While I certainly would have preferred the 2013 Ohio State spring game was in Cleveland, I certainly understand and respect the logic that went into taking the game to Cincinnati. If Ohio State can recruit better in Cincinnati, all the better. Hopefully, next year the spring game will be back in Ohio Stadium.
Before Ohio State began its spring practices, I wrote about concerns I had entering these fifteen practices. While many of these questions will remain until fall camp, I wanted to list some thoughts I had as I watched the Ohio State spring game on The Big Ten Network on Saturday evening from the comfort of my couch, with a beer in hand...
1. Look for Taylor Decker to win the starting right tackle position ~ Decker may have had some rough moments in the spring game, but remember that Decker was playing Reid Fragel very closely up until the 2012 home opener versus Miami University.
2. I find it puzzling that Frank Epitropoulos was not given any opportunities in the spring game to punt. Drew Basil is a solid placekicker, and maybe the coaching staff truly believes Basil can handle both spots. Basil did not seem to punt as well as kick field goals in the spring game, which makes the decision not to give Epitropoulos any punting opportunities confusing.
3. The secondary will be fine. No matter if Doran Grant has been named the starter - true freshman Eli Apple looks to have a bright future as a Buckeye. I will be surprised if Apple does not play a lot as a freshman. Bradley Roby, Grant, C.J. Barnett, and Christian Bryant will comprise a formidable secondary.
4. Curtis Grant played well in the spring game, but...I am going to be cautiously optimistic about the starting middle linebacker spot. Games versus Buffalo, San Diego State, etc, are not what concern me. The game on September 28th versus Wisconsin does. I want to see how the linebackers do when they line up against a big offensive line and have to shut down the running game of the Badgers.
5. Noah Spence is going to allow me to wear my old #8 jersey again ~ yes, I was so excited in 1998 about Steve Bellisari when he was a terror on special teams coverage (yes, I remember that vividly), I bought his jersey. And then Bellisari became a picture definition of the word "inconsistent".
Noah Spence, and Adolphus Washington, are going to make offensive linemen miserable this season. I will be surprised if Spence does not have double-digit sacks this coming season.