April 12, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Cincinnati: here come the Buckeyes! Saturday, for the first time since 2002, the Ohio State football team will play in the Queen City as coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes conclude their 2013 spring drills with the LiFESports Spring Game, presented by Nationwide Insurance. An approximate 1:10 p.m. kickoff is scheduled at Paul Brown Stadium.
The spring game will be an intrasquad scrimmage with some modifications. Meyer and the coaching staff divided the team into Scarlet and Gray units Friday morning. Everett Withers will serve as head coach of the Scarlet team with assistance from Tom Herman, Mike Vrabel, Tim Hinton and graduate assistants Matt Groom and Jason Osborn. Ed Warinner is head coach of the Gray squad with Luke Fickell, Kerry Coombs, Stan Drayton, Zach Smith and graduates assistants Shane Bowen and Drew Mehringer assisting.
The game will consist of four 10-minute quarters. There won't be kickoffs and each possession after a score will start on the 35. Punts will be fair caught. Quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton will be protected and will be wearing no-contact black jerseys, while the physically imposing second-year freshman quarterback Cardale Jones (6-5, 241) will continue to gain game-like experiences by not wearing a black jersey, as has been the case the majority of this spring.
A Taste of Cincinnati (and Sights and Sounds, too)
Meyer said Thursday that he wanted his Buckeyes to be able to enjoy the spring game experience to Cincinnati. The team will bus two hours down Interstate 71 Saturday morning and return following the game, but in and around the game the team will:
Ring-Ring ... Riiiiiing!!!!
The 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes, captained by John Simon, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel and Jordan Hall, made history by becoming only the sixth team in 123 years of Ohio State football to finish a season unbeaten. The Buckeyes, in fact, were the only team in the nation to go unbeaten in 2012.
The accomplishments of this team are forever memorialized in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The deeds of the team are now becoming memorialized personally with every player on the team. Big Ten Conference Leaders Division championship rings have arrived and are boldly emblazoned with the 12-0 perfection that was the 2012 season. Expected to be at the spring game to receive there rings during an on-field ceremony after halftime are:
No Live TV Coverage
There will not be a live television broadcast of the game. The Big Ten Network will televise the game on a tape delay basis at 7 p.m. Saturday evening, April 13. Eric Collins and Glen Mason will be in the booth with Ashleigh Ignelzi providing sideline commentary.
Day-of-Game Ticket Sales
Tickets - $12 for general reserved seats and $5 for ages 2-6 with children under the age of 2 admitted free - will be sold on game day at Paul Brown Stadium at the North Ticket Office between Gates B and C. Tickets are also available online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000, in person at the Athletics Ticket Office in the Schottenstein Center, or at any Ticketmaster location.
WBNS 97.1 FM The Fan, the flagship station for the IMG Ohio State sports radio network, will broadcast the game live with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey describing all of the action. Network affiliate WDJO AM-1480 out of Cincinnati will also carry the live radio broadcast. SiriusXM will broadcast the game on Channels 92 (Sirius) and 190 (XM).
Parts of Ohio Stadium are currently a construction zone (surface work in some seating areas) ... the reason Ohio State had to find an alternate venue for the game. It was Director of Athletics Gene Smith's idea to take the game to Cincinnati and coach Urban Meyer, a 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati (psychology) as is his wife, Shelley (nursing, 1987), was a proponent of the idea as well.
Coombs is Cincinnati
Cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs spent his entire life in the Cincinnati area (outside of his time getting his degree at the University of Dayton) until getting hired 15 months ago by Urban Meyer. That's about 50 years. Coombs attended Colerain High School, as did his wife, Holly, and all three of their children (Brayden, Dylan and Cortney). He also spent 16 years as head coach at Colerain and five years as a coach at the University of Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Buckeyes
Five members of the team are from the Cincinnati area: senior left tackle Andrew Norwell (Anderson High School), junior OL Eric Kramer (St. Xavier) and three sophomores: DL Adolphus Washington (Taft), LB Joe Burger (LaSalle) and SAF Kevin Niehoff (Mason).
Cincinnati Snapshot: Through the Years
A snapshot of some of the Ohio State players from the Cincinnati area through the years include:
Some other prominent Buckeyes from the Cincinnati area include LB Vic Koegel (Moeller), K Tom Klaban (Princeton), Academic All-American OG Bill Lukens (St. Xavier), TE Alex Higdon (Princeton), DB Vinnie Clark (C.A.P.E.), DT Matt Bonhaus (Elder), FB Matt Keller (Moeller), P B.J. Sander (Roger Bacon), SAF Tyler Moeller (Colerain) and WR DeVier Posey (LaSalle).
Not Many Cincinnati Games
Back in the days - ie: way back in the days...in the 1960s, 1970s, etc. - it wasn't uncommon for Ohio State to hold a spring practice or scrimmage outside of Columbus, and the Cincinnati area and suburbs were a typical practice location. But legislation ended the practice of away practices and Ohio State's Cincinnati visits ended. Saturday's game will be Ohio State football's first appearance in Cincinnati since Sept. 21, 2002, when the Buckeyes and the UC Bearcats played at Paul Brown Stadium in front of the largest crowd to witness a sporting event in the city: 66,319.
How Many Spring Games?
Numerous questions were received in the past week asking how long Ohio State, which will play its 124th season of football in 2013, has had a spring game. Spring game dates can be documented back into the 1980s. However: a chance meeting Wednesday with former coach Earle Bruce, who will accompany the team to Cincinnati on Saturday, provided some additional light on the subject. He said Ohio State has held a spring game since as long as he has been a Buckeye...since 1949.
Ohio State can generate some tremendous crowds for its spring football games. Seven of the last 10 spring game crowds have topped 50,000, including a record 95,722 in 2009 and 81,112 last year. Only an unusually cold and blustery day in 2005 kept the crowd that year below impressive.
Last 10 Spring Game Crowds
2012 - 81,112
2011 - 44,276
2010 - 65,223
2009 - 95,722
2008 - 76,346
2007 - 75,301
2006 - 63,649
2005 - 23,000
2004 - 45,074
2003 - 57,200
Spring Notes & Game Notes & Bullet Points:
A Buckeye Grove Makeover
Buckeye Grove, the lovely grassy area just south of Ohio Stadium where Ohio State's first-team All-Americans get a Buckeye tree planted in their honor, will get a cleaning and landscaping makeover next Friday by members of the team that scores the fewest points in the game. All coaches, trainers, equipment managers, operations personnel and others who are on the roster will also contribute to the Make Buckeye Grove Beautiful effort that was initiated by Meyer and his staff last year.
But For Ohio State:
The spring game in Cincinnati will also serve as a kickoff for a series of events in the area as part of the university's "But for Ohio State: The Campaign for The Ohio State University." Through the campaign, Ohio State intends to raise $2.5 billion to sustain and advance an institution that changes lives.
The Ohio State University Alumni Association will help to create a game day atmosphere on the plaza outside of Paul Brown Stadium with a Buckeye Bash from 11 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public, the bash will include music from the marching band, Brutus Buckeye and the cheerleaders.
For More Game Day Information...
More game day and stadium information can be found at this link: April 13 Spring Game.