Spring Gaame Roster Breakdown

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Last updated: 04/11/2014 8:51 AM
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Football
2014 Ohio State Spring Game Rosters: The Tale of the Tape
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The rosters for Ohio State's Spring Game have been released, which means it is time to break them down and decide where the advantages lie.

Urban Meyer split the teams up with the idea of doing his best to pit the best of the offense against the best of the defense, and for the most part he has.

Let's take an unnecessarily close look at how the roster has shaken out, and who it all favors.

QB
Scarlet
Gray
Cardale Jones J.T. Barrett
Stephen Collier Luke Morgan  
Braxton Miller (Inj) .
Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett will get the bulk of the snaps for their two teams as both Urban Meyer and Tom Herman will want to see the two of them go head to head. The good news for Jones is that he may have the fastest group of skill players in Ohio State history at his disposal. The bad news is that he will be going against the bulk of the starting defense. This will be a fantastic test to see where Jones stands. For Barrett, this is his chance to shine as his receivers will have the advantage over the Scarlet secondary. His offensive line will have to block for him, however, and they haven't really shown the ability to do that against Joey Bosa to this point. Adv: Scarlet

RB
Scarlet
Gray
Ezekiel Elliott Bri'onte Dunn  
Curtis Samuel Rod Smith
. Warren Ball
It's extremely interesting to me that Urban Meyer has put Ezekiel Elliott and Curtis Samuel together with Cardale Jones and most of the first-team offensive line. Expect to see a bunch of swing passes to both tailbacks. Meanwhile, Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball will once again be paired together, as they each look to take snaps from the other. There is no word yet on whether Rod Smith will play. The Scarlet tailbacks will be facing the first-team linebackers, save for Raekwon McMillan in for Curtis Grant, which probably makes it even more interesting. Adv: Scarlet

WR
Scarlet
Gray  
Dontre Wilson Johnnie Dixon
Devin Smith Michael Thomas
Kato Mitchell Devlin McDaniel
Joe Ramstetter Frank Epitropoulos
Corey Smith Peter Gwilym
Brandon Ojikutu Jeff Greene
James Clark Evan Spencer (Inj)
. Jalin Marshall (Inj)
The Scarlet team could very well be featuring the starting receivers for the Buckeyes this season. Dontre Wilson, Devin Smith and Corey Smith have run with the first unit together this spring a number of times. This is why the Gray team was given the top three cornerbacks on the roster. Gareon Conley and Corey Smith have had some fantastic matchups this spring, and Saturday should bring some more. On the other side of things, the Gray receivers will have the advantage over the Scarlet cornerbacks -- at least the ones not named Eli Apple. Given the way the top four cornerbacks have played this spring, I like J.T. Barrett's chances with Johnnie Dixon, Michael Thomas and Jeff Greene against the Scarlet corners, provided Barrett can stay upright long enough to get the throw off. Adv: Gray

TE
Scarlet
Gray
Marcus Baugh Nick Vannett
Chris Rock J.T. Moore
Jeff Heuerman (Inj) Devin Hill (FB)
. Ryan Carter
The roster shows that Chris Rock, a walk-on defensive lineman who transferred last year from Michigan, is now at tight end. That may be temporary, it may not be. Regardless, expect quite a bit of Marcus Baugh in this one. He will be matched up against starters, so he will get a chance to shine against the best the Buckeyes have to offer. However, I expect Nick Vannett to be a nice security blanket for J.T. Barrett, especially against backup linebackers and safeties. Adv: Gray

OL
Scarlet
Gray
Taylor Decker Kyle Dodson
Antonio Underwood Tommy Brown
Jacoby Boren Billy Price                
Joel Hale Pat Elflein
Darryl Baldwin Kyle Trout
Evan Lisle Marcelys Jones
Chase Farris (Inj) Logan Gaskey
The Scarlet team has 4/5ths of the starting offensive line, with Pat Elflein the lone Gray teamer. This will be a great chance to watch the two young Gray tackles, as Steve Miller and Joey Bosa will provide a constant lesson. Noah Spence and Taylor Decker will be matched up for most of the afternoon, so watch that one. Adv: Scarlet

DL
Scarlet
Gray
Steve Miller Noah Spence
Michael Bennett Adolphus Washington
Michael Hill               Tommy Schutt
Joey Bosa Tyquan Lewis
Donovan Munger Chris Carter
Rashad Frazier Tracy Sprinkle
Jamal Marcus .
John Holman .
I'm looking forward to watching Michael Bennett battle with Billy Price. Also, if either Michael Hill or Donovan Munger can have success against Pat Elflein, then that would be extremely encouraging for the defensive line. I expect Joey Bosa to be leading the nation in sacks after Saturday's game. Adv: Scarlet

LB
Scarlet
Gray
Trey Johnson Joshua Perry
Curtis Grant Raekwon McMillan
Chris Worley Darron Lee
Nick Snyder Craig Fada
Camren Williams Devan Bogard
. Joe Burger
. Aaron Mawhirter
If you want to know where Raekwon McMillan stands this spring, you'll get a great look at him on Saturday as he will be chasing Ezekiel Elliott and Curtis Samuel all over the place. Darron Lee will have his hands full when matched in the slot against Dontre Wilson, but watch to see how quickly he gets to those quick screen passes. And then watch Chris Worley do the same thing for the Scarlet team. Both players explode to the ball. Curtis Grant will be in his element when the Gray team is running the ball with Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball, but they probably won't be running it much. Adv: Scarlet

CB
Scarlet
Gray
Eli Apple Doran Grant
Nik Sarac Armani Reeves
Devonte Butler Gareon Conley
There have been some good words spoken of walk-on Nik Sarac, but he is going to be attacked relentlessly on Saturday. Devonte Butler -- all 5-foot-7 of him -- was a running back, but now is apparently running with the cornerbacks. Even against the first-team offense, the Gray should have some success. Adv: Gray

SAF
Scarlet
Gray
Ron Tanner Tyvis Powell
Jayme Thompson Cameron Burrows
Kevin Niehoff Russell Doup
Khaleed Franklin Vonn Bell (Inj)
Michael Cibene
This group of Scarlet safeties has had their issues this spring, and I don't necessarily expect that to stop on Saturday. J.T. Barrett could find some success against the Gray secondary, especially down the field. Adv: Gray

ST
Scarlet
Gray
Bryce Haynes (LS) Cameron Johnston (P)
Cameron Johnston (P) Jake Russell (P)
Sean Nuernberger (K) Kyle Clinton (K)
Kerry Coombs has said that both of his placekickers have to get more consistent. Urban Meyer said on Wednesday that walk-on Kyle Clinton is probably a little bit ahead of freshman Sean Nuernberger. The freshman has the bigger leg, but the walk-on is more accurate. It appears that Cameron Johnston could punt for both teams. Also, I would assume that Bryce Haynes will snap for both teams as well. Adv: Gray

Coaches
Scarlet
Gray
Stan Drayton (HC) Kerry Coombs (HC)
Tom Herman Ed Warinner
Tim  Hinton Zach Smith
Chris Ash Luke Fickell
Larry Johnson .
Who has the advantage here? The team with more coaches, or the team without too many cooks in the kitchen? I guess I'll go with the side with the two new defensive coaches because new is always better. Adv: Scarlet

Overall
. Scarlet Gray
QB Adv. .
RB Adv. .
WR . Adv.
TE . Adv.
OL Adv. .
DL Adv. .
LB Adv. .
CB . Adv.
SAF . Adv.
ST . Adv.
COACH Adv. .
Overall 6 5

This is quite possibly the most even matchup in the history of organized sports. Though it appears that the Scarlet team has the advantages where they matter most: the line of scrimmage and quarterback. However, we all know by now that the favored team in the Spring Game rarely wins. (Don't bother researching that, just believe me.) So while most will pick the Scarlet team by 10 points or so, I will go the other way and take the Gray by that same margin.

Gray 27 - Scarlet 17

MVP: J.T. Barrett

Game format
The game will feature four 10-minute quarters with clock stoppages throughout the first half and a running clock in the second half. There will be no kickoffs but Cameron Johnston will be punting under live conditions with no returns.

Honorary captains
Representing the scarlet team as honorary captain for the coin toss will be interim president of The Ohio State University, Dr. Joseph A. Alutto. And representing the gray team will be its honorary captain: vice president for student life Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston.

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