OSU Spring Game Showcases Quarterbacks and Receiving Corps

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Amidst all the attention focused on Jim Tressel and his recruiting violations, Ohio State hosted its annual spring game Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Despite using “utilized unique scoring methods,” which awards points for the defense, the Scarlet (offense) still beat the Gray (defense) 59-27 in a blowout.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

With Terrelle Pryor suspended for five games next season, Ohio State had its eyes peeled on the quarterbacks Saturday. All four quarterbacks threw for a touchdown, including Braxton Miller, who completed 7-of-12 passes for 73 yards.

“Braxton [Miller] probably played more relaxed and had a little more fun than he has had,” Tressel said. “Joe [Bauserman] and Kenny [Guiton] showed that they have been around and can manage our offense. And, we have to learn as young quarterbacks, that you can’t get sacked in the red zone. We’ve been giving those four equal reps. When we figure it out we are going to play whoever we need to.”

Whether it is Miller, Bauserman, or Guiton filling in for Pryor during his suspension, neither of them will be asked to do too much. This was evident by their combined 23 pass attempts. Even when Pryor is in the lineup, this is a run-first football team.

“I think handling situations is key for all of them,” senior wide receiver DeVier Posey said. “Having Braxton [Miller] in with the first team or Kenny [Guiton] in with the second team, it’s just about handling situations with anyone you’re on the field with. As they get older and get more experience, they’re going to be able to take a step forward. I was really happy with the quarterback play today.”

Whoever is in at quarterback will have to be throwing passes to a very young, albeit talented, receiving corps. Posey, who recorded two catches for 26 yards, is the leader of this group that includes eight freshman.

“[The receivers are] just out there practicing hard,” Posey said. “It’s difficult since they haven’t even been here for an entire academic year yet, but like I told T.Y. Williams, it’s not about just getting through practice, it’s about how much better you’re getting with each practice.”

Williams led the way for the receivers, scoring a touchdown on three catches for 83 yards. Three other freshman receivers, Verlon Reed, Ryan Ross and Corey Brown, all scored as well Saturday.

“The older guys are getting them to understand how everything works here and just leading by example,” Posey said. “I felt like a proud dad today seeing three of them score touchdowns.”

Posey isn’t the only one who has taken notice to this groups improvement.

“We have young guys at receiver and they really came along this spring,” Tressel said. “They are starting to understand. First, they have to know where to line up. Then they have to understand what to do. Then they have to figure out how to it against the best guys.”

Spring is a time to showcase young talent and give guys a chance to prove they are worthy of playing time down the road. It is also a time to shine the light on potential weakness to improve going forward. Above all, the main priority of spring ball is to come out of the off-season healthy.

“You want to leave practice 15 as healthy as you can,” Tressel said. “We banged pretty hard this spring. All in all, we had a good spring. It was a different type of spring game today. Those offensive linemen had a workout today. We ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 plays and those guys played about all of them.”

Justin Mertes-Mistretta is a senior writer for TheSportsBank.net. Follow him on Twitter at MertesMist_tsb or read his blog here.

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