Ohio State’s starting quarterback won’t be determined by performances in the spring game on Saturday, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day told reporters in the last media availability before that scrimmage.

While Justin Fields is considered the front-runner and Day said that quarterback runs — one of Fields’ strengths — will be a bigger part of the offense this season, he also heaped praise on Matthew Baldwin. He said Baldwin’s last handful of practices have been his best of the spring.

Day said he will be judging quarterbacks by how they manage the game, how they understand down and distance as well as their leadership, body language and demeanor.

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The spring game will be in 10-minute quarters, with starters playing against starters and backups against backups. He said that established veterans, such as defensive end Chase Young, will play only briefly. Several other players, including Tuf Borland, Thayer Munford, Jordan Fuller, Demario McCall and Marcus Williamson, won’t play because of injury.

To minimize the risk of injury, Day said, the scrimmage will consist of “thud” hits instead of full tackling.

More than 63,000 tickets had been sold for the spring game as of Wednesday morning, OSU football spokesman Jerry Emig said. Capacity will be limited to 76,000 because of Ohio Stadium renovations.

brabinowitz@dispatch.com

@brdispatch