Spring Scrimmage recap

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Last updated: 04/23/2011 5:31 PM
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Offense Turns Corner in Convincing Spring Game Win
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After a rough start to Saturday’s scrimmage the Ohio State offense turned the corner with a convincing 59-27 win over the defense in the “Jesse Owens” Spring Game at Ohio Stadium.

Playing without senior quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the offense went three-and-out on the first position after Joe Bauserman was sacked by Nathan Williams on 3rd and 14.

It looked like the defense might dominate the day despite missing a number of key players due to injury, but the OSU quarterbacks threw four touchdown passes against a depleted secondary and did not turn the ball over during Ohio State’s final practice of the spring.

“I was pretty pleased with our quarterback play. I don’t think it slowed us down at all,” senior DeVier Posey said.

“I think with those guys handling any situation is key. Braxton had to handle being in with the ones, Kenny had to handle being in with the second line. As they get older and get more experienced and get more comfortable with the offense they’ll be able to take that step forward.”

All four quarterbacks got plenty of reps with the first-team offense and each of them had a touchdown pass, including freshman Braxton Miller, who threw for a game-high 73 yards and a score.

“Braxton probably played more relaxed and had a little more fun than he has had," said Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel.

“When we figure (the quarterback battle) out, we are going to play whoever we need to.”

After a pair of Drew Basil field goals, it was sophomore Kenny Guiton who got the Buckeye offense into the end zone with a 17-yard touchdown pass to freshman wideout Verlon Reed. That pass by Guiton, the star of last year’s spring game, gave the offense a 20-13 lead just before the unofficial halftime of Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I think we all did well," said Bauserman, who was 4-of-11 passing for 42 yards and a touchdown.

“We all made some throws, missed some throws, made some plays. There are a few things that we have to get in the film room and look at, but competition brings out the best in people.”

The defense stuffed Bauserman twice to start the second half, but Miller led the offense on a 98-yard scoring drive. It was capped by a five-yard touchdown run by Jordan Hall, who carried the ball eight times for 37 yards and also caught two passes for 21 more.

“I’m a Jordan Hall fan. I love Jordan Hall, I call him Baby J,” Posey said.

“He just plays the game with a different tenacity and he plays really hard. I think he made some plays today.”

Senior Boom Herron also had 37 yards, and seemed to separate himself as the best back on the team during his six carries, although Rod Smith ran for 26 yards on seven carries.

“I like Rod Smith, but I still think Boom is the toughest guy to bring down,” senior linebacker Andrew Sweat said.

“We’ve got some pretty good backs, and I thought all of them looked good today.”

The defense didn’t force any turnovers, but they did record seven sacks during the scrimmage, which lasted approximately 90 plays. Two came on Bauserman and five came on redshirt freshman Taylor Graham, who may have had the play of the day.

With the offense leading 34-17 in the third quarter, Graham unleashed a perfectly thrown deep ball down the right sideline. It hit T.Y. Williams in stride, and the redshirt freshman outraced walk-on Vincent Patrella and freshman safety Ron Tanner to the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown.

Braxton Miller would add a 15-yard touchdown pass to Philly Brown on the next possession and Bauserman ended the scrimmage on a 16-yard touchdown pass to walk-on Ryan Ross.

“We let up some touchdowns that we didn’t need to let up, but I don’t think Buckeye Nation saw what our defense can do,” Sweat said.

“We’ll fly around, we have a lot of playmakers and when Tyler Moeller gets back I think we’ll be a tough defense.”

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