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OSU Spring Game Recap

In the Cowboys' spring game, the black team defeated the orange team 23-7. The game didn't answer all of our questions, but it did provide some clarity to what we should expect from the team this season. Here's our recap and analysis:

Photo Courtesy of OSU Athletics
Photo Courtesy of OSU Athletics
OSU Athletics

Offense

The offensive line's run blocking looks like it has improved since last season. The change isn't anything drastic, but they were able to get a good push on a number of run plays. If the Cowboys are going to have an improved run game in 2016, it will come from improved talent and not from a change in scheme or philosophy.

Rennie Childs was the Cowboys' leading rusher with 38 yards. Childs showed off his unique mixture of power and finesse on a handful of carries. Although Barry J. Sanders is yet to arrive on campus, Childs should be the favorite to start. This is not to say that Chris Carson hasn't improved. Carson also showed that he has become more of a downhill runner. His agility seemed improved and he was able to truck a couple of tacklers up the middle. Jeff Carr and Jakeem Johnson showed off their speed today. Both backs fit the smaller, more agile prototype. Carr's role should be increased on the offense while Johnson might find production through returning punts on special teams.

The spot for backup quarterback was wide open coming into spring ball but it seems that redshirt sophomore Taylor Cornelius has gained the edge over sophomore John Kolar. Cornelius had an impressive game for the black team. He finished with 192 yards and two passing touchdowns. Kolar played fairly well, although he had an interception early in the game.

His first touchdown came on the first play of the game to Jhajuan Seales on a tagged post route:

The second came later on in the third quarter on a deep post to Chris Lacy:

Cornelius had OSU's only passing touchdowns. The only other touchdown came from orange team starting quarterback Mason Rudolph on a quarterback draw:

Defense

Both of the team's defenses played exceptionally well today. Both linebacker Sean Phillips and freshman cornerback Madre Harper earned an interception.

Here's Harper's:

And here's Phillips':

The front seven looked stout and the defensive line got to the quarterback a number of times. Although the Cowboys lost star playmakers Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean, don't be surprised if the defensive line is the Cowboys' deepest unit. Eric Davis and Vincent Taylor look to keep the middle clogged and both Darrion Daniels and redshirt freshman Taaj Baktari made some plays in the spring game. At the defensive end position, Trey Carter shined and played both on the inside and the outside. Redshirt sophomores Jordan Brailford and Jarrell Owens are also on the rise as solid contributors for 2016.

Special Teams

First what we did know  Zach Sinor can still pin teams inside the ten yard line with ease:

With kicker Ben Grogan out, that was the only other thing that we expected. What we did not expect, however, is for the backup kicker to perform so well. Matthew Amendola had an impressive outing, going a perfect 3/3 on the day.

He first had a 51-yard field goal:

Followed by a 40-yarder:

And he finally capped off the game with a 39-yard chip-in:

Don't expect Amendola to steal Grogan's starting spot, but Cowboy fans should rest at ease knowing that they have their kicker for the future.

Did you see anything noteworthy in the Cowboys' spring game? Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments below!