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Ohio State Football: Urban Meyer’s 3 Biggest Concerns Post-Spring Practice

Spring practice is in the books for Ohio State, and with less than five months before the official start of the season, Urban Meyer has the Buckeyes primed for another title run. Still, the Buckeyes are far from a finished product, and Saturday’s spring game revealed a number of issues that need resolved. These three in particular are top concerns for Meyer because they all have the potential to derail Ohio State’s championship run. The Offensive Line In 2013, four senior starters along Ohio State’s offensive line paved the way for one of the most successful offenses in school history. The Buckeyes averaged 308.6 rushing yards per game, which ranked fifth in the country. Meyer needs to replace those four starters, a process that’s only 25 percent complete going into summer conditioning. The Buckeyes’ sole returning starter, Taylor Decker, has made the switch from right tackle to left tackle. Pat Elflein—who played admirably for the suspended Marcus Hall late last season—has secured the right guard spot. The other three openings have yet to be claimed, and that doesn’t sit well with Meyer, according to Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer “The offensive line, we got a lot of work to do,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to really go, we gotta really go from here.” After the defenses piled up five sacks during the spring game without sending a single blitz, that urgency is easy to…

Ohio State Spring Game Proves How Important Braxton Miller Is to Buckeyes

Braxton Miller is still recovering from minor shoulder surgery, which prevented him from strapping on his pads and suiting up for Ohio State’s spring game Saturday afternoon. His absence proved just how important he is to the Buckeyes’ 2014 season and potential title run. Without Miller, Ohio State’s scrimmage featured the top two candidates for the backup spot—redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett. While Jones has received a lot of praise this spring, he struggled Saturday, completing just 14-of-31 passes for 126 yards. Barrett was a bit better, connecting on 17-of-33 passes for 151 yards. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown or completed a pass longer than 35 yards. Those are disappointing numbers for both signal-callers, who were operating pass-heavy offenses against defenses that didn’t blitz. Urban Meyer was hoping to see more from Jones, who has surged ahead of Barrett for the No. 2 quarterback spot. Finding a safety net for Miller was one of Ohio State’s top priorities this offseason. When Miller sprained his knee against San Diego State early last season, Ohio State turned to backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, who kept the Buckeyes playing at a very high level for three consecutive weeks. That was 11 months after Guiton saved Ohio State’s perfect 2012 season against Purdue. The Buckeyes were in a world of hurt when Miller got knocked out of the game, but Guiton orchestrated one of the most improbable comebacks…

Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Live Game Grades and Analysis

Gray 10, Scarlet 7, Second Quarter Ohio State’s spring game, which is being televised live by the Big Ten Network, is officially underway. Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Live Score, Top Performers and Analysis

Welcome, Buckeye Nation, to our live coverage of the Ohio State 2014 spring game. We’ll be bringing you all the action taking place in Columbus Saturday, as Cardale Jones leads the Scarlet squad against J.T. Barrett and the gray team. For full spring game rosters, check out OSU’s official release. We’ll break them down below leading up to the game, which is set for a 1:30 p.m. EDT kickoff and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Thanks for clicking in. Comment below with your own thoughts and questions on OSU’s spring and upcoming 2014-15 campaign. Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Date, Start Time, TV Info and More

The Ohio State Buckeyes will help turn the page on last season’s disappointing finish, as they conclude spring practices with the annual LIFESports Spring Game. Essentially, a spring game is a glorified scrimmage. It provides an opportunity for the athletes to show coaches they are ready for a big role in the upcoming season. This game will factor into position battles, and it will be a chance for fans to get a look at some of the new recruits. Along with this, it should be an entertaining game. As ESPN’s Austin Ward notes, the teams are typically evenly split to help provide a good product and put players in important situations. Here are the vitals to catching the action, and then I’ll highlight some of the more interesting facets to keep an eye on. When: Saturday, April 12 at 1:30 p.m. ET Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati TV: Big Ten Network Rosters: Ohio State tweeted the rosters for the teams: What to Watch The Ash Impact New co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash joined the Buckeyes after handling the defensive coordinator position for Arkansas last year. He will be in charge of the secondary, and the secondary needed a new direction. As the Buckeyes dropped two games to finish the season last year, they allowed Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook to combine to throw for 682 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Don’t look for Ash…

Ohio State Spring Game 2014: Full Preview for Saturday’s Scarlet and Gray Action

The 2013 season began with so much promise for the Urban Meyer-led Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State jumped off to a 12-0 start—winning most games in decisive fashion. Unfortunately, a shaky secondary put the team in shootouts late in the season, resulting in two consecutive losses to finish out the year. Surely, this team enters the Scarlet and Gray spring game with a bitter taste in its mouth. There are plenty of changes on hand for the Buckeyes this season. These will all be on display when the team takes the field on Saturday. To ensure not a moment of the highly anticipated action is missed, let’s take a look at the essential viewing information and preview several hot storylines to watch. Viewing Information The Scarlet and Gray game is an all-around spectacle for everyone in attendance and also for those viewing from home. The Buckeyes coaching staff breaks the team down into two evenly built squads in an attempt to create a competitive atmosphere and evaluate players accordingly. This is one game that shouldn’t be missed, as the 2014 season draws closer. When: Sat., April 12 Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio Time: 1:30 p.m. ET Channel: BTN Live Stream: BTN2Go Top Storylines New-Look Secondary Chris Ash was made co-defensive coordinator and has taken on the daunting task of improving what was a dismal secondary over the back half of the 2013 season. During an interview with Tim May of The Columbus…

Ohio State Football: Complete Spring Game Preview

When Ohio State takes the field Saturday to kick off its annual spring game, Urban Meyer will be showcasing a new culture for his football team. The Buckeyes haven’t lost a regular-season game since 2011, but they’re trying to rinse the taste of defeat out of their mouths after suffering back-to-back postseason losses. Those losses have lingered with the players and the coaches through winter conditioning and spring drills, and they triggered a much-needed overhaul of the Ohio State program. “You can try to fix behavior, but it’s unsustainable unless you fix the culture,” Meyer recently told Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated. “I believe in that from the bottom of my gut.” That belief led to a defensive makeover. New coaches and a new scheme will have the Buckeyes playing much more aggressively, especially in pass coverage. On the other side of the ball, Ohio State is replacing four starting offensive linemen, its leading rusher and leading receiver. The new-look Buckeyes are hoping to jump-start a title run this Saturday. Here’s a complete preview of Ohio State’s spring game. Begin Slideshow

Top Recruits Visiting Ohio State Buckeyes’ 2014 Spring Game Weekend

The Ohio State Buckeyes wrap up spring camp Saturday with annual spring game festivities, which begin at 1:30 p.m. ET and are broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Plenty of attention in the Horseshoe will be focused on the scrimmage, but a big element of the event takes place off the field. Head coach Urban Meyer and his staff are set to welcome several standout members of the 2015 recruiting class, along with younger prospects. Though the goal of a spring game is to iron out details and make in-roads toward solving position battles, the Buckeyes will be busy attempting to secure commitments from potential stars of the future. Here’s a review of recruits expected to be in attendance for Saturday’s action in Columbus, according to Cleveland.com and ElevenWarriors.com. Begin Slideshow

Your Best 11 Mailbag: Ohio State Secondary and 2014 SEC Offensive Production

Last week, my good pal and colleague Ben Kercheval took over the mailbag effort for me and handled himself admirably. Following a good friend’s bachelor party, I am back in the driver’s seat and ready to take your questions and wrestle down answers. Here we go! Ah, Patti is back and as great as ever. For those too lazy to click on the article, it basically details the Buckeyes going from playing off coverage to pressing on nearly every play. Given how often I get tweets from fans and texts from friends that all basically say, “Gah, why are our corners so far off,” I think this is a great topic. Although it is something I have hit on before in the mailbag, I’ve got no problem going nuts and bolts here in the offseason. A season ago, the Buckeyes secondary played plenty of off coverage and now they are looking to turn that on its ear and get more aggressive, going with press. Keep in mind that press does not exclusively mean man coverage. Press looks work in man and zone. It is simply a means for cornerbacks to get their hands on a player and disrupt his timing before they get into their responsibility. With the right cornerbacks it can be glorious. However, press plus responsibility adds another element to the defensive back’s plate. Instead of just reading keys and reacting on the snap, he is tasked with reading many of those same keys and reacting, all while handling the preliminary job of rerouting a wide receiver. Whether it is man or zone, it is a lot…

2017 ATH Recruit Darnay Holmes Has NFL Genes, Talks Ohio State Visit

Ohio State welcomed intriguing Class of 2017 prospect Darnay Holmes to campus Wednesday. The Newbury Park High School (Calif.) freshman toured facilities with 7-on-7 teammate Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson Sr., forming a high-profile trio of visitors. Holmes, a 5’11″, 180-pound speedster, also comes from a family filled with football pedigree. His father, Darick Holmes, spent five seasons in the NFL as a running back with Buffalo, Green Bay and Indianapolis. Older brother Darick Holmes Jr., a 2015 running back recruit, committed to Arizona last month. His cousin Desean Holmes is a 4-star 2015 wide receiver with offers from USC, Cal, Oklahoma and UCLA. The trip to Columbus was the latest development in Holmes’ burgeoning collegiate recruitment, as he continues to carve out a name for himself. He doesn’t yet hold an offer from Ohio State but admits the program ranks highly in his eyes for several reasons. “It has a great tradition, good academics and will always be in the national championship hunt,” Holmes said. Though an offer from head coach Urban Meyer didn’t come during his visit, Holmes managed to add another collegiate option Wednesday night. He and Johnson Jr. each received offers from Louisville. His scholarship list also includes Arizona, UCLA, Tennessee and Utah. Holmes visits Clemson on Thursday with the Johnsons, presenting another opportunity to expand his horizons as a young prospect. He departed Columbus with a…

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