Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ohio State Buckeyes Football Spring Game 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - This afternoon, under threatening skies, some 44+ thousand fans showed up to watch the annual Ohio State Buckeye Spring Football Game. Along with thousands of other Clevelanders, I made the trek down I-71 in the annual spring pilgrimage.

The game was designated the “Jessie Owens Spring Game” in honor of the 75th anniversary of his four gold medals achievement in Germany. The game also raised money to benefit the National Guard Readiness and Warrior Support program.

Even if you hadn’t heard about the special recognition for the National Guard, you knew something had to be up as the team entered the stadium. Jim Tressel came out wearing camo pants and hat with his scarlet and grey windbreaker. Each of the Buckeyes was wearing a special camo helmet as well.

According to coaching staff, this game was an “offense vs defense” competition, which gave all four quarterback hopefuls an opportunity to try their hand in specially selected game type situations. The defense was able to make points by forcing punts, sacks, or stopping forward motion. While the defense took the lead early, it was only a matter of time before the quarterbacks shook off the initial jitters and started finding their marks.  

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor could have been mistaken for a coach as he donned a headset and kept a  watchful eye over all the plays from behind the line of scrimmage. His knee is still healing from off-season surgery. 

Before the game ended, each of the four quarterbacks had thrown one TD, including senior Joe Bauserman who got his on the last play of the game. Long ball honors of the day went to Taylor Graham who connected with Williams on a 68-yard TD strike. The fifth TD was scored on the ground by Jordan Hall.

At the press conference afterwards, Coach Tressel said he was looking forward to reviewing films and seeing how each of the players has improved this spring season. He says he’s satisfied with the progress he’s seen so far, and he appreciates that all his players recognize the total effort everyone is going to need to make this coming year.

Before the football game, OSU’s lacrosse team battled the Fairfield Stags from Connecticut. [See that slide show here]  Entertainment at both games was provided by the huge OSU Spring Band. [See that slide show here]
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