and fell on the 16 yard line.
Miller scored three TD’s in the game, two by passing for a 64 percent efficiency (16 of 25) and one running. Kenny Guiton, the backup Senior quarterback, was the Gray team’s leader although he also played on the Scarlet team. He threw 13 completions for 22 attempts (59 percent). Both Miller and Guiton wore black jersey’s signifying that they were off limits as far as contact. As for the rest of the game many of the stars did not play or had limited time on the field either because they had injuries or fear of injury. Woodmore graduate Ben St. John played on the winning Scarlet team. It was nice to see him get some action.
How good are the Buckeyes?
Hard to tell. This was only an inter-squad scrimmage and even then we did not see the full team together. One thing for sure, however, on an individual basis there is a ton of talent. Quality running backs and receivers are more numerous this year and Braxton Miller, the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year and fifth in the Heisman voting, appears to be more self-confident and a stronger leader.
We’ll have to wait until Fall to see how good the Bucks are, but Coach Meyer said, “I would be disappointed if we aren’t the best offense in the Big Ten”. The one big concern he did have he said was “the one glaring weakness is the fifth spoke of the offensive line. We have legitimate concern who that player is. I feel good about 4 of the 5 starters, and unless we get that fixed, there goes the best offensive line in the Big Ten.”
The Bucks will need everything they can get against “that team up north”. The “Blue” group is making great improvements. The rivalry is returning.