Coach: Jim Tressel
7-5-0, 1 year
2001 Record: 7-5
at UCLA LOST 6-13
at Indiana WON 27-14
at Penn State LOST 27-29
at Minnesota WON 31-28
at Michigan WON 26-20
South Carolina LOST 28-31

2001 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

Two-time All America safety Michael Doss will man the deep coverage. (CI Photo)
2002 Outlook

While there is background noise about who will start at quarterback, Krenzel can point out something that few OSU quarterbacks can claim in the last decade, a win over Michigan. That, in and of itself, gives the coaching staff the confidence that Craig has the ability to play with in the confines of what the offense is asking him to do. The talent at tailback in the heart of Columbus right now is almost an embarrassment of riches. For all of the talk about Ross and Clarrett, its Maurice Hall who is spinning heads in the spring. Hall has added some weight and has blistering speed and is a shifty scat type back who will see the field and may ultimately unseat Ross as the starter. The offense if it avoids the injury bug could be exceptional. Of the five losses that occurred last season only one game was by a margin of more than 7 points. Three of those losses were by a field goal or less. This year's offense looks like it will be much better simply from a pure talent and experience perspective. If the offense does come through this team could be special. The defense will be sensational and with an offense capable of scoring 30 points or more that puts tremendous pressure on the opposition. The future looks extremely bright for this new, young coaching staff, which couldn't make the Buckeye faithful any happier. OSU will return to battle for the Big Ten title once again.

Projected 2002 record: 10-4

QB - 3 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 5 DB - 3.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Craig Krenzel, 22-41-3, 282 Yards, 1 TD

Rushing: Lydell Ross, 119 att., 406 yds., 6 TD's

Receiving: Michael Jenkins, 41 rec., 836 yds., 3 TD's

Scoring: Mike Nugent, 7 FG, 23 PAT, 44 pts.

Punting: Andy Groom, 44 punts, 45.0 avg.

Kicking: Mike Nugent, 7-14 FG, 23-25 PAT, 44 pts.

Tackles: Mike Doss, 79 tot., 53 solo

Sacks: Will Smith, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Mike Doss, 3 for 71 yards

Kickoff returns: Maurice Hall, 22 ret., 21.5 avg.

Punt returns: Chris Vance, 19 ret., 7.3 avg.


OFFENSE: Steve Bellisari-QB, Jamar Martin-FB, Jonathan Wells-TB, Tyson Walter-OT, LeCharles Bentley-C, Darnell Sanders-TE (NFL)
DEFENSE: Mike Collins-DT, Joe Cooper-WLB, Courtland Bullard-BLB, Derek Ross-CB (NFL)

Written by Rob Schaller

STRENGTHS: Year two of the Jim Tressel era begins with even more optimism than last season. There are plenty of things for buckeye fans to be optimistic about as well. First, the offensive line could be quite good if they stay healthy. Four of the projected starting five were either starters or played significantly last season. Alex Stepanovich has nailed down the center spot and reports are that the staff is thrilled with his command of the position. Clarke and Olivea are recovering from off season surgery but should be full go for the fall camp. The receiving corps returns all of its group lead by Chris Vance. The biggest surprise this spring has been the heated battle at tailback. Lydell Ross is having his hands full with Maurice Hall and Maurice Clarrett working into the picture. At this juncture Craig Krenzel seems to be the leader and has pretty much nailed down the starting spot. It's not all bad when your new starter can list a win over Michigan in Ann Arbor, a feat not accomplished since 1987.


CONCERNS: There are a few. Depth at offensive line is a big concern. While the starting five will be very good, if someone goes down there is a significant drop off in talent. While Krenzel has nailed down the starters role, Tressel was recently heard to say that the Buckeyes were "striving for mediocrity at that position" which may have been nothing more than a call to work harder or it may signal that Justin Zwick really is a viable option as the starter. Regardless of how much potential or how talented, a true freshman at quarterback is never a good thing.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Craig Krenzel-Jr Scott McMullen-Jr
FB Branden Joe-So Brandon Schnittker-Fr
TB Lydell Ross-So Maurice Hall-So
WR Chris Vance-Sr Bam Childress-So
WR Michael Jenkins-Jr Chris Gamble-So
TE Ben Hartsock-Jr Ryan Hamby-Fr
OT Shane Olivea-Jr Ryan Cook-Fr
OG Adrien Clarke-Jr Scott Kuhnhein-Sr
C Alex Stepanovich-Jr Adam Olds-Fr
OG Bryce Bishop-Jr Michael Stafford-Sr
OT Ivan Douglas-Jr John McLaughlin-So
K Mike Nugent-So Josh Huston-So



Written by Rob Schaller

STRENGTHS: The real reason for all of the optimism in Columbus is the defense. The comparisons to the Katzemoyer era defense are many. The starting defensive line may be the best Ohio State has had in 30 years. Will Smith, Darrion Scott, Tim Anderson and Kenny Peterson all had exceptional seasons last year. All this group did was accumulate over 165 tackles, Scott and Peterson accounted for nearly 70 in relief of last years starters. Matt Wilhelm returns in the middle and is finally healthy. Despite playing with a serious high ankle sprain most of the season last year; he still managed to be named All Big Ten honorable mention. Cie Grant has been moved back to outside linebacker after starting last season at corner. You have to love a guy with the speed to play corner who is really a linebacker. This will give the coaches the flexibility that many other universities simply do not possess. Dustin Fox started the Outback Bowl as a corner and played reasonably well and has locked up one of the spots. It looks like either Will Allen or Richard McNutt (both were injured most of last season and never got into the picture) will play the on the other side. Two-time All America safety Michael Doss and honorable mention All-Conference safety Donnie Nickey will man the deep coverage.


CONCERNS: Corners. That's the first thing that jumps out at you when you look at the buckeye defense. It appears that the cornerback spot will be much improved but until you see how they react in a game situation it's clearly a concern. Depth in the secondary is an issue as well. If someone were to go down to injury, there really isn't much room left for breaking change.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Kenny Peterson-Sr Simon Fraser-So
DT Darrion Scott-Jr David Thompson-Sr
DT Tim Anderson-Jr Kenny Peterson-Sr
DE Will Smith-Jr Steve Graef-So
WLB Cie Grant-Sr ..
MLB Matt Wilhelm-Sr Fred Pagac Jr. - Jr
SLB Robert Reynolds-Jr Pat O'Neill-Jr
CB Richard McNutt-Jr Bobby Britton-Jr
CB Dustin Fox-So Harlen Jacobs-So
SS Mike Doss-Sr Thomas Matthews-So
FS Donnie Nickey-Sr Will Allen-Jr
P Andy Groom-Sr ..
You have to love a guy with the speed to play corner who is really a linebacker as demonstrated by Cie Grant. (AP Photo)