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Ohio State Buckeyes Spring Game Preview


Airiel shot of Buckeye's field.
© Barbara J. Perenic / USA TODAY NETWORK

College football has arrived, kind of? With many schools across America finishing up spring practice, we can finally see how key position battles are shaping up and how the coaching changes made are impacting teams. Although you won't catch the OBuckeyes again until August 31st versus Akron, you can see how they are setting up their 2024 season.


 


Ohio State Buckeyes Spring Football Game Logistics:


  • April 13th, 2024

  • Kick-off Time: 12 pm

  • Location: Ohio Stadium (411 Woody Hayes Dr, Columbus, OH 43210)

  • Admission Ticket Cost: Starting at $10 and up

  • Streaming TV: FOX




 

What to watch for?

One of the more exciting things to see outside of key position battles is the style that new coaches bring in. With coach Day bringing in a more experienced offensive coordinator/head coach in Chip Kelly, it'll be interesting to see the new wrinkles he provides. One of Kelly's specialties is the diversity in the run game. Chip Kelly runs a lot more gap scheme with counter and buck sweep at the staple of his run game. Offensive Line coach Justin Frye re-introduced these concepts to some degree last year but it'll be interesting to see how Chip Kelly can influence the run game even more. Does coach Kelly also look to bring a faster tempo to the offense than we have seen in years past? With it just being a Spring scrimmage, you may see just a wrinkle or two but don't expect too much to be shown.



Quarterback Battles

When it comes to position battles, there is none greater than who will lead the offense. With former 2023 starting quarterback Kyle McCord transferring to Syracuse, Devin Brown, and Will Howard have battled it out to see who will be the starting quarterback for the 2024 season. So far through camp, rumors are that Devin Brown has been the better passer and Will Howard is the better runner. Julian Sayin and Lincoln Keinholz will continue to battle for who will. be the next guy to take command of the quarterback room after Brown or Howard serve their time. With Julian Sayin officially being the first quarterback recruit to lose his black strip within Spring under Day, I would assume he is likely to take over the reins post-Howard/Brown era here in Columbus. Julian Sayin may even push to start this year as he's been touted as the best passer in the group.



Tote Nation who?

With former Running back coach Tony Alford leaving, Former four-star running back Dallan Hayden has opted into the transfer portal just days before the Spring Game. Hayden in his freshmen year showed a tremendous amount of potential when he rushed for 553 yards and had three different games with over 100 plus rushing yards. As everyone knows, Ohio State still has two highly productive and extremely talented rushers Quinshon Judkins and TreVeyon Henderson. The question is who is next up with Hayden leaving. We can get a glimpse as to who they will use as the season could potentially be up to 16 games. You can expect to see James Peoples, a former 2024 four-star recruit from Texas.




Frequent Flyer Zone 6

When it comes to Coach Hartline and his wide receivers the rotation usually stays tight. Saturday, Buckeye Nation will finally get to see true freshman phenom Jeremiah Smith. From the rumors swirling on the net, Smith could be the greatest receiver to touch grass at Ohio State and could be showcasing it immediately. Let's slow down as he is still a true freshman, but the hype is real. Will Jaylen Ballard finally showcase his talent or does SFE continue their takeover? SFE is the 7on7 group that Hartline has been relentless in bringing in talent from. South Florida Express has been home to Jeremiah Smith, Carnell Tate, and Brandon Innis. Extremely talented Buckeyes with the opportunity to be key players for the receivers this year.



Farmer Gronk out, Enter who?

Coach Keenan Bailey has done a great job filling out his TE room in recent years. With Cade Stover leaving, he has to find the next replacement. Is it former top 100 WR Gee Scott who transitioned to tight end 2 years ago? Will it be Georgia product Jelani Thurman? Will former Ohio University standout Will Kacmarek take charge? There is talent there but they must be developed. It'll be interesting to see who is playing and how they're being used.


Trench Mob

Offensive line coach Justin Frye has his hands full. Like coach Bailey, Frye must develop and find the right five guys to lead the ship on offense. An offense full of weapons can't be used if the offensive line unit is not playing up to its capabilities. During the Spring game, we can see who is winning the position battle at Center, right guard, and tackle. At the center position, you have Alabama transfers Seth McLaughlin and Carson Hinzman. Hinzman I expect to also play some guard Saturday as that is his natural position. At guard, the battle includes multiple linemen. I expect to see Luke Montgomery, Josh Fryar, and Tegra Tshabola. These four will also battle it out for the right tackle spot. Whoever plays where, it'll be exciting to get some answers moving forward as the line chemistry is important as well. Our writer Tyler Baker has a breakdown for the offensive line group that you can read in greater detail here.


Laurinaitis led

Another interest to the Ohio State Buckeye's Saturday game is to not only see who is playing but how they're playing at linebacker. With Sonny Styles moving down in the box to linebacker, it'll be interesting to see how much he has developed. I would expect CJ Hicks and Cody Simon to start. CJ hicks is a former five-star prospect with immense talent. Simon is a veteran who flashed a ton last year down the stretch. With two starters, I expect Sonny Styles and another five-star recruit Gabe Power. Laurinaitis has praised his linebackers in the room. It'll be very exciting to see how they do come Saturday.



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