Ohio State Football: Spring Game observations

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field to warm up before their Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 17: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field to warm up before their Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Ohio State football in the Spring is always fun to watch. Here are some observations from today’s game.

We now have our first taste of the 2021 Ohio State Football Team. Team Brutus and Team Buckeye battled it out for two quarters on Saturday, then the game flipped to an offense vs. defense scrimmage with a mixture of players from both teams in the second half.

Before our football-deprived eyes, we witnessed the three-man (sorry Jagger LaRoe) quarterback battle take place. We saw a very talented group of freshman make great plays, and we saw Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson do what they do best, make catches and drop jaws. Let’s jump into some observations, maybe even some overreactions.

C.J. Stroud looks like a starter.

The redshirt freshman threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns off of 16 completions on 22 attempts. He was quite accurate and made good decisions throughout the game. He wasted no time on his first drive, marching the Buckeyes, or “Team Brutus”, I should say, down the field and eventually finding the end zone.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a plethora of talented wide receivers on your team. Chris Olave, Julian Fleming, Emeka Egbuka, and Marvin Harrison Jr. were all weapons available at Stroud’s disposal.

Kyle McCord can sling it.

The five-star freshman came in after Jack Miller, and on his first play he fired a deep ball right into the hands of Garrett Wilson for a 55 yard gain. McCord is surely going to be a real candidate to be the starting quarterback. Stroud still looks like the frontrunner, but if McCord ends up winning the job, no one will be surprised.

McCord finished with one fewer yard than Stroud, at 184, had two touchdowns, and was the most efficient quarterback today with 12 completions on just 17 attempts.

Emeka Egbuka…sheesh.

Emeka sure looked like a five-star on the field today. The freshman pulled in seven receptions on nine targets, good for 123 yards. Hard to have a better spring game than that. Ohio State is loaded with wide receiver talent, but Egbuka will earn plenty of playing time throughout the upcoming season. You can’t sit that kind of talent.

Jack Sawyer is a monster.

2020 was the first year in quite some time where the Buckeyes didn’t have an incredible pass rusher. That will change in 2021 with Jack Sawyer. Sawyer had four sacks in the spring game, and was often double teamed. Keep in mind he’s a freshman, he looked like a seasoned veteran out there. He is far too talented to not be on the field, and will likely be a starter immediately.

We cannot judge running backs after today. 

You could see who was hitting holes, but when there is no tackling in a game, it’s hard to tell who would have turned plays into anything. Steele Chambers did score a touchdown, but likely will not be the starter this fall. Master Teague is the frontrunner, but TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams will be the main competitors for the job. Seriously difficult to come to any concrete conclusions about the running back position after today.

Overreactions: Jack Miller has no chance at the starting job, and Ohio State can’t kick field goals.

Jack Miller did not have a good game, we’ll say it like it is. Miller completed 17 of 30 passes for 128 yards, and threw one interception. He had a decent first drive, with completions coming his way, before getting picked off near the goal line. Obviously starting jobs are not won during spring games, but it is fair to say his chances of being the starter have at least lessened after strong outings by Stroud and McCord. Things could change drastically between now and fall, so don’t write Miller off just yet.

As for the field goal situation…yikes. Jake Siebert missed two field goals today, one from 40-yards and one from 46. This is somewhat of a concern, especially with virtually no defense to worry about. Siebert will be fine, and improve. Ohio State will be no stranger to the end zone this year, so field goals hopefully won’t be a huge issue, but this is something to keep an eye on as the season approaches.

Next. Garrett Wilson’s move will help Ohio State. dark

All-in-all, there is an abundance of excitement in Columbus about the 2021 Buckeyes. There will be no shortage of talent and competition this season, let’s hope the months leading up to the regular season go by quickly.