Led by running back Demario McCall and quarterback Joe Burrow, the Scarlet defeated the Gray 38-31 in Ohio State's annual Spring Game in front of 80,134 fans on Saturday.
Renovations in C Deck wouldn't allow more tickets to be sold, but those in attendance were able to witness a firefight through the air between Burrow and redshirt freshman quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Burrow completed 14-of-22 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in leading his squad to victory. Haskins, meanwhile, threw for 255 yards for the Gray on 21-of-32 passing with two touchdowns. He also played for the Scarlet team a bit, completing all five of his pass attempts for 38 yards. In total, Haskins completed 26-of-37 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns.
Starter J.T. Barrett threw the lone interception on the day, which came when he was hit while throwing. Cornerback Damon Arnette came down with the errant pass.
Receiver Johnnie Dixon led both teams with 108 yards receiving on six catches, scoring twice. McCall led both teams with 83 yards rushing on just six carries, and he added two receptions for 48 yards, including a 40-yard touchown catch on a wheel route. Terry McLaurin also added four receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns, which gives him eight receptions for 191 yards in his last two spring game appearances.
Defensively, Gray middle linebacker Justin Hilliard led all teams with seven tackles. Freshman cornerback Shaun Wade led the Scarlet team with six tackles, all solo.
Following the game, Urban Meyer, Kevin Wilson, and several members of the team spoke with the media. Here are the highlights.
Urban Meyer Updates
+ The best thing about the game today was that they remained injury free.
+ Meyer liked seeing the wide receivers make some plays today. That was one of the question marks coming in, and they responded well.
+ He liked the way the new cornerbacks bounced back after a slow start to the afternoon.
+ This has been an outstanding spring for the quarterbacks, and they have been exceptional the last few weeks. J.T. Barrett was accurate and right on target today.
+ Meyer called Johnnie Dixon an "enigma" due to his injuries and lack of plays made while healthy, but liked the fact that he has been healthy all spring long and never missed a practice.
+ Like Dixon, Meyer and the staff weren't exactly sure what Justin Hilliard is capable of, but he's had a very good spring. They need him in the rotation next to year to provide some depth at linebacker.
+ They started the game with no tackling so that the veterans could get some snaps in in front of the crowd. He's done that before, so this wasn't new.
+ Very pleased overall with the spring. The team isn't nine strong yet, only seven strong, but seven is pretty good for April. He would not name the two units that aren't yet ready.
+ On Jacob Jarvis scoring the game's final touchdown, Meyer said that was the idea of Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis, which gives you an idea of the kind of people on this team.
+ The battle at backup quarterback is too close to call for Meyer right now. He'll look at the film.
Kevin Wilson Updates
+ This was a great spring for all of the quarterbacks. Very good competition between Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow. Wilson thinks they can win with either guy. "They're both on track." It also depends on how they do over the summer.
+ He's not sure if there's room for a second quarterback to get snaps throughout the course of a game this season. He hasn't talked about that with Urban Meyer.
+ The progression for the QBs can't stop now, they have to take the summer and get themselves better.
+ The tight ends told him they want to throw the ball more, but he told them that the time for tight ends to work on catching is May, June, and July. In the spring they have pads on, so "they need to thump a little bit." He expects a big jump from them this summer as well.
Tyquan Lewis Updates
+ Lewis said he and Jalyn Holmes came up with the idea for Jacob Jarvis to score a touchdown recently, and they asked Meyer about it yesterday. He told them to remind him in the morning and he'll get it done.
J.T. Barrett Updates
+ J.T. Barrett was excited to have the throw-back pass to him in the game plan today. He said that he and Cardale Jones were in the car yesterday and Jones told him that if he drops the ball, he's going to make fun of him pretty bad. The last time Barrett caught a pass was as a sophomore at Rider High School when he played H-back. He would like to keep that play in the playbook this year.
Johnnie Dixon Updates
+ Every time Johnnie Dixon talks about being healthy now, he knocks on wood. Even when he talks about talking about being healthy.
Billy Price Updates
+ Price again mentioned the improvement and jump made by Matt Burrell at right guard. He loves the growth that he continues to see from Burrell.