COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio State Buckeyes took part in their first Spring Game in two years in front of just over 19,000 fans at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
“I think the most exciting part was getting back in the stadium and seeing the Best Damn Band In The Land, having some fans around and it just felt almost normal out there today,” OSU coach Ryan Day said.
Tackling was not allowed in the game, but there were still a few highlights worth noting so below are a few takeaways from the Buckeyes playing each other.
C.J. Stroud and Kyle McCord had excellent performances. Stroud, a redshirt freshman, looked poised from start to end going 16 for 22 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, true freshman Kyle McCord also looked comfortable in the pocket throwing two touchdowns on 12 of 17 passing for 184 yards. Redshirt freshman Jack Miller was inconsistent at times, especially in the first half but ended up with 17 completions on 30 attempts for 128 yards.
“They’ve learned a lot but now the race is on over the next few months to figure out who can make the next stride so that they’re further along,” Day said about the quarterbacks.
Day also said he’s talked to the three quarterbacks frequently about not trying to be overly aggressive in an attempt to win the starting job.
“You can’t go out there and win the job on one play and so if you’re trying to force the action, you’re going to get yourself jammed up,” Day said. “It’s not about winning the day. It’s about winning the job so you can go help us win.”
Jack Sawyer is that dude
True freshman and Pickerington North product Jack Sawyer lived up to the hype wreaking havoc on Ohio State’s offensive line. Sawyer showed why he was the No. 1 ranked prospect in the country by ESPN for the class of 2020 forcing three sacks, one forced fumble and constantly pushing offensive tackles backward.
“He’s off to a great start for sure and he’s earning more and more reps. He’s working his way up the depth chart,” Day said. “Jack in particular came in with a lot of confidence and he’s made a lot of plays. What you saw today was pretty much most every practice out there.”
Ohio State is deep at defensive end but if Sawyer keeps playing and practicing like this he’ll find himself on the field in the fall. One of those talented defensive ends is Zach Harrison who is an Olentangy Orange grad.
“Jack’s legit,” Harrison said. “Jack’s got a great first step and bend around the edge and that’s something you just can’t teach, so I think he’s going to be a great player at Ohio State.”
Wide Receiver depth is unreal
Ohio State has the best wide receivers in the country and it’s not close. It starts with returning starters Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson on the outside and runs all the way to two true freshman in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka who both had seven catches in the Spring Game.
Returning sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba will be prominent this season as will junior Jameson Williams who was a key part of OSU’s offense last season. Sophomore Julian Fleming did not play and revealed this week that he was trying to play through a shoulder injury last season, which is why he didn’t see much game time as a freshman. Those seven receivers will have to fight just to get on the field and whoever plays QB won’t have to worry about who he’s throwing to at receiver.
Wide Receiver Stats
Egbuka: 7 catches for 123 yards
Harrison: 7 catches for 49 yards and 1 TD
Smith-Njigba: 5 catches for 50 yards and 1 TD
Wilson: Four catches for 85 yards
Olave: 3 catches for 57 yards and 1 TD