Spring brings new beginnings, which was exactly the case in Ohio Stadium as many young Buckeyes got their first game experience as the Gray defeated the Scarlet in the annual Ohio State Spring Game, 17-7.
“It’s a chance to see some young guys that really haven’t played to be quite honest,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said after the game. “This is a chance for a lot of guys in our program who work very hard and we are to be able to let some guys play or catch a pass in Ohio Stadium.”
As the game came to an end, the Ohio State football team had answered some off-season questions, and brought with it some new ones.
With senior quarterback Braxton Miller sitting out after undergoing shoulder surgery in February, the backup quarterback position was a point of emphasis in the spring. It had seemed for most of the spring that redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones was the leading candidate for the job, however the Glenville, Ohio, product completed less than 50 percent of his throws during the game, finishing 14-31 for 142 yards.
“I think (the quarterbacks) did a really good job of poising themselves,” junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker said after the game. “Things aren’t always going to go the right way, but they would keep the poise and wouldn’t explode.”
Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett finished his day completing 17-33 for 151 yards and leading a 15 play, 80-yard scoring drive which culminated in a two-yard touchdown run by redshirt-sophomore running back Bri’onte Dunn.
Dunn finished the day with six carries for 35 yards and one touchdown.
The battle to see who would replace Drew Basil seemed to be led by redshirt-senior Kyle Clinton, however after missing multiple field goals wide right, freshman Sean Nuernberger converted on a 52-yarder, only missing once on the day.
Defensive ends redshirt-freshman Tyquan Lewis and redshirt-senior Rashad Frazier impressed the Ohio Stadium crowd of 61,058, as they combined to record four sacks including a strip sack by Frazier of Barrett, which led to the first score on the game after Frazier fell on the fumble in the end zone for a Scarlet touchdown.
“I thought we would have a bigger attendance. I thought it was a nicer day, I thought we would get more people out,” junior tight end Nick Vannett said after the game. “But nonetheless, too many schools can’t say they had 61,000 for their spring game let alone their season games. But it was a great day for football.”
The Buckeyes are set to kick off their 2014 regular season Aug. 30 against Navy at noon at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.