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Aug. 19, 2000

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COLUMBUS, Ohio- Ohio State head coach John Cooper directed the first%^$full-contact scrimmage of the 2000 OSU football season Friday afternoon at%^$Ohio Stadium.%^$

Cooper said the opportunity to see his squad in game situations was%^$overshadowed by the feeling of entering the renovated stadium.%^$

“The best thing about today was the feeling of coming down the%^$tunnel and seeing the stadium,” Cooper said. “I got goose bumps.”%^$

There was concern about working out on the new playing surface after%^$heavy rains soaked the field in the early morning hours Friday.%^$

“The field held up great,” Cooper said. “We ran about 80 or 90 plays%^$all over the field and I did not see and significant divots.”%^$

Once the coaches and players overcame the feeling of being in the%^$Horseshoe for the first time in a competitive mode, several players stood%^$out once the offensive and defensive squads got down to business.%^$

Three quarterbacks shared time and all made big plays.%^$

Junior Steve Bellisari (Boca Raton, Fla./Boca Raton) connected on%^$several occasions with seniors Ken-Yon Rambo (Cerritos, Calif./Long Beach%^$Poly) and Reggie Germany (Hazelwood, Mo./East).%^$

Redshirt freshman signal caller Scott McMullen (Granville,%^$Ohio/Granville) worked well with tight ends Ben Hartstock (Fr., Chillicothe,%^$Ohio/Unioto) and Tim Cheatwood (Jr., Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine). McMullen%^$also connected with senior flanker Tony Locke (Urbana, Ohio/Urbana) for a%^$60-yard pass play.%^$

True freshman Rick McFadden (Struthers, Ohio/Struthers) used his%^$6-foot, 7-inch frame to see over the defense to connect on several long pass%^$plays, including a huge gainer with redshirt freshman Drew Carter (Solon,%^$Ohio/Solon).%^$

Cooper liked what he saw from senior tailbacks Derek Combs%^$(Urbancrest, Ohio/Grove City), Jonathan Wells (River Ridge, La./John Curtis%^$Christian) and Jerry Westbrooks (Boca Raton, Fla./Pope John Paul II).%^$

“Derek, Jonathan and Jerry have all had great camps,” Cooper said.%^$”Derek looked pretty good today.”%^$

In addition to working on the offense and defense, the Buckeyes%^$spent a significant portion of the scrimmage working on the kicking game and%^$a variety of situations, including goal line offense and defense.%^$

Cooper said his staff wouldn’t know for sure the benefit of the%^$scrimmage until Saturday.%^$

“We won’t be able to evaluate the what we did today until we have a%^$chance to break down the film and go over what we did well and the mistakes%^$that were made.”%^$