The 10 most intriguing spring games on April 15

On3 imageby:Jesse Simonton04/15/23


Several notable spring games have come and gone over the last few weekends, but the majority of college football teams will hold their intrasquad scrimmages over the next two weeks. 

This Saturday (April 15), 27 programs will hold a spring scrimmage, including some of the more ballyhooed teams in the country. Spring games rarely provide a definitive answer about a team’s potential in the fall, but they can offer some interesting clues of what could come five months down the road. 

Here are the 10 most intriguing spring games this weekend and some storylines to monitor. 


Texas, 2 p.m., Longhorn Network

Tennessee, 2:30 p.m., SEC Network+

Fans of both the Longhorns and Vols will get their first glimpse of the future Saturday, as the No. 1 and No. 3 overall recruits in the On3 rankings will make their spring debuts. 

Hello, Nico Iamaleava and Arch Manning. Let’s see what all the fuss is about! Both 5-star quarterbacks are among the most prized prospects we’ve seen at the position in recent history. Nico Iamaleava is reportedly the $8 million man courtesy of a nice NIL package, while Arch Manning is among the most star-powered recruits we’ve ever seen. 

Neither is expected to be their team’s starter in Week 1, yet both have turned enough heads this spring to likely merit playing time in the fall. If they truly impress between Saturday and the rest of the summer, perhaps they could even challenge Joe Milton and Quinn Ewers for their team’s QB1 spot at some point in 2023.


Clemson, 1 p.m., ACC Network Extra

USC, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Penn State, 2 p.m., Big Ten Network

Texas A&M, 4 p.m., SEC Network+

Clemson and Texas A&M both made major offensive coordinator hires this offseason, and we’ll get some initial impressions of what those changes look like Saturday. 

Does former 5-star quarterback Cade Klubnik look more comfortable in Garrett Riley’s system? If the Tigers can produce more explosive plays, the rest of the roster is set up to return to the College Football Playoff for the first time in three seasons.

At Texas A&M, Jimbo Fisher has (reluctantly? maybe?) handed the keys to the Aggies’ inept offense to Bobby Petrino. What pray tell will that look like? 

USC is the favorite to win the Pac-12 in 2023, but has Lincoln Riley addressed his program’s fatal flaw by acknowledging that defense is important, too? It will be curious to see if the Trojans tackle any better Saturday — even in a spring scrimmage. Riley has praised the early returns of several transfers, including former 5-star tackle Anthony Lucas and All-Big 12 linebacker Mason Cobb. He said that USC’s defense dominated major portions of the team’s most recent scrimmage. Will those positive signs reveal themselves in the spring finale?

And then there’s Drew Allar at Penn State. The Nittany Lions are already among the off-season darlings, with much of the 2023 hype centered around the ceiling of their 5-star quarterback. Allar played in spot duty last season, but now he’s the man in Happy Valley. PSU has one of the best 1-2 punches at tailback, so if Allar is truly a fighter pilot at QB, then James Franklin’s team could absolutely win the Big Ten in 2023. 


Georgia, 4 p.m., ESPN2

Ohio State, 12 p.m., Big Ten Network

Ole Miss, 3 p.m., SEC Network+

Three of the more interesting quarterback competitions will be on display Saturday, including two battles on teams hoping to compete for a national title in the fall. 

Georgia’s QB1 battle seems to be down to Carson Beck vs. Brock Vandargriff. Beck is considered the frontrunner, but Vandagriff has impressed throughout the spring and hasn’t ceded the competition. G-Day will be another measuring stick for both quarterbacks, though Kirby Smart isn’t expected to name a starter until the fall. 

At Ohio State, Ryan Day hoped to have his starting quarterback identified by the end of spring ball, but through nearly a month of practice, neither Kyle McCord or Devin Brown had separated themselves. Will one grab the reins Saturday?

In Oxford, the Rebels have a three-man race to become Lane Kiffin’s starter: Incumbent Jaxson Dart and transfers Spencer Sanders and Walker Howard. Dart has reportedly responded well this spring to the added competition, and he enters the spring game “clinging” to his starting job. 


Arizona State, Time TBA, TV, TBA

The wild card team holding the most intriguing spring game Saturday is Kenny Dillingham’s Arizona State Sun Devils. We don’t even know the time of the game yet! Since taking over his alma mater, Dillingham has completely scrubbed the roster, with more than 45 new faces set to debut in an ASU uniform in the fall. And there’s still another transfer portal window to come.

The Sun Devils have five quarterbacks competing for the starting job this spring, including incumbent Trenton Bourguet, freshman Jaden Rashada and former Notre Dame starter Drew Pyne.