COLUMBUS — The headliner of those missing the Ohio State spring game is obvious.
The Buckeyes thought they would get to see both quarterbacks who are competing for the starting job make their case for that job on Saturday in the Horseshoe. Instead, only one will be suiting up.
Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback Devin Brown will miss Saturday’s spring game with an injury to a finger on his throwing hand. Brown has been competing with junior Kyle McCord for QB1 this offseason. The Buckeyes are replacing two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and soon-to-be top-five NFL Draft pick C.J. Stroud.
“For Kyle and [Oregon State transfer] Tristan [Gebbia], it’s a great opportunity on Saturday to put it on the field,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “Because ultimately, you can say that it’s the same. It’s not. It’s just not the same being in here and practicing in front of just a small group as opposed to being in the stadium.”
Brown’s absence certainly takes a little but of juice out of the highly-anticipated spring game, but he’s not the only Ohio State player out of action to close out spring ball.
Some of the absences from the spring game are expected, such as wide receivers Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka, star running back TreVeyon Henderson, who missed a few games last fall and later revealed that he was battling through a broken foot, middle linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, center Jakob James and running back Evan Pryor.
They’re all among the list of Buckeyes who weren’t available for any spring practice.
Ohio State released its spring game rosters earlier this week, and noted the Buckeyes who won’t be available, although it’s not a complete list, nor does it indicate why each player is out.
Ohio State players out for spring game
QB Devin Brown
WR Julian Fleming
WR Emeka Egbuka
WR Xavier Johnson
LB Tommy Eichenberg
RB TreVeyon Henderson
DE/LB Mitchell Melton
LB Steele Chambers
RB Evan Pryor
OC Jakob James
SAF Kourt Williams
RB TC Caffey
OL Avery Henry
Ohio State spring game format
Ohio State is set for a 12:05 p.m. kickoff. Day said that the first-team offense will face the first-team defense, and the second-team offense will face the second-team defense.
“The first couple drives with the ones will be thud. But everything else will be live,” Day noted.
Offense scoring will be traditional. On the other side, the Buckeyes defense gets six points for a takeaway touchdown, three points for a takeaway, three points for a three-and-out, two points for a sack and one point for a forced punt.
Day said the Buckeyes will play four quarters Saturday. He added that he might incorporate a running clock in the second half, perhaps just for the final frame. There will be a 10-minute halftime.
“The goal is to get these guys out there and be live. Get them in front of a good crowd,” Day said. “It’s supposed to be a great day.”