Three things that matter from from the 2019 Ohio State spring football game.
Uhhhhhh, the 98-yard touchdown was great, but …
It’s a spring game. It’s a normal throw that any Big Ten starting quarterback can and should make in any scrimmage. But when the spotlight is glaring and everyone is waiting to see the new superstar prospect and what he can do, this is impressive no matter what …
Justin Fields not only has all the pressure in the world on his shoulders to merely be good, he’s supposed to be amazing, and he’s supposed to be good enough to lead Ohio State to the College Football Playoff, at least, but ..
He completed 4-of-13 passes for 131 yards and a score, and ran for 38 yards and a score. Take away that one play – sort of not fair, but part of the deal – and he hit just 3-of-13 throws for 33 yards.
Oh yeah, and be as good as Trevor Lawrence, the other star quarterback prospect from the 2018 recruiting class.
No, he wasn’t amazing, but he’ll be fine – it’s what the rest of the offseason is for. That throw on the 98-yard play to Bimjimen Victor gives the fan base hope. Maybe, just maybe, all of the big plays and bombs from last season’s passing game with Dwayne Haskins running the show will continue.
But it’s a spring game. This is when the starting quarterback is supposed to take target practice and have a light-and-breezy 13-of-15 day, especially because …
The receiving corps is really, really good
Three of the top four receivers are gone, but the Ohio State receiving corps is going to be among the best in the Big Ten … again.
The Victor play was the highlight, and Fields might have struggled to throw the forward pass, but there were some nice highlights from the entire receiving corps to show off just how good this group will be.
Jaelen Gill caught seven passes for 95 yards, but the buzz is over true freshman Garrett Wilson, one of the stars of the latest recruiting class who caught four passes for 44 yards and a score.
This is a deep, explosive group that fits the Next Man Up cliché. But Fields has to be able to get them the ball.
It’s just a spring game, but …
– Matthew Baldwin had a nice afternoon backing up Fields. He saw time on both sides, completing 20-of-36 passes in all for 246 yards and two scores with two picks. West Virginia transfer Chris Chugunov struggled in his time as a Mountaineer, and he came out and completed 3-of-10 throws for 81 yards with a pick.
– It might sound pretentious, but it’s not insane to suggest that the team’s best player could be the punter. Okay, so that’s not true, but Drue Chrisman is a weapon, averaging close to 44 yards per kick on two of his punts putting two of them inside the 20.
– The defensive line is going to be a killer, and it’s going to come in waves. The pass rush is going to be relentless, with Tyreke Smith and Zaid Hamdan each coming up with 1.5 sacks, and LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste leading the way with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Junior S Jahsen Wint picked off two passes.