Anybody who played in or attended the game who is still living will have the easy answer: "Mother Nature."
Ohio State conducted its annual spring-ending intrasquad scrimmage in conditions that would charitably considered wet and cold. Temperatures dipped into the 30s and a cold rain that seemed like wet snow at times fell from the sky.
None of that made it easy for either side to get anything going on offense. The Gray side prevailed 19-6, getting 10 of those points off Scarlet miscues on its own end. OSU sold 33,418 tickets for the game, although just 22,649 braved the conditions to attend the game.
After a spring of largely good weather, OSU coach Jim Tressel took stock of his team.
"I thought we had a good spring," Tressel said. "The weather was good for most of the spring. Today was a good test in inclement weather. We have not done a lot of that. We get spoiled with an indoor facility to go inside and get something done in bad conditions.
"All in all, our 15 days were good. The kids were focused. I thought we made some progress and I don't think we had any significant injuries."
The quarterback race was somewhat of a wash. Troy Smith and Todd Boeckman each had touchdown passes for the winning Gray squad. Smith was 4 of 9 passing for 48 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also carried the ball six times for 23 yards.
Boeckman played one quarter on each side. Combined, he was 4 of 12 for 18 yards with a touchdown.
Scarlet starter Justin Zwick was 11 of 27 for 104 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
At tailback, Scarlet's Erik Haw had a nice second half to finish with 86 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Gray's Antonio Pittman had 57 yards on 14 carries. Brandon Schnittker, a fullback by trade, also got some work at tailback for the Gray and finished with 58 yards on 10 attempts.
"Our goal coming into today was to give each of the three running backs 10 or more carries," Tressel said. "I think we did a good job of accomplishing what we wanted to do and I was impressed with all three running backs."
Gray's Anthony Gonzalez had four catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. Albert Dukes led the Scarlet with three catches for 45 yards, while Rory Nicol had two catches for 27 yards.
Neither team scored in the first quarter. The Scarlet missed a good opportunity after redshirt freshman cornerback Shaun Lane intercepted a pass by Smith and returned it 20 yards to the Gray 41. A personal foul on lineman T.J. Downing drove the Scarlet out of scoring position.
Boeckman replaced Smith for the second quarter and led the Gray on a 10-play, 28-yard scoring march. When Boeckman's third-down pass was batted down by Scarlet defensive end Jay Richardson, Jonathan Skeete came on and hit a 43-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 7:18 left in the first half.
Disaster struck the Scarlet after it went three-and-out. Long snapper Dimitrios Makrides' snap went over punter Tyson Gentry's head. Gentry briefly recovered the ball near his own goal line, but Ashton Youboty knocked it out and Gray teammate Kyle Ruhl recovered it at the Scarlet 5.
After Pittman lost 1 yard on first down, Boeckman dialed up Gonzalez in the back of the end zone for the 6-yard touchdown and a 10-0 lead with 5:29 left in the half.
"I was looking left first," Boeckman said. "I had to keep myself alive by rolling right. Tony made a good play by finding an open spot and I just had to put it in there to him."
"They were running sort of a zone," Gonzalez said. "I saw Todd scrambling a little bit. I think he read to the opposite side first. At that point, it's just sit down and find a hole and wait for the ball. He made a real nice pass on the run. I was lucky to be open in the back of the end zone."
The Scarlet again self destructed before the half. On third-and-11 from the Scarlet 29, Zwick hit Dukes for an apparent first down at the 40. But Gray's Donte Whitner knocked the ball loose and teammate Curtis Terry scooped it up and returned it 36 yards down to the Scarlet 4 with 4:05 left in the half.
Pittman lost 1 yard on first down and, after a pair of Boeckman incompletions, Skeete hit a 22-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 3:09 left in the half.
The Gray extended its lead with a seven-play, 52-yard march midway through the third quarter. Smith hit on all four of his passes on that drive for 48 yards. That included a 14-yard pass to Devon Lyons, throws of 16 and 6 yards to Gonzalez and the 12-yard touchdown to tight end Marcel Frost. The pass was tipped by linebacker Chad Hoobler and Frost bobbled it before grabbing it in the back left corner of the end zone, pushing the lead to 19-0 with 3:01 left in the third. (Skeete's PAT kick was no good.)
"I saw the safety in the middle of the field," Smith said. "They were manned up and everybody was staring at their man. I had eye contact with Marcel and he knew exactly what I wanted. I'm sure he wanted to catch a touchdown pass. I put it up there, the line did a good job and he made a good play on the ball."
The Scarlet came alive in the fourth quarter as Zwick dialed up Dukes for a 28-yard gain. Haw then had runs of 6, 10, 6 and 8 yards to move the ball down to the 10. On first down there, Haw took the give left, cut around a defender and beat Terry to the pylon for the touchdown, trimming the lead to 19-6 with 6:48 left to play. (Josh Huston‘s PAT was doomed by a bad snap.)
"I got comfortable," Haw said. "A lot of the plays were more up the gut and power running instead of stretch plays. It felt good to be back on the football field. I'm just trying to humble myself and put in some work."
After the Gray recovered an onside kick, Gray kicker Ryan Pretorius attempted a 43-yard field goal with 3:51 left. The kick was long enough but hit the left upright and deflected away no good.
Also Notable and Quotable
* Gray linebacker Marcus Freeman had a game-high nine tackles, including two for losses. Terry added five stops for the Gray. Walk-on Ryan Lukens had 10 tackles and Chad Hoobler contributed nine for the Scarlet.
* Sacks were credited to Nader Abdallah and David Patterson for the Gray and Ryan Lukens and Jay Richardson for the Scarlet.
* With conditions bad, Ted Ginn Jr. had somewhat of a ho-hum day. He had one carry for 13 yards, one catch for 5 yards, one punt return for six yards and one kick return for 19 yards.
"I think we accomplished every goal we had this spring," Ginn said. "I think we'll be able to come in this summer and work hard and get ready to play ball."
Ginn did get in on six plays on defense for the Scarlet in the red zone.
"If I get in there every once in a while, that's OK," he said.
* Tressel said linebacker Bobby Carpenter tried to borrow jersey No. 81 to get back into the game for the Scarlet after his day was done.
"I had to spend my dad as a policeman and make sure they were following the rules rather than watching the plays," he joked.
* Boeckman talked about the poor conditions.
"I looked outside and saw it raining and just shook my head," Boeckman said. "We knew it was going to be cold and rainy, but you just have to play through it."
* Lane talked about his interception.
"I saw Troy coming my way," Lane said of Smith, who was pressured by Vernon Gholston on the pick. "I thought he was going to throw it out. But then I saw it coming my way and I just grabbed it and tried to go back to my high school days when I used to run the ball."