Urban Meyer doesn’t do anything halfway. So the Ohio State coach is going to make his spring football game matter, and matter a lot.
The Buckeyes are holding Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, and the way Meyer talked Thursday during the Big Ten Leaders Division spring teleconference, his players would be well served to approach it like a game in the fall.
Last season the Buckeyes were 12-0 and ranked No. 3 in the final top 25. But it was all for naught because they couldn’t play for a Big Ten championship due to NCAA violations. Now eligible, and with almost everyone back from their prolific offense, they’ll go into the fall favored to unseat three-time defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin in the Leaders Division.
The urgency is palpable.
”A lot of times the spring game makes or breaks if we have enough trust to play them in a game,” Meyer said.
Some coaches look at spring games as just another practice. Nebraska, the first Big Ten to hold a spring game this year, tried to make it fun for fans by, among other things, having offensive linemen compete in a punt-catching contest.
”We attack spring a little different than other programs,” Meyer said. ”When we’re done with spring, that’s the way it’s going to be in the fall. Of course, things change at times, but very rarely. In the fall we’re trying to win a game. In the spring we’re trying to identify the depth chart, not taking into consideration the freshmen that will show up in June. I want the mentality here at Ohio State to be that spring football is when you go earn a spot.”
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