COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s spring game featured no tackling early in the game, and the offenses had a predictable field day as a result.
You still have to make the plays, and the Buckeyes did that. That's good news for an offense that features new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. The Buckeyes' offense flashed an impressive passing game in a shootout. The Scarlet team defeated the Gray team 38-31.
Ohio State’s offense looked good, and that should keep Urban Meyer happy. We’ll have to figure out the tackling later.
Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins
J.T. Barrett will be Ohio State’s starternext season, but the battle to be his backup – and to get a leg up on the competition in 2017 – heated up. Burrow and Haskins combined for six TD passes in the first half alone, including five TD passes of 20 yards or more. By halftime, Burrow (12-of-16, 240 yards, 3 TDs) and Haskins (14-of-18, 191 yards, 3 TDs) had combined for 431 passing yards and six TDs.
The quarterbacks slowed down in the second half. Burrow finished 14 of 22 for 262 yards and three TDs. Haskins split reps between the teams and was 26 of 37 for 293 yards and three TDs.
The battle between those two will be off the charts in fall camp into next season, because the winner of that battle could be a future Heisman Trophy candidate.
The Buckeyes have been searching for that over-the-top receiver for the last two years, and the junior showed signs that he’ll be a candidate for that role in the fall. Dixon caught TD passes of 18 and 44 yards in the first half. Dixon caught both TDs on vertical routes, too.
Dixon finished with six catches for 108 yards.
Mike Weber will be the lead back, but McCall’s role as a change-of-pace back could increase in his second season. McCall caught a 40-yard touchdown on a wheel route and showed some burst between the tackles. McCall had 79 total yards in the first half. He might be the player who fills that role left by All-American running back/receiver Curtis Samuel.
McCall finished with 83 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards.
McLaurin enjoyed a big-time performance for the second straight year in the spring game. He hauled in a pair of TD passes in the first half. McLaurin had 11 catches for 114 yards and two TDs last season. He figures to see an increase in targets.