COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s spring game week on the campus of The Ohio State University and coach Urban Meyer is hoping for another huge crowd this year that will give the younger members of his team the thrill of playing in front of 100,000 fans in Ohio Stadium.
Last year, Ohio State set a spring game record with 99,391 fans at the game, a figure that topped its previous national mark of 95,722 fans at the 2009 spring game.
“There’s nothing like performing in front of 100,000 people,” Meyer said Monday during his weekly address with the media. “It’s supposed to be great weather so I’m hoping we get 100,000 people. That’s an appeal to our fans to come on out … this year even more than last year. I want to see [freshman quarterback] Joe Burrow perform in front of 100,000 people in that stadium. I want to see [freshman running back] Mike Weber perform in front of 100,000 people. They’ve never done it.
“And on the defensive line, how is Dre’Mont [Jones; freshman defensive lineman] going to perform in a nice, loud environment where things are going on and it’s chaos?
“So I’m appealing to our fans to come out and support us, for a lot of reasons. It’s supposed to be a nice day so come out and watch your team play. We appreciate you coming out and the value this year of coming out [for our players] is probably greater than in our four years here.”
Burrow has been getting plenty of attention this spring as the back-up to J.T. Barrett, who will play on Saturday, according to Meyer. Weber, Jones, junior receiver James Clark, junior defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, junior tight end Marcus Baugh and freshman defensive lineman Jashon Cornell were among the younger or inexperienced players named by Meyer Monday who have shown marked improvement this spring.
The young Bucks
This spring Meyer welcomed one of the most inexperienced group of players he has ever had for a start of spring drills: 39 lettermen are on the roster, but only 35 of them lettered on last season’s 12-1, Fiesta Bowl-winning team. Plus, only six starters return – three on either side of the ball.
His previous four Ohio State teams returned 45, 38, 50 and 47 lettermen in 2015-14-13 and 2012, respectively, and they each returned double digit starters with 16, 12, 13 and 15 along the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
In his 10 years as coach at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, his teams have never had fewer than 38 returning lettermen or fewer than eight returning starters.
Tickets for the 2016 LiFE Sports Spring Game, presented by Nationwide
Tickets for the spring game can be purchased online at http://go.osu.edu/SpringGameTix16. Tickets can also be purchased in person at any Ticketmaster outlet and at the OSU Athletic Ticket Office, or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS. General admission seats are $5 and there are a limited number of reserved club seats available for $15.
Children ages 6 and under are free in the general admission sections only (everyone in club seating areas will be required to have a ticket). Current OSU students get in free with a valid OSU ID, and should enter the stadium through Gate 26.
Up first: Ohio State vs. Michigan in lacrosse
A ticket to the spring game will also admit fans into the “Showdown in the Shoe,” the Ohio State men’s lacrosse match against the University of Michigan that will precede the spring game and start at 11 a.m.
So far: the forecast looks great
The forecast for Saturday is for mostly sunny skies and a high of 70 degrees with no chance of participation and light winds out of the east.