Rough Spring Game For OSU Offense

The Ohio State spring game was not an offensive showcase, but that was perhaps unsurprising with the amount of firepower sidelined for the scrimmage. Head coach Urban Meyer and his players were not too concerned about the struggles after Saturday's game.

No Braxton Miller. No Jeff Heuerman. No Dontre Wilson.

Not much offense.

The trio of players mentioned above were just a handful of projected offensive starters who did not participate in the spring game on a picturesque Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. Presumed backups ruled the day – and the stat sheet. Sophomore Cardale Jones led the quarterbacks with 126 yards on 14-of-31 passing. Sophomore tailback Warren Ball led all rushers with 55 yards, and Michael Thomas led the receivers with six catches for 64 yards.

All, with the possible exception of Thomas, will not be among the starters when the Buckeyes line up against Navy in their season opener. It is perhaps unsurprising that the offense was not exactly dynamic, and Meyer was not upset at that fact.

"It's not fair to say discouraged. Jeff Heuerman, Braxton Miller, Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson all standing next to me and I tell them they can't play," Meyer said. "I tell (offensive lineman Taylor) Decker he can't play. Then I go chew out the coaches? That's probably not the best thing to do.

"They all know what it is. I just wanted to see a little cleaner (passing game). We didn't do it, but I'm fine. We had a good spring."

Jones and redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett both had so-so performances. Barrett completed 17 of 33 passes for 151 yards, and neither QB threw a touchdown pass0. Freshman Stephen Collier saw limited duty in the fourth quarter and failed to complete his lone pass attempt.

The quarterbacks were sacked a combined five times as well. The offensive lines for both squads were patchwork without Decker and fellow presumed starter Pat Elflein.

"You have the first-team offense playing together the whole spring and they're jelling together. When you mix it up like we did today, it's hard to get used to," said tight end Nick Vannett, who caught four passes for 35 yards. "Offensively you need to have that mesh to move the ball down field and make plays. And as you saw, we had a tough day."

It was hard for either the Scarlet or the Gray offense to get any momentum, and Meyer said he will review the film looking at individual players instead of looking for general observations.

"I'm not trying to evaluate an offense. Who cares?" Meyer said. "There's guys out there who will never play or are not ready to play now. I wanted to see who's going to compete, who's going to make plays, not who's going to fit into the team concept.

"Because we all know what we saw out there. And that's not the Ohio State Buckeyes. That's a bunch of people all over the place."

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