Morning Conversational: Why is the Spring Game Important?

Ohio Stadium Spring Game Crowd 2019 Ohio State Spring Game

Today’s Topic: Why is the Spring Game Important for the Buckeyes?

The annual Ohio State spring game is now just one week out.

It provides Buckeye fans an affordable way to get into the Horseshoe and see their Buckeyes.

This year should be like most years, in that the starters won’t play too long. Don’t expect Chase Young to play more than a series or two. Don’t expect to see much of JK Dobbins. KJ Hill will do more coaching than catching.

But there are still always things to watch. This will be an opportunity to see young guys that you only got to see glimpses of last year, or brand new Buckeyes that you’ve never heard of if you don’t follow recruiting.

It will also be your chance to see Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin on the field together competing, which will then allow you to decide which of them should be your starting quarterback.

There are concerns on the offensive right now in terms of healthy depth, which could have caused some schools to alter their spring game plans. For Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, however, the show must go on, and for some very good reasons.

“We play guys here early,” Day said on Friday. “Guys come and they get on the field early, so it’s one thing to be in the indoor practicing practice 11 and kind of rolling with the practices, but once you get in front of 70, 80, 90-thousand people in that game, it matters. Even just punting the ball and seeing if the returners can catch the ball and fair catch it in front of that kind of crowd. What kind of reaction are they gonna get?”

And the benefit of a spring game isn’t just about letting the young players get some experience in front of large crowd, it’s also about letting those same players experience a game-day routine, so that when they are doing it for real this season, it won’t be one more new thing for them to worry about. They can instead just focus on playing the game because they’ll already know the routine.

“It’s always good for the young guys to get out there and have the experience of walking through the tunnel, going through pregame, being in the locker room, all of the different things that come with it,” Day said. “For the older guys, maybe not as important. We’ll get them out of the game pretty quickly, but let the younger guys go and feel what it’s like to play in the Shoe.”

3 Responses

  1. I had a friend I used to coach with that played for Woody back in the mid 1960’s. His name was Tom Vargo. Tom passed away about 10 years ago, but he used to tell me stories about the time he was at OSU. One story that I remember well was about the spring game. Tom was an outdoors sort of guy, so his nose fo transport to the spring game in 1965 was via canoe. He said he just got out of his canoe at the stadium and then went into the locker room and got dressed and played. Obviously things were a lot different back then, a few thousand fans maybe versus 80-90000 today. It just shows how even though football was a big deal throughout the years at OSU, today it is absolutely crazy.

      1. You can still get to the game by canoe on the river, but you’d have to carry the boat over your head.

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