Big crowd at Ohio State spring game

COLUMBUS - Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball ran for touchdowns to lead the Gray past the Scarlet 17-7 Saturday in Ohio State's annual spring game before a crowd of 61,058 at sunny Ohio Stadium.

Many of the Buckeyes' big names didn't play. Quarterback Braxton Miller, Ohio State's All-Big Ten quarterback, sat out spring workouts after surgery on his (right) throwing shoulder. Wide receiver Evan Spencer (ankle) and safety Vonn Bell (knee) also missed the game.

The Buckeyes lose four starters on defense and six on offense from a 12-2 team that won a school-record 24 games in a row before losing the Big Ten championship game to Michigan State 34-24 and the Orange Bowl to Clemson 40-35.

The crowd dwindled after halftime on a day with temperatures in the mid-70s.

Miller stood on the field behind the offenses watching the play close up, a mobile camera on his hat.

Down by three points, Scarlet had a prime chance to take the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter but wide receiver Corey Smith, on an end around, fumbled through the end zone for a touchback.

Ball then scored on a 4-yard run with 4:30 left to close the scoring.

He led all rushers with 55 yards on eight carries, Dunn had 35 on six and Ezekiel Elliott, expected to have the inside track at the tailback position when camp resumes in August, had 16 yards on only three attempts.

Gray quarterback J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman, completed 17 of 33 passes for 155 yards without a touchdown. Scarlet quarterback Cardale Jones was 14 of 31 for 126 yards.

Gray led 10-7 at the half, with Barrett -- who got off to a rocky start -- leading the charge to all 10 points.

On the Gray's first snap, Barrett was hit by lineman Rashad Frazier, knocking the ball loose in the end zone. Frazier then tracked the ball down and fell on it for a quick 7-0 Scarlet lead.

While Scarlet's offense faltered -- it was forced to punt on its first three possessions of the half and ran out of down on the fourth -- the Gray squad drove from its own 48 to a 36-yard field goal by freshman Sean Nuernberger. It was difficult to keep track of some of the plays, as Nuernberger and Kyle Clinton kept attempting field goals as they moved further and further from the goal post.

Barrett led the Gray on an 80-yard drive early in the second quarter, capped by Dunn's 2-yard run.

The Gray drove to the 4 on its next possession but Barrett threw two incompletions in the end zone.

Ohio State's fastest student was determined at halftime. Malcolm Branson, a senior from Massillon, Ohio, won the student race. He was beaten by cornerback Doran Grant in the final. Grant celebrated by doing a back flip.

Ticket prices for the game were initially $12 but were reduced to $5 late in the last week.


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