Ohio State spring game recap

April, 27, 2009
4/27/09
10:10
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It's rare when the crowd in the stands eclipses the action on the field, but when 95,722 people show up to watch a souped-up scrimmage somewhere outside SEC territory, I'd say it's a pretty big deal. Ohio State set a record for spring game attendance Saturday, as gorgeous weather and the chance to watch Terrelle Pryor practice "live" brought fans to Ohio Stadium. As for the game itself? The Gray squad beat the Scarlet team 23-3.

The weather certainly had something to do with the huge turnout. So did Pryor and the number of new players taking on key roles. Jim Tressel's Hawaiian shirt definitely wasn't the reason (I hope).

Buckeye Nation had to be thrilled with what it saw from Pryor, who eased some concerns about his passing ability by completing 13 of 18 pass attempts for 191 yards and touchdown strikes of 44 and 42 yards. The sophomore didn't even need to play in the final quarter, as originally planned, after engineering three scoring drives, including one just before halftime.

"You saw today, and the world saw, that I can throw the ball," Pryor told reporters. "I think I played exceptionally well. [I'm] getting better at those little things -- footwork, throwing the ball in there and learning the offense."

Backup quarterback Joe Bauserman struggled a bit, completing just 10 of 21 passes with an interception, but Pryor's obvious progress stole the show. He found Taurian Washington and Ray Small for long touchdown passes. Although projected starter Dane Sanzenbacher sat out with an injury and DeVier Posey played for the other team, Pryor still clicked with his wideouts.

Other items from Ohio State's spring game:

  • Junior Brandon Saine is very much in the mix for the starting running back spot after a strong spring game in which he had 55 rush yards on only six carries. Saine, a heralded recruit who has been limited by injuries, gained 10 or more yards on three consecutive carries in the third quarter. Dan "Boom" Herron had 43 yards on 10 carries, including an 18-yarder. Reserve Marcus Williams led all players with 98 rush yards on seven carries.
  • Ohio State has two pretty big holes at linebacker, but both Brian Rolle and Tyler Moeller showed a lot of potential in the spring game. Rolle recorded a game-high 11 tackles with a sack, and Moeller led the Scarlet team with eight tackles (two for loss), a sack and a pass breakup. Expect both men to see a lot of playing time this season.
  • Michigan transfer Justin Boren finished a very impressive spring on a strong note. Boren will start at guard for the Buckeyes this fall, but he filled in at left tackle for the Gray team and performed well.
  • Ohio State's starting left tackle spot remains a bit of a mystery, and either Mike Adams or Andy Miller needs to grab hold of the position in preseason camp.
  • Pryor should be more consistent on the high-percentage throws this fall, but the big play should remain a big part of Ohio State's playbook. With Small, Washington and Posey, the Buckeyes will be able to stretch the field this fall. Small and Washington had a combined eight catches for 166 yards in the spring game, while Posey led the Scarlet team with five catches for 46 yards.

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