In terms of college football’s spring games, Ohio State’s is by far the most well-attended.
It was a dismal season for the Big Ten favorites, which included defeats to rival Michigan and Oregon, but finished with an exhilarating Rose Bowl victory over Pac-12 champion Utah.
For the first time under Day, the Buckeyes will not be defending Big Ten champions in 2022, but they will be in the heart of the league race.
The College Football Playoff is the next logical step for the teams that make it that far.
First things first: the opening date on the Ohio State football calendar is this year’s spring game. This spring, here’s how to catch the game and what you should be paying attention to.
Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: noon Eastern
Where: Ohio Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
TV network: Big Ten Network
All of the action from the Scarlet and Gray scrimmage this season can be seen live on the Big Ten Network for free. fuboTV is the place to go if you want to watch the game online.
This year’s scrimmage will pit the Buckeyes’ offence against the Buckeyes’ defence, as revealed by head coach Ryan Day. Clocks will stop for the first three quarters, but the last quarter will feature a running clock.
What to Watch During Ohio State’s Spring Game
1. Solidifying the QB Situation
This offseason, the Buckeyes lost two quarterbacks to other schools via the transfer site. No. 1 overall prospect Quinn Ewers left for Texas and No. 2 overall prospect Jack Miller left for Florida. However, the Buckeyes’ status at the centre should not be harmed by those defeats.
a year ago, CJ Stroud threw for more than 4,000 yards and finished in the top ten of the Heisman Trophy voting, is returning to do it all over again. Kyle McCord, the Buckeyes’ presumed backup, is a former 5-star recruit, and the team wants to get a better look at him.
McCord threw for 416 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in his five appearances for Ohio State last year.
Freshman Devin Brown, a 6-3, 196-pound four-star prospect, will compete with McCord for the No. 2 job and have the potential to be a starter down the road.
2. How this Defense has Improved
For all of Ohio State’s offensive prowess, the team’s defence cost the team two big defeats against Oregon and Michigan, allowing almost 500 total yards in each game, respectively.
The Buckeyes struggled to defend the rush last season, surrendering more than 200 ground yards in four games. Jim Knowles has arrived.
He was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State the previous year and guided the Cowboys to a No. 3 national ranking as well as a national lead in sacks and tackles for loss.
Tanner McCallister, a former Cowboys safety, joined Knowles, a huge on-field presence who can help his teammates understand the coach’s strategy. And Knowles will use a “safety-driven” approach with five DBs on the field at the same time, which means the secondary will be active.
3. Who replaces OSU’s Receivers?
Almost any program’s wide receivers will suffer a decrease if it loses players like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to the NFL. Conversely, the Buckeyes have proactively sought players in this position in anticipation of this possibility.
Smith-Njigba is expected to be the leader of this bunch and had a strong showing in the Rose Bowl, where he broke college football receiving records. With nine touchdowns from 1,606 yards, he brought enormous promise to the position last year.
A group of similarly talented back-ups, including Marvin Harrison, Jr. (son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer), and Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka, will compete for snaps behind Harrison.
Paying Tribute to Dwayne Haskins
The Buckeyes will pause during this year’s spring game to honor and commemorate a fallen teammate. One of Ohio State’s football players, 24-year-old Dwayne Haskins, was killed in a car accident in Florida in 2018.
The spring game will begin with a moment of silence and a tribute film honoring Haskins will be shown at the end of the first half.
Despite just spending three seasons at Ohio State, Haskins spent the majority of his collegiate football with the Buckeyes during their historic 2018 season. He led OSU to a Rose Bowl victory over Washington while going 13-1 as a starter and completing 70.1% of his throws for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
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