Minnich's Musings on the 2024 Ohio State football team Spring Game

Some questions remain, but the 2024 Spring Game provided many optimistic signs
Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

The 2024 Ohio State Spring Game has come and gone, concluding Ohio State's fifteen spring practices on a beautiful sunny day in Ohio Stadium, in front of 80,012 attendees. Acknowledging that the Ohio State Spring Game does not count for anything in the grand scheme of things, it is always impressive to see so many people come out to support the team for the upcoming season.

Regardless of what year, who is the head coach, or the styles of play, there are three key points that every Ohio State football fan should try to remember when thinking about an Ohio State spring football game...

1. Most Important Is That Nobody Gets Hurt In The Spring Game

Cody Simon, Mitchell Melton, Kenyatta Jackson Jr.
Mitchell Melton / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Two years ago, I was at the Ohio State Spring Game when Mitchell Melton tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Not only was it great to see Melton have a productive spring game this year, but Ohio State was able to leave the game without any injuries.

2. An Impressive Home Crowd Can Only Help With Recruiting Efforts

Ryan Day
Ryan Day / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

As written up above, having a crowd of 80,012 is impressive. While a large home crowd may not necessarily be the determining factor for a prospective recruit, it certainly helps in the evaluation process.

3. Do Not Show Too Much To Your Upcoming Opponents

Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

Remember, Ohio State has high aspirations for a lengthy season that now includes a 12-team College Football Playoff. Keeping things very vanilla and basic may not have excited the fans in the stands or on television, but it certainly did not give any of their upcoming opponents anything, either.

Before I go too much further, I will have to say that this play below from Emeka Egbuka certainly deserves some additional recognition. This is the kind of highlight play that would have been good in the NFL, an arena that Egbuka thankfully decided to hold off on pursuing for this upcoming season.

The Ohio State Defense Is Poised For An Exceptional Season

Whenever Ohio State fans start to feel nostalgic about the 2002 or 2014 national championship seasons, it is understandable to start thinking about specific plays, players, or games. In my estimation, one of the most overlooked characteristics about both of those seasons is how good the Ohio State defense was during those championship years.

Yes, this year's Ohio State defense has the ingredients of a national championship-caliber defense. Yes, you can remind me that I made this statement throughout this upcoming season.

Heading into year three under the tutelage of Jim Knowles, the Ohio State defense has tremendous depth along its defensive line and in the secondary. If there is a knock, it would be at the linebacker unit, as Cody Simon is the only player at that position group with considerable playing experience. Even lacking experience, Sonny Styles and C.J. Hicks more than compensate with their tremendous speed and athleticism. This defense is going to be looking dominant at times this upcoming season.

The Ohio State Offensive Line Is Still Concerning, But...

It is not nearly as concerning as it was last year at this time. In last year's Spring Game, Josh Fryar was truly struggling against the Ohio State pass rushers when Fryar was playing left tackle, which prompted Ohio State to go out and get Josh Simmons in the transfer portal.

This year, the issues are at the right guard position on the offensive line. Ohio State seemed to try various players throughout the spring game, such as Carson Hinzman, Tegra Tshabola, or Luke Montgomery at the spot, with varying degrees of success.

Post-game, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said that Josh Fryar is one of the best five players on the offensive line. Translation - Fryar is going to play; we just are not sure if it is going to be at right tackle or right guard.

In other words, this is going to be a possible area that will be addressed in the transfer portal, but it will certainly be a primary focus when the team convenes for camp at the beginning of August. And here is something else to keep in mind as it relates to the Ohio State football team's offensive line and the Ohio State offense in general...

Chip Kelly Is "Born To Run"

As cliche as that may be to read, every college offense that Chip Kelly has been associated with has had a strong running game. Yes, Kelly likes to go up-tempo with a spread offense, but people are forgetting that the spread offense does not have to mean throwing the ball predominantly. Kelly made his notable reputation by going up-tempo with a strong running game that showcased speed, thus taxing an opposing defense.

Similar to what I wrote up above in point # 3 about not showing too much to future opponents in a spring game, Kelly kept it pretty simple, but you could see glimpses of what may be in store for the Ohio State offense this upcoming season - using wide receivers on jet sweeps, telling quarterbacks to run for positive yardage, etc.

With quarterbacks such as Will Howard or Devin Brown, the threat of the quarterback run game is now going to be a prominent part of the Ohio State offense. Will it be like the Urban Meyer/Tom Herman offenses that ran Braxton Miller (2012-2013 seasons) or J.T. Barrett (2014-2017) excessively? No, but the days of Ohio State quarterbacks not running for positive yardage, as we have seen over the past few seasons, are now going to be a thing of the past.

Next story. Three players the Buckeyes should pursue in the transfer portal. dark. Next

As I wrote above, it is important to not read too, too much into an Ohio State spring game. What was shown, even in a controlled environment, should give Ohio State fans everywhere a substantial amount of optimism for the upcoming season.