Ohio State spring game offers glimpse of championship contenders

Ohio State spring game offers glimpse of championship contenders

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In front of over 80,000 fans at Ohio Stadium, Ohio State put on a show that offered glimpses of what the Buckeyes could be when they return to the field this fall.

With Scarlet representing the offense and the defense donned in Gray, Scarlet defeated Gray, 34-33 in the annual spring game.

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Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka made a one-handed grab in the second quarter that lit up the crowd while quarterback Devin Brown through the first and only touchdown of the contest with a throw to Brennan Schramm, giving Scarlet a 13-12 lead.

TC Caffey, James Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon scored touchdowns in the second half after most of the likely starters next season were done for the day. Jaylen McClain had a highlight-worthy interception of Sayin in the first half and was one of four interceptions produced by the Gray team.

Head coach Ryan Day complimented the performance of the defense, which also produced six sacks and nine tackles for a loss.

“When you look at our defense, you look at the back end, you look at the front end and then those linebackers, it’s a good looking group. And you saw that all spring, they’re flying around, they’re getting it,” Day said. “And they all want to play more and show off in this game, but that’s our job as coaches is to hold them back. You can see a lot of the talent out there.”

New offensive coordinator Chip Kelly said there will be a lot to evaluate off the film from the spring game combined with how the team has evolved over the past several weeks in practice.

“We’ll look at all 15 [practices]. This day is a big part of it because it was the first time they ever got to play, some of those guys ever got to play in front of a crowd,” Kelly said. “And it was an amazing crowd. Eighty thousand for a spring game. You can see some of the young guys kinda looking around, like ‘wow this is different than the indoor.’ That’s what they have to get ready to play in.”

Watch head coach Ryan Day, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, and offensive coordinator Chip Kelly in a post-game press conference in the video player below.

Kansas State transfer Will Howard was the first quarterback on the field and went 9-for-13 for 77 yards in the first half while Brown went 5-for-7 for 66 yards. Lincoln Keinholz and Julian Sayin also saw significant playing time in the quarterback position, each completing ten of 17 passes.

Day didn’t commit to naming a starting quarterback after the spring game.

The spring game was also the first chance for fans to see new faces on the Buckeyes roster, including running back Quinshon Judkins, center Seth McLaughlin and safety Caleb Downs.

Saturday also marked the first time on the Buckeyes sidelines for Kelly as well as running backs coach Carlos Locklyn and safeties coach Matt Guerrieri. James Laurinaitis made his debut as the Ohio State linebackers coach.

Ohio State will open the 2024 season on August 31 against Akron.

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