So I watched the entire OSU Spring Game today...

Submitted by AZBlue on August 20th, 2014 at 8:46 PM

It is available on Youtube - no link (too old and lazy to learn)- I just googled it

General Notes: 

  • My Primary focus was on Barrett - given the recent BM injury
  • You may wish to watch on mute unless you are fond of hearing how great and innovative Urban Meyer is i.e. Braxton's head-cam, Urban renaming his coaches "group leaders" etc. 
  • I am not an ex-coach or football expert, just a fan that spends too much time on MGoBlog
  • This was a true 2 team scrimmage not 1s vs. 2s as it may affect the results on the field.


Football Notes:

QB's - Barrett

  • Better runner of the 2 QBs - offense looked very Braxton-like with Barrett at the helm
  • Not quite as shifty or as fast as BM imo
  • 17-34 by my count passing
    • Only 7 completions 5+ yards downfield
    • Only 1 completion (crossing route) 15+ yds
    • 0-5 on true deep balls - 2 were "catchable"
  • Not as good an arm as Jones on the deep stuff


  • Big Kid ala Terrelle Pryor - but less mobile and shifty - (less of an athelete than our DG imo)
  • Didn't chart his passing but he was 3(or4) for 10 on deep throws - 4 were catchable - of the non-catchable throws -  one may have been an OOB throwaway and one was an End of Half Hail Mary
  • Didn't seem as good on the short stuff as Barrett
  • Seemed to be a less designed runs or read-options with Jones as QB


  • Played almost all vanilla except for 1 goal line stand where they did some run blitzes and stopped Jones' offense 3 straight plays from the 2.
  • Lots of press coverage - seemed very good coverage on almost all the deep throws (catchable or not)

Running Backs

  • Dunn (sigh) and Ball seemed the most effective to me (both were on the same offense fwiw)
  • Elliot and Samuel were clearly faster but weren't able to get the edge like Dunn was.

Punting -- 2 punts would have been blocked in a non-scrimmage.  Might be solely due to scrimmage effort levels.  No returns or kickoffs were practiced

O-Line/D-line -- OSU showed much better ability to run than the recent M scrimmage (benefit of spread O?) but the pass protection was less than stellar on non quick pass plays.  Probably would have been 10+ sacks in a real game.  (This is with no blitzing)

Because its OSU.........Nelson Munz memorial plays:

  • Barrett - 1st and 10 on his own 2.  Pass play - holds the ball too long (freshman!) gets sacked and fumbles for the only TD for Jones' team.
  • Jones (personal fav) - 1st and 10 on own 20.  Pass play - ball is stripped or slips out of his hands - Jones chases and recovers the ball in the end zone, eludes tacklers and throws for a -12 yard completion.
  • Corey Smith - WR reverse/pass - Pass covered - runs to the 1 - fumbles for a touchback reaching for the goal line.


Summary - Defense hard to tell due to the split teams and vanilla scheme but press coverage was prominent and effective.  Offense struggled for the most part - I would expect a freshman-year Braxton level offense from OSU by November - possibly worse depending on the O-line development and Hyde-less running back production.


Hopefully I have provided some useful info for those who don't want to watch a 2+ hour youtube video.







August 20th, 2014 at 10:00 PM ^

Don't sleep on Navy or Cincy.  OSU has had quite a few early season near-losses over the years, one of which against Navy, if I'm not mistaken.  Cincy is not great, but good enought to beat them if they catch them sleeping.

This is probably the OSU team with by far the most question marks I can remember in a long time (maybe excepting 2011).  It'll be interesting to see how they handle it.  I don't necessarily think they will lose more than 2 or 3 games, but they are much more vulnerable than in years past.


August 20th, 2014 at 11:47 PM ^

I remember some of Ohio State's early games last season, and how some of their opponents hung around longer than I would have expected. Certainly with a new quarterback and new offensive line anything can happen. 

And Maryland, as harperic mentioned. Their receivers against OSU's shaky secondary....

Ali G Bomaye

August 21st, 2014 at 9:38 AM ^

Barrett was Rivals' #1 dual-threat QB the year he graduated high school.  Meyer literally couldn't have recruited a higher-ranked QB for his offense.  You can blame Meyer for not recruiting more QBs to compete for the backup position, but the quality of the recruits shouldn't be the problem.


August 20th, 2014 at 9:07 PM ^

freshman level prodution from this offense.  Though that went 6-7 that year, they really shouldn't have and played better once Mike Adams, Boom Herron and Devir Posey came back from suspension.  Those are 3 that have made NFL rosters and contributed.  Their line inexperienced and I personally think their receiving corps is lacking.  They are going to depend on Barnett playing well along with their talented stable of backs to lead the way and both are young and inexperienced.  Still with their schedule I don't see them winning less that 8 games worst case and probably 9 or 10 (not including bowl).


August 20th, 2014 at 9:25 PM ^

I think it's safe to say Michigan is as close to OSU as they have been in a while. I began to follow UM football extensively since 2009. The Michigan I've been accustomed to has been really bad (Rich Rod 08-11) or above average (Brady Hoke 11-present). Not the dominant teams throughout the seventies up until the early 2000's.

In my opinion,  this is without a doubt the most talented Michigan team I've closely followed. I thought UM could beat OSU this year before Braxton got injured and now I'm even more confident that they will. It will be a close hard fought game regardless. If Michigan can beat MSU this year, they'll win the Big Ten.


August 20th, 2014 at 10:19 PM ^

They can beat them, and the talent level is very close.  Beleive it or not, the recruiting rankings have been very close, even during the RR era.  Granted OSU most years tends to have a slight edge, but it's still fairly close and always has been.  What has put UM back is the change in coaching styles from pro-style to spread and back.  Anways, agreed they are very close on talent, but it's hard to beat OSU in Columbus and it hasn't happened much since the days of Cooper.  Ultimately in a close game I tend to lend towards the home team, especially when we have a young o-line and they have a great d-line.  You may be able to say the same thing the other way around, but I tend to think both of their lines will be a little better than both of ours.


August 20th, 2014 at 11:53 PM ^

I got into Michigan football in 2009, and then really serious starting in 2010. So 5-7 and 7-6. If anything, it made me appreciate the 2011 season that much more.

Also, thanks to WolverineHistorian, I've seen just about every highlight video from the past couple decades.


August 20th, 2014 at 10:15 PM ^

Ha! - To be honest I probably watched it as much as anything hoping to feel better after our recent scrimmage -- which I do a little bit. If Fickell and the new guy (Ashe?) had unleashed the dogs like Mattison did, it would have been a defensive massacre on a scale much worse than we saw on Saturday.


August 20th, 2014 at 11:56 PM ^

I guess one way to look it is I'm allotted the opportunity to see Michigan rise from historically bad times to being “Michigan" again. It is nice to see a program get better for the most part on an annual basis. 



August 21st, 2014 at 9:32 AM ^

So J.T. Barrett...

I don't expect him to be as good as Braxton, but I don't expect the offense to be much different. Braxton is quicker and obviously more experienced so there will be more mistakes/TOs/etc. and fewer broken plays that turn into 15 yrd gains because our freak RB of a QB took off running. But it will help that he's been taking snaps in place of Braxton all summer. He red-shirted and was an early enrollee so he should know the offense.

We had some games on the schedule that scared me with Braxton: Navy is a test for any team because of their option offense and blocking schemes; Cincy is an in-state one-sided rivalry with them having everything to prove and nothing to lose, new coach, etc.; VTech has a good defense and plays Beemerball, mistake free and capitalize on other team's errors.

We could still ride the season undefeated, honestly. But we could have lost 2 games with Braxton. I'm still excited for the season.