Buckeyes come out blazing in Meyer’s first spring game

Braxton Miller
Miller time in Columbus.

It’s hard to sum up the action in the Ohio St. spring game today better than our buddy Ramzy Nasrallah of Eleven Warriors did:

More than 80,000 spectators showed up for their first look at the team and the wizardry of new coach Urban Meyer’s unique version of the spread offense. Buckeye fans so accustomed to Tresselball – and a year of Fickellball, I guess – had to be excited by what they saw.*

(*All of this comes with the token caveat that spring games lie as pathologically as Bobby Petrino.)

Sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller looked like a natural in piloting the Scarlet team to a 20-14 win over the Gray side in the Buckeyes’ intrasquad exhibition to close spring practices. Miller completed 24 of his 31 pass attempts on the day for 258 yards. More importantly, however, he showed solid command of the offense in leading his team on a pair of touchdown drives. Miller’s only major mistake was an early interception on a rollout touch pass that he floated over the head of his intended receiver.

On a day of strong first impressions, however, Mike Thomas might have made the strongest. The true freshman wideout hauled in 12 catches for 131 yards.

Before we go crowning the Buckeyes as the unofficial Big Ten champs, though, keep the other side of the coin in mind. Miller and opposing QB Kenny Guiton (17-of-26, 191 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) lit up a thin secondary.

Even more concerning for Meyer and his staff had to be the play of the offensive line. Both QBs were sacked a total of nine times, and OSU’s shifty signal callers frequently found themselves scrambling to evade unencumbered pass rushers. The Gray defense got to Miller alone on seven occasions. The running game didn’t exactly shine, either, showing little explosiveness.

So it wasn’t perfect? Buckeye fans who just slogged through a 6-7 season of limbo will undoubtedly take it.