The Ohio State Football Team will be holding its annual Spring Game for the first time since 2019 on Saturday.
Here’s how to watch the Scarlet battle the Gray, along with storylines heading into the scrimmage.
Date: Saturday, April 17 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH
TV: Big Ten Network | Live stream: Fox Sports App
Weather: Mostly cloudy, high of 57
Where do we begin? You can pick any position group on either side of the ball, and there are countless storylines and questions regarding all of them. There are position battles at nearly every offensive position, but none more notable than the quarterback battle.
C.J. Stroud has spent most of Spring practicing with the first-team offense and appears to be the current frontrunner for the starting position. Challenging Stroud for the QB1 spot in fellow sophomore Jack Miller III and five-star freshman Kyle McCord.
It was Miller who saw the field first in 2020, but Stroud saw equal playing time throughout the abbreviated 2020 season. McCord will be a real threat to potentially start as a true freshman. The starting job of course will not be won during the spring game, but it will give Buckeye Nation a taste of what the future holds for Ohio State quarterbacks. One can assume Stroud and Miller will be the starters, with McCord coming in and seeing his fair share of playing time.
Whoever is the acting quarterback during the spring game will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Senior wide receiver Chris Olave returns, as does fellow-superstar pass-catcher Garrett Wilson. The Ohio State football team also returns Jameson Williams and has a duo of talented sophomore receivers in Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming who will be competing for more playing time this season.
There is also a duo of highly-recruited freshmen receivers in Marvin Harrison Jr. along with Emeka Egbuka, who was the number one wide receiver recruit coming out of high school. The wide receiver position is by far the most talent-rich position group in Columbus, it will be quite exciting to see what roles each player ends up taking.
One name you may have noticed was not mentioned when talking about wide receivers is Gee Scott Jr. Scott has been working with the tight ends in Spring practices and could be a very dangerous pass-catcher in short-yardage situations. His athletic abilities could compliment Jeremy Ruckert very well this upcoming season.
Wrapping up the offensive storylines is the running back battle. Master Teague returns and is likely the frontrunner for the starting job. He will be challenged, though. The biggest threat to take his starting job is five-star freshman Treveyon Henderson, who has already lost his black stripe. Miyan Williams and Steele Chambers also return with their eyes on increased playing time. Also, don’t forget about Evan Pryor, who has turned some heads as well.
Moving on to the defense, the biggest question has to be how the secondary improves and adjusts after a lackluster 2020 season. Schematically, we may not see a full glimpse of what the Buckeyes will run this season, but will be something to keep an eye on nonetheless. There have been rumblings that the Ohio State football team could return to playing two deep safeties instead of a single-high safety, and the bullet position could be revived for 2021.
The defensive line will be fun to watch this year, headlined by five-star freshman defensive end Jack Sawyer. The Columbus-native looks to make a name for himself as the next great Buckeye pass-rusher. If you still have an old #33 jersey laying around from James Laurinaitis’ playing days, you’re in luck, as Sawyer will be rocking #33.
The linebackers will be quite different this season. Gone are all four of the most-utilized LB’s from 2020; Tuf Borland, Pete Warner, Baron Browning, and Justin Hilliard. It will be interesting to see who takes over and who Al Washington believes should play Mike, Will, and Sam.
Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant, and Craig Young look to be the likely starters, but freshman Reid Carrico has certainly made a name for himself in practices and will compete for playing time at the very least.
While Ohio Stadium might only be 30% full this Saturday, Buckeye fans across the country will be tuned in to watch the Scarlet and Gray teams battle it out. It will be a great chance to see new players and highly competitive position battles take place.
This has to be the most anticipated Ohio State football Spring game in recent memory.