With two weeks left in spring practice, the Ohio State football team held their annual Kick Scrimmage in Ohio Stadium today. In overtime, the Gray team defeated the Scarlet team 27-24 when Ben Buchanan nailed a 39-yard attempt. Drew Basil had a chance to tie the game with an equal 39-yarder, but just missed the upright.
Devin Barclay, the hero from last year’s overtime win against Iowa, now finds himself in a competition for kicking duties. His range might not be as deep as we had hoped it would be, as most every kicker on the team struggled from 40 yards and beyond.
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“On a personal note, it was disappointing for me,” Barclay said. “I’m capable of much better, but I’ve got to keep working and keep getting better.”
The rules of the kick scrimmage are simple – there is no such thing as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd down. The game opens with a kickoff, then onto 4th down. It’s the ultimate game of field position, which explains why Jim Tressel loves it so much.
Each half ends with both sides’ kickers taking five shots from lengths ranging 28-to-45 yards.
The close kicks were not much problem for Ben Buchanan or Barclay, but once the ball moved beyond 40 yards, both seemed to have trouble scoring. Usually the kicks were wide to one side of the other, and both kickers found 50+ yard kicks coming up short.
Buchanan, who also is the Buckeyes’ punter, found himself very busy today.
“I enjoy being on the field. I think the more I can be on the field, the more I can contribute to the team, and I’m willing to do both (punting and kicking) if they allow me to.”
Buchanan does appear to have the punting duties secured at this point. He averaged over 40 yards per punt on the day, far better than walk-on freshman Derek Erwin’s average.
The play of the day for the scrimmage was during the goal-line punting exercise. CB Nate Ebner came through the left side of the line and stuffed a Buchanan punt, which was recovered by the Scarlet team at the 1-yard line. Had the ball been recovered in the end zone, Scarlet would have eventually won the game and not allowed it to go to OT.
Prior to the scrimmage, there was a shortened team practice. Here’s a few notes from the practice;
– Chimdi Chekwa, Brandon Saine, Jermil Martin, Carlos Hyde, and Tyler Moeller are still in non-contact jerseys, so we didn’t see much from them.
– Donnie Evege is the best healthy DB the team has got right now Evege is still blanketing WRs and lays out some brutal hits every chance he gets.
– Devon Torrence is having a bad week, and he has begun to take out his frustrations on the wideouts. He’s been flagged for interference and holding a lot, and he had a scuffle or two with DeVier Posey during end zone pass drills.
– The goal-line defense is vicious. Ross Homan, Brian Rolle and Storm Klein delivered some punishing stops. Homan seems to have developed an ability to always be near the ball as if he has a homing device on him (much like Kurt Coleman had last season). I’m copyrighting the term “Homan Device” right now.
– Mike Adams practiced with the #1s at left tackle today. The job appears to be his, and the line looks stronger than I’ve seen in a long time.
The Buckeyes have Sunday and Monday off practice. We’ll be back on campus Tuesday, as we speak to Jim Tressel, Posey, and Dane Sanzenbacher.