Four Big Ten teams held spring games Saturday, and I'll take a quick look at each one throughout the afternoon.
Let's get things started with Ohio State, which held its game at Ohio Stadium. Although the defense controlled the action for much of the day, the offense prevailed 59-27 thanks to a complex scoring system.
Here's a snapshot of the game.
Quotable: "In this scrimmage situation so much has to do with what the other 10 are doing. Braxton [Miller] probably played more relaxed and had a little more fun than he has had. Joe [Bauserman] and Kenny [Guiton] showed that they have been around and can manage our offense. And, we have to learn as young quarterbacks, that you can’t get sacked in the red zone. We've been giving those four equal reps. When we figure it out we are going to play whoever we need to." -- Ohio State coach Jim Tressel on the quarterbacks
The Braxton Miller hype machine revved up as the freshman quarterback led three scoring drives in four possessions and finished 7-for-12 passing for 73 yards and a touchdown. Although Miller and the other quarterbacks faced an injury-depleted secondary, the freshman certainly helped himself Saturday, showcasing his mobility in addition to his arm. While the other three quarterbacks -- Bauserman, Guiton and Taylor Graham -- also threw touchdown passes, Miller generated the most buzz. "People want excitement," Bauserman said. "A guy they've never seen before gets them thinking about it."
Next to quarterback, receiver was the most intriguing position to watch as Ohio State must replace team MVP Dane Sanzenbacher as well as DeVier Posey for the first five games. T.Y. Williams provided the biggest highlight of the day as he hauled in a 68-yard touchdown reception from Graham. Williams finished with three catches for 83 yards, although he and several other young receivers had some drops. Redshirt freshman Verlon Reed had a 17-yard touchdown catch and should be in the mix for playing time this fall.
Defensive standouts included linebackers Etienne Sabino (6 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup) and Andrew Sweat (10 tackles, .5 tackle for loss) and defensive linemen John Simon (1 tackle for loss) and Joel Hale (1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack).
Running back Dan Herron had a strong performance (37 rush yards, 6 carries), but most folks were watching the other backs who will replace Herron during his suspension. Bruiser Rod Smith averaged 5.1 yards on seven carries, while Jordan Hall had 37 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. It's surprising that Jaamal Berry only received two carries for 16 yards.