By Quinne Lowe @sports_qa on April 12, 2014
Ohio State is going into the 2014 season trying to continue its dominance of the Big Ten, one loss in two seasons, while putting themselves in prime position to be one of the four teams in the college football playoffs. Today's spring game showed that although they have some championship qualities at defensive line and running back, they also have some questions at offensive line and receiver options that wont be addressed until the fall.
Maybe it was because they were playing against an inexperienced offensive line, but when you have guys making plays up front and their last names aren't Bosa, Spence, Bennett and Washington, that has to give teams like the school up north the shakes. Meyer's goal was to bring an SEC-caliber defensive line to Columbus and today showed that he finally may have done that.
Carlos Hyde may be Urban Meyers last 1,000 yard running back for a while, but it wont be because of a lack of talent. This year, OSU could easily have four running backs get significant carries -- five depending on how they use Dontre Wilson. Warren Ball led the way with eight carries for 55 yards, but Bri'onte Dunn, Ezekiel Elliott and true freshman Curtis Samuel all earned the right today to carry the ball at some point this season.
Corey Smith made some plays, but no other Buckeye receivers stood out. Keep in mind senior Evan Spencer and redshirt freshman Jalin Marshall did not play, so we did not get to see the full compliment of returning players at the position. Many expect big things out of freshman Johnnie Dix, but today he played like a freshman who still should be in high school. Athlete Marshon Lattimore and Wilson could also play factors this fall.
Losing four out of five starters is tough for any team and it showed today. Much of the previously talked about defensive line dominance happened because they were going up against a group who just haven't seemed to jell yet. The lone returning starter, tackle Taylor Decker, has to be the leader of this unit. Healing from surgery, Braxton Miller missed an opportunity to develop more snap chemistry with new center Jacoby Boren.
Kenny Guiton isn't warming up on the sidelines, so the Buckeyes must find a backup QB who will be ready when Braxton Miller gets nicked this season. Today was an opportunity for redshirt sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett to separate themselves, but both left a lot to be desired. Unfortunately for Buckeye fans, their season may hinge on one coming in as an injury replacement and today showed they're not ready yet.
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