Ohio State football: Live updates from Buckeyes spring game

Ohio State is wrapping up four weeks of spring football practice on Saturday afternoon with a spring game.

Scheduled for noon and televised on the Big Ten Network, it provides fans with the first extended look at the Buckeyes’ development this offseason.

Ohio State Buckeyes:'We're putting the band back together': Ohio State's Athletic Band to perform at spring game

Ohio State players step onto the field for warmups ahead of 2021 spring football game.

In the first half of the game, players are split up into Team Brutus and Team Buckeye over two 10-minute quarters, while the second half features a controlled scrimmage between the offense and defense. There is no game clock running during the second half.

The other significant part of the game’s format? Contact is scaled back. Defenders are to “thud” instead of wrapping up and tackling offensive players to the ground. Quarterbacks are wearing black jerseys to signal no contact.

Throughout the afternoon, beat reporters Joey Kaufman and Bill Rabinowitz, along with columnist Rob Oller, are providing thoughts and observations on the action from the press box at Ohio Stadium. Follow along below.

Second half

1:29 p.m.: The first rushing touchdown came on the first series of the second-half scrimmage when Steele Chambers ran in for a 2-yard score. It wasn't immediately clear how the Buckeyes were keeping score for the remainder of the game. The stadium scoreboard counted the touchdown for Team Buckeye, showing a tied score at 14, but the school's official stat tracker added points for Team Brutus, which then had a 21-7 lead. As mentioned earlier, Ohio State had planned for more of a controlled scrimmage after the first half. -- Joey Kaufman

Second quarter

1:15 p.m. Quarterback quandary? Maybe not. C.J. Stroud won the first half competition, with help from some NFL-type catches by Chris Olave, and looks the clear leader in the clubhouse. Stroud completed 11 of 15 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Give the No. 2 spot to Jack Miler, who was 12 of 23 for 100 yards and one interception, with true freshman Kyle McCord (9 of 13 for 130 yards and a touchdown) close on his heels. -- Rob Oller

1:03 p.m.: Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught a 15-yard pass in the end zone from Kyle McCord for Team Buckeye's first touchdown. The quarterbacks have rotated series, requiring them to switch teams during the game, which is how McCord ended up on Team Buckeye rather than Team Brutus for the drive. -- Joey Kaufman

12:51 p.m.: Before the second quarter got underway, several former Buckeyes, including Justin Fields, received their Big Ten championship rings from last season, as shown during the BTN broadcast. -- JK

12:47 p.m.: While Marvin Harrison Jr. made a fast impression in catching a 5-yard touchdown pass on Team Brutus' opening drive, fellow freshman Emeka Egbuka has also had some big hauls, catching a pair of passes on a drive in the second quarter that led to another touchdown to put it ahead 14-0. -- JK

First quarter

12:34 p.m.: A team trainer took a look at wide receiver Garrett Wilson after he was shaken up after hauling in a 55-yard pass from Kyle McCord, but he later returned to the game on a series later in the first quarter. -- Joey Kaufman

12:20 p.m.: On the opening series for Team Brutus, quarterback C.J. Stroud led a 75-yard touchdown drive, completing all four of his passes, including a 40-yard strike to Chris Olave and a 5-yard toss to freshman Marvin Harrison Jr. in the end zone. Team Brutus went up, 7-0. -- JK

12:14 p.m.: Quarterback Jack Miller completed six of nine passes while leading Team Buckeye on its opening drive, but was picked off near the end zone by cornerback Ryan Watts while attempting to find Garrett Wilson on a fade route. -- JK

Pregame thoughts

12:05 p.m.: Tight end Jeremy Ruckert is the captain for Team Buckeye. Left tackle Thayer Munford is the captain for Team Brutus.

11:53 a.m.: Among the players not participating today are left tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, defensive tackle Tyleik Williams, linebacker Dallas Gant (left foot in walking boot), linebacker Mitchell Melton, wide receiver Elijah Gardiner and wide receiver Jaylen Harris. None are a surprise. Day said on Monday that Petit-Frere's issue was a short-term one. Because the Buckeyes are thin at linebacker because of injuries, long-snapper Roen McCullough will see time there today. His number has been changed from 94 to 49 for the day. -- Bill Rabinowitz

11:51 a.m.: Demario McCall, among the handful of seniors to use the additional eligibility given out by the NCAA as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, went through warmups with the other defensive backs and is in line to play defense during the spring game. Previously a running back and wide receiver, McCall has also been at cornerback. -- Joey Kaufman

11:47 a.m.: Ryan Day keeps climbing the ladder of success, whether coaching the Buckeyes to a 23-2 record or conducting the Ohio State marching band. Day climbed five steps up the director's ladder before the spring game and, baton in hand and warms waving, led TBDBITL in a tune that helped usher in the band's first live performance in the Horseshoe since the Penn State game on Nov. 23 of 2019. -- Rob Oller

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman