It was a gray day today both off and on the field as the Gray was able to edge the Scarlet 6-3 in the Ohio State spring game. 37,783 watched a defensive battle as the defensive lines not surprisingly caused problems all day. Both teams struggled to get much on offense, but the Gray was able to get a fourth quarter field goal from Mike Nugent for the winning margin. Will Smith led the way for the Scarlet with four sacks, and we also counted four (unofficially) for Tim Anderson for the Gray.
The Scarlet took the ball to open the game, and Craig Krenzel led the team down the field on a drive that included a 21-yard pass to Drew Carter and a 20-yard pass to Chris Gamble. But the drive fell short and the Scarlet had to settle for a 32-yard Jeremy Uhlenhake field goal. On the following kickoff, things started promising for the Gray as Mike Doss returned the kick 48 yards, giving the Gray good field position. But the Gray could not capitalize and was forced to punt, bringing an end to the first quarter.
The Scarlet opened the second quarter with the ball, but the pass protection started to break down and they too were forced to punt. But the Gray could not do anything either as they went three and out on the next possession. The Scarlet was looking like the better offense at this point, but on the next drive, a Craig Krenzel pass was tipped and went into the hands of Mike Doss, who danced along the sidelines for a nifty interception. The Gray took the ball from there and moved the ball down the field through the air as Michael Jenkins, Chris Vance and Angelo Chattams made catches, but they would have to settle for a field goal as well as a 37-yard Mike Nugent kick made it 3-3.
The Scarlet then got the ball late in the second quarter and on the strength of a short pass to JaJa Riley that was turned into a nice gain and a couple of Krenzel passes to Drew Carter and Bam Childress, the Scarlet was back in scoring position, but they had to go for another field goal attempt, which was missed by Jeremy Uhlenhake. The teams were even on the scoreboard, but offensively, the Scarlet looked like they had the edge, and it didn't hurt that they had Will Smith causing havoc on the defensive side of the ball as he had three sacks at the half.
However, the offense would sputter for the Scarlet in the second half. Both teams started with a three-and-out in the third quarter, then the Gray put a drive together as they moved the ball down the field on a drive that featured two catches by Michael Jenkins and a catch by Maurice Clarett. The drive once again fell short of the end zone though, and the Gray tried a 45-yard field goal, which was missed by Mike Nugent.
The game was into the fourth quarter now, and for one series, Jim Otis came in at QB for the Scarlet, during which the Scarlet went three-and-out. The Gray also went three-and-out on the next drive, but with Craig Krenzel back in the game, the Scarlet still sputtered and had to punt the ball again. Mike Doss fielded the punt and then the Scarlet started the game winning drive. The drive was aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty, and it featured the team looking to Maurice Clarett almost exclusively through the air. The Gray was able to move the ball down to field goal position, and Mike Nugent kicked it through for a 41-yard score, making it 6-3. The Scarlet made a late drive, but they were stopped as a Tim Anderson sack set up a fourth down which they couldn't convert, and the game was over.
Today, as mentioned earlier, featured some good play by the defensive line, and the wide receivers also saw a lot of action. A conclusive judgment on the team cannot be made from the spring game alone, but we can can certainly deduce that OSU will have no problem in either the DL or WR area (although everyone already knew that). But here are some other thoughts:
- It's too early to tell on many things, and one of them is RB. There weren't many yards gained on the ground today. But one positive was that the RBs were thrown to a lot and made noise in that area. For the Scarlet, JaJa Riley caught at least 6 passes, and for the Gray, Maurice Clarett was a target on several passes.
- The QBs had some good passes, but the protection -- as expected -- wasn't great. Krenzel seems to be the man to beat although McMullen helped lead his team to the W in the second half.
- It's impossible to tell as far as the OL goes, of course. We just need to hope that everyone is healthy by the season and that there is a solid starting unit.
- Keep Mike Doss on returns :-)
- We've heard a lot of talk about the defensive line, and it's hard not to get excited. Will Smith... Kenny Peterson... Tim Anderson... Darrion Scott... they are going to be very disruptive and cause lots of problems for opposing offenses. The depth is great.
Overall, there were some good things out there today. The team still has work to do, and there are just some areas where you just can't tell, but there's some definite potential there. Now the long wait begins, but we are looking forward to seeing more from this team in the fall. August 24th at 2:30 pm can't get here fast enough!