Oct. 15, 2002
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Football Luncheon Quotes
Top 25 Polls
Buckeyes Put Unbeaten Streak On Line At Wisconsin
Unbeaten Ohio State jumps back into the Big Ten scramble this weekend by traveling to Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are 7-0 for all games and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is 5-2 on the year and 0-2 in conference action.
Saturday’s game will be televised by ABC-TV and will kickoff at 2:37 p.m. CDT in sold-out Camp Randall Stadium (cap. 76,634).
WBNS Radio, the flagship station for the 79-station Ohio State radio network, begins its network programming an hour before kickoff.
The Buckeyes, who are coming off a non-conference win over San Jose State, now must gear up to play six-consecutive Big Ten opponents down the stretch.
OSU Travel Plans
The team and traveling party will leave Columbus via private charter at noon Friday. Upon arriving in Madison, the team will check in at the Radisson Hotel and then go to Camp Randall Stadium for a brief walk-through, which will be closed. The Buckeyes will return home immediately following the game.
Records and Results
The Buckeyes defeated San Jose State 50-7 last week in Columbus to run their record to 7-0 for all games and extend their string of consecutive regular-season wins to eight. The Big Ten’s only unbeaten team, the victory over the Spartans also qualified Ohio State as officially “bowl eligible.”
At 2-0, the Buckeyes currently hold down second place in the Big Ten (tied with Michigan) behind 3-0 Iowa.
After jumping out to a 5-0 record in non-conference play, the Badgers have dropped their first two Big Ten games by a combined total of six points, falling to visiting Penn State 34-31 two weeks ago and dropping a 32-29 decision at Indiana this past Saturday. The Badgers are 4-1 at home this year.
This Week’s Story Line
The Buckeyes have not played as well as they would have liked on the road this year, escaping with a 23-19 win at Cincinnati and holding off Northwestern 27-16.
Wisconsin, always tough in Camp Randall, hopes to parlay the home-field advantage into its first Big Ten victory.
A Quick Look At The Coaches
Jim Tressel is in his second year at Ohio State, where his record of 14-5 for all games includes a 7-3 mark in Big Ten play. Tressel, now in his 17th season as a head coach, has a career record of 149-62-2. Prior to Ohio State, Tressel spent 15 highly successful years as head coach at Youngstown State, where he was a four-time pick as the Division 1-AA National Coach of the Year.
Barry Alvarez is in his 12th season at Wisconsin and is the dean of Big Ten coaches. Since taking over the Wisconsin helm at the start of the 1990 season, the former Notre Dame assistant has guided the Badgers to an overall record of 89-57-4, including a 48-47-3 mark in Big Ten action.
Buckeyes Now Fourth In Both Polls
Ohio State checks in at the No. 4 spots in both national polls this week, up one rung on the ratings ladder from a week ago. That represents the highest placement for the Buckeyes since the 1998 season, when OSU finished at No. 3. The Buckeyes began this season ranked 12th by ESPN/USA Today and 13th by the Associated Press.
Buckeyes Down San Jose State
Riding the hot hand of junior quarterback Craig Krenzel and buoyed by four defensive takeaways, Ohio State ran its record to 7-0 with a 50-7 win over visiting San Jose State this past Saturday.
Krenzel turned in the best performance of his still young career, hitting 11 of 14 passes (two drops and a throw away accounted for the three misses) for a career-high 241 yards and three touchdowns (also a career best) before exiting midway through the third quarter.
Split end Michael Jenkins was on the receiving end of seven of those passes, including a 40-yard touchdown strike at the 8:36 mark of the third period. Krenzel also connected with flanker Chris Vance from 37 yards out and had a 7-yard scoring toss to tailback Maurice Clarett.
Clarett, who also rushed for two touchdowns, had 132 yards on 18 carries to pace the OSU ground game.
On the day, the Buckeyes rolled up a season high 567 yards and averaged 7.9 yards per play. OSU was 7-for-8 in the red zone. Already ahead 24-7 at intermission, the Buckeyes scored on their first three possessions of the second half to put the game on ice.
The Ohio State defense showed its muscle by forcing four fumbles and holding the Spartans to zero rushing yards. SJSU finished with 265 yards passing, but 257 of those yards came in the first half. OSU allowed the Spartans 15 total yards in the second half – 8 passing and 7 rushing.
Dustin Fox had nine tackles for the Buckeyes, along with a fumble recovery and two passes broken up. Matt Wilhelm added six tackles and a forced fumble and Cie Grant two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble.
Kicker Mike Nugent nailed three field goals to extend his streak of consecutive makes to 15, tying the Ohio State record.
A Look At Ohio State
The Buckeyes are coming off their best performance of the year in terms of yardage gained, picking up 567 in total offense against San Jose State – 355 passing and 212 rushing. Coach Jim Tressel’s squad ran 72 plays against SJSU and averaged 7.9 yards per carry.
On the season, the Buckeyes are averaging 38 points and 432 yards per game. Ohio State is averaging 236.7 yards per game rushing and 195.7 through the air.
The Buckeyes have made the most of their scoring opportunities, converting 31 of 33 chances inside the red zone.
OSU has scored 131 points in the first half and 135 in the second half. The Buckeyes have run for 21 touchdowns and passed for nine.
Defensively, the Buckeyes are giving up just 14.9 points a game and rank ninth nationally in the category. OSU has allowed 104 total points through seven games, including just two rushing touchdowns. The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents 135 to 38 in the second half. OSU is third nationally against the rush, allowing 68.4 yards per game. In the past four games, that figure stands at 79-21. Ohio State leads the league in red zone defense (11 of 22).
Coach Jim Tressel On The Buckeyes
“We now start a very demanding stretch of conference games. We know we have a difficult road in front of us, but I think all of us are anxious to see how we fit in the whole picture. I do feel like we are getting better, but we will find out a lot more about ourselves this week at Wisconsin.”
Nugent Ties Consecutive Field Goal Record
Sophomore kicker Mike Nugent booted three more field goalsSaturday, giving him 15 in a row without a misfire dating back tolast year’s Michigan game. Nugent, who hit from 36, 29 and 28 yardsagainst San Jose State, has made all 14 attempts this year. Hisstreak of 15 ties the mark set by Vlade Janakieviski(ANNA-key-evski) in 1979 and ’80. Additionally, Nugent is 11-of-11at home this year, breaking Janakievski’s mark of 10 straight inOhio Stadium.
Earlier this year, Nugent set a school record for most 40-yard kicks in a season. That number currently stands at 8, including a career-long 51-yard kick against Indiana.
Clarett Sets Frosh Scoring Record
Tailback Maurice Clarett broke two freshman records and tied another in Saturday’s win over San Jose State. The 6-0, 230-pound Clarett scored three touchdowns against the Spartans, giving him 15 six-pointers on the year. That breaks the OSU frosh record of 13 that had been shared by Joel Payton (1977) and Art Schlichter (1978). Clarett now has 90 points on the year. Payton had held the freshman record with 80.
Clarett also rushed for 132 yards against the Spartans, his fifth 100-yard game of the year. He is now tied with Robert Smith for most 100-yard games by a freshman. Smith set that mark in 1990 on his way to rushing for 1,126 yards in 12 games.
Clarett, who has played in six of the Buckeyes’ first seven games (he did not play at Cincinnati following knee surgery the week before), currently has 847 yards, meaning he needs 280 yards in the Buckeyes’ remaining six (and possibly seven) games to surpass Smith’s freshman record.
Clarett needs 153 yards to reach the coveted 1,000 mark. If he should do so this week at Wisconsin, he would join Archie Griffin as the only Ohio State backs to accomplish that feat in seven games. Griffin did so in 1974, finishing his junior year with a then-school record 1,695 yards. He reached 1,000 yards that year in game seven against Northwestern, running for 173 yards that day. It took Griffin 142 carries to reach 1,000. Clarett currently has 131 carries.
Doss Hopes to Join Elite Circle
Senior safety Michael Doss is already a two-time All-American. Should he garner All-America honors again this year, he would become just the seventh three-time All-American in Ohio State history, joining Chic Harley (1916, ’17, ’19), Wes Fesler (1928-30), Lou Hinchman (1930-32), Merle Wendt (1934-36), Archie Griffin (1973-75) and Tom Skladany (1974-76) in a very select group of athletes.
Head Coach Jim Tressel
Ohio State is under the second-year direction of 49-year-old Jim Tressel. Now in his 17th year as a head coach, Tressel’s impressive resume includes an all-time record of 149-62-2, including a 14-5 mark with the Buckeyes. Prior to coming to Ohio State, Tressel spent 15 years at Youngstown State, where he guided the Penguins to four Division I-AA national championships (1991, ’93, ’94 and ’97) and 10 appearances in the playoffs. He was a four-time pick as the national coach of the year, winning that honor in each of his championship seasons. Prior to taking over at YSU in 1986, Tressel spent three years as an assistant to Earle Bruce at Ohio State. In that role, he coached the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs and went to three bowl games, including the Rose Bowl. His list of star pupils during that time includes Mike Tomczak, Cris Carter and Keith Byars. Prior to Ohio State, Tressel also served apprenticeships at Akron, Miami (Ohio) and Syracuse. Tressel, the 22nd head coach in Ohio State annals, was named to his present position Jan. 18, 2001. Jim’s father, the late Lee Tressel, enjoyed a very successful coaching career at Baldwin Wallace College, where he won the 1978 Division III National Championship. His brother, Dick Tressel, is a former head football coach at Hamline University in Minnesota and currently serves as assistant director of football operations at Ohio State. As a family, the Tressels have won 428 games.
Wilhelm, Doss Pace OSU Defense
Senior linebacker Matt Wilhelm leads the OSU defense with 56 total tackles, including a team-best 11 tackles-for-loss. Wilhelm, in the midst of his best year, appears well on his way to bettering his personal high of 66 tackles in 2000. He finished the 2001 campaign with 63. Strong safety Mike Doss is second with 48 tackles and has a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown to his credit. Ends Will Smith and Darrion Scott have combined for 13 tackles-for-loss (8 by Smith) and seven sacks (4 by Scott).
This Gamble Paying Off
Chris Gamble is Ohio State’s starting flanker and second leading receiver. The 6-0, 180-pound sophomore also returns punts and kickoffs for the Buckeyes. And, just for good measure, he also plays cornerback. Gamble got his first taste of defensive action at Cincinnati and responded with an interception on his first play. Later, on the Bearcats’ final drive in a four-point Ohio State win, he broke up a pass in the corner of the end zone.
Gamble, who has 17 receptions on the year, also played defense against Northwestern and San Jose State.
“We don’t want to do anything that takes away from his offensive effectiveness,” said OSU defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio. “But if the timing is right and the situation warrants it, we want to use him. He is still learning, but he has shown us in practice against some pretty good receivers that he can cover one-on-one.”
Gamble expects to see more action now that starting cornerback Richard McNutt has been sidelined indefinitely with a chronic ankle condition. McNutt started the Buckeyes first six games and had 16 tackles.
Jenkins Leads Receiving Corps
Junior split end Michael Jenkins has at least one pass reception in 19-consecutive games dating back to the 2001 season opener against Akron. Jenkins recorded his best day of the year against San Jose State, hauling in seven receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown. He leads the team in receptions (32), receiving yardage (536), touchdown catches (3) and yards per catch (16.8). The 6-5 Jenkins had 49 receptions for 988 yards and three touchdowns in 2001.
Strong safety Michael Doss and free safety Donnie Nickey, both seniors, have been selected by their teammates as captains for the 2002 campaign. Doss, a two-time All-American, is in his third year as a starter, while Nickey is in his fourth. Offensive captains are chosen on a game-by-game basis. Junior offensive tackle Shane Olivea will serve in that capacity against Wisconsin. Offensive captains to date have been: Craig Krenzel (Texas Tech), Mike Stafford (Kent State), Ben Hartsock (Washington State), Ivan Douglas (Cincinnati), Chris Vance (Indiana), Alex Stepanovich (Northwestern) and Michael Jenkins (San Jose State).
OSU’s Clarett Big Ten Rushing Leader
Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett has taken over the Big Tenrushing lead with an average of 141.2 yards per game. Iowa’s FredRussell is second at 132. 8. The 6-0, 230-pound Clarett also leadsthe league in yards per carry (6.5) and scoring (90 totalpoints/15.0 points per game). He is third in all-purpose yardage at152.8.
Groom, Nugent Pace Big Ten
Punter Andy Groom also leads the Big Ten with an average of 43.8 on 21 kicks. Additionally, place-kicker Mike Nugent is tied for the league lead in field goals made (14) and field goal percentage (14-14, 1.00). Nugent is second in kick scoring and fourth in overall scoring with 10.3 points a game.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel is a solid second in passing efficiency with a rating of 153.8, while junior split end Michael Jenkins ranks among the leaders in receptions per game (4.57) and receiving yardage per game (76.6).
On the defensive side of the ball, Matt Wilhelm is tied for the Big Ten lead in tackles-for-loss, while Darrion Scott is tied for third in sacks. Cornerback Dustin Fox is third in passes defended with eight.
As a team, the Buckeyes lead the league in scoring defense (14.9 ppg.) as well as red-zone offense (31-33) and red-zone defense (11-22). Ohio State is second in scoring offense (38.0), rushing offense (236.7), rushing defense (68.4) and scoring defense (16.2). The Buckeyes are fourth in both total offense (432.4 ypg.) and total defense (364.4 ypg.).
Buckeye Signal Callers on Target
Starting quarterback Craig Krenzel is completing 62 percent of his passes for the Buckeyes and currently ranks second in the Big Ten in passing efficiency with a rating of 153.84. Not to be overlooked, backup Scott McMullen has completed an impressive 80 percent of his passes. As a starter, Krenzel has hit on 74 of 119 aerials for 1,071 yards and seven touchdowns. He has been intercepted twice. McMullen is 24-of-30 for 299 yards and a pair of TDs coming off the bench. Those figures include a 7-for-7 showing against Indiana and an 8-of-9 performance against San Jose State.
Krenzel Ties Ohio State’s Consecutive Completion Record
Junior quarterback Craig Krenzel carved a niche for himself in the Ohio State records book against Kent State by completing his first 11 pass attempts. That string, coupled with a successful toss on his last attempt at the end of the Texas Tech game, gave Krenzel 12 completions in a row, tying the school record set by Bill Mrukowski in 1962 and later equaled by Mike Tomczak (1983) and Jim Karsatos (1985).
Carter Enjoys Best Day
Drew Carter had his best day as a Buckeye Saturday, hauling in four passes for 76 yards. The junior split end, who missed all of last year with an assortment of injuries, has nine receptions on the year. His previous best game was two receptions for 27 yards in the 2000 Michigan game
A Special Season For This Buckeye
Senior Mike Stafford experienced the thrill of his Ohio State career against Texas Tech. Stafford, a fifth-year senior and former walk-on who was converted to scholarship at the beginning of the 2001 season, started at left guard against the Red Raiders. It was his first start since his senior year in high school.
Stafford served as the offensive captain against Kent State and was named OSU Offensive Lineman of the Week after that game.
Ohio State All-Time
With the win over San Jose State, Ohio State now has an all-time record of 739-292-53 in this, its 113th season of football. The Buckeyes’ first football team posted a 3-1 record in 1890. Ohio State also has an all-time Big Ten ledger of 402-155-24 since beginning league play in 1913. Since 1960, the Buckeyes have experienced just three losing seasons in Big Ten play (1966, 1988, 1999).
Freshman Class Has Early Impact
Ten members of Ohio State’s highly regarded freshman class have seen game action. Maurice Clarett, Tyler Everett, Mike D’Andrea, Nate Salley, Bobby Carpenter, A.J. Hawk, E.J. Underwood and Mike Kudla all played against Texas Tech in the season opener. Offensive linemen Robbie Sims and Nick Mangold debuted in the Kent State game. In the latter, Clarett scored a pair of touchdowns, one on a 2-yard run and the other on a 7-yard pass reception, while Hawk tallied his first collegiate six-pointer on a 34-yard interception return. Other notable showings include a special teams tackle by Bobby Carpenter on the opening kickoff against Texas Tech and a rally-killing interception by Everett against Washington State. In the win over Cincinnati, Underwood played most of the game at cornerback and was credited with five tackles and two passes broken up. Against Indiana, Rob Sims started at left tackle in place of injured Ivan Douglas. Mangold has seen extensive action in each of the Buckeyes’ last three games. Kudla had three tackles and a 17-yard fumble recovery and return in the win over San Jose State.
Clarett Eighth OSU Frosh To Top The Century Mark
Freshman Maurice Clarett, last year’s USA Today high school offensive player of the year, rushed for 230 yards in OSU’s win over Washington State. That is the sixth best single-game showing in Ohio State annals. Other notable rushing performances by freshman running backs at Ohio State include:
1943 Dean Sensenbaugher 33 att./170 yds. vs. Illinois 1972 Archie Griffin 27 att./239 yds. vs. UNC 1972 Archie Griffin 27 att./192 yds. vs. Illinois 1985 Vince Workman 15 att./100 yds. at Illinois 1986 Jaymes Bryant 19 att./145 yds. vs. Utah 1989 Dante Lee 24 att./157 yds. at Northwestern 1990 Robert Smith 23 att./171 yds. at Wisconsin 2001 Lydell Ross 25 att./124 yds. at Indiana
Charting OSU’s Assistant Coaches
Mark Dantonio (defensive coordinator), Mel Tucker (defensive secondary), Joe Daniels (quarterbacks and receivers) and Bill Conley (tight ends) are in the press box for the Buckeyes. Jim Bollman (offensive coordinator), Tim Spencer (running backs), Jim Heacock (defensive line), Mark Snyder (linebackers) and Luke Fickell (special teams) are on the sidelines.
Ohio State/Wisconsin Series Information
This will be the 70th meeting between the two schools in a series that began in 1913 (Ohio State’s first year in the Big Ten) in Madison. Ohio State has a commanding 49-15-5 lead in the rivalry, including a 22-9-2 edge in Madison. Ohio State dominated the series between 1952 and 1980, posting a 27-1-1 record in that span. Since 1980, however, the series stands at a much closer 11-8-1 in favor of the Buckeyes. Wisconsin won last year’s game, 20-17, in Columbus, the Badgers’ second-consecutive win in Ohio Stadium. Ohio State, on the other hand, has emerged victorious in its last two trips to Madison and has a 3-1-1 record there in the last five visits. The Badgers last defeated OSU in Madison in 1992, recording a 20-16 victory that season.
Top individual performances in the series include 265 yards passing (18-of-25) by Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson in 1996. Wisconsin QB Randy Wright threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns against the Buckeyes in 1983.
Ohio State wide receiver Dimitrious Stanley caught 10 passes for 199 yards in the ’96 game. Wisconsin tailback Marc Harrison, like Stanley a Columbus high school standout, rushed for 203 yards in 1984, helping the Badgers to a stunning 16-14 victory.
The Buckeyes rolled up 595 yards in total offense against the Badgers in a 62-7 thrashing in 1969. Wisconsin amassed 463 yards in a 42-17 win in Columbus in 1999.
Recapping Last Year’s Game
Ohio State scored on its first three possessions and led 17-0 in the early going. But the Badgers scored just before halftime to cut the deficit to 17-7. Wisconsin tied the game at 17 on a 25-yard field goal with 14:10 to play in the fourth quarter and won it 20-17 on a 33-yard FG with 2:10 to play. Anthony Davis had 103 yards for the Badgers, including a 23-yard TD run with 46 seconds to play in the first half.
Scouting the Badgers
Wisconsin is 5-2 on the year and 0-2 in the Big Ten after back-to-back losses to Penn State and Indiana. The Badgers opened the season with five straight victories against Fresno State, UNLV, West Virginia, Northern Illinois and Arizona. A year ago, Wisconsin finished 5-7 and 3-5 in the Big Ten and did not advance to a bowl for the first time in five seasons.
The Badgers are sporting an incredibly balanced offense in 2002. Of the 357.9 yards of total offense per game, the Badgers are throwing for an average of 193.1 and running for an average of 164.7. Quarterback Brooks Bollinger is averaging 171.3 yards passing and is hitting Jonathan Orr for an average of 69.9 yards receiving per game. On the ground, Anthony Davis is averaging 93.3 yards per game. Wisconsin is scoring 28.4 points per game.
Defensively, the Badgers are giving up 371.6 yards and 20.3 points per game. Opponents are throwing for 234.3 and running for 137.3 yards per game. Wisconsin has benefited from nine fumbles and has picked off opposing quarterbacks 10 times. Jeff Mack enters this week’s game with a team-high 56 tackles, including three for loss, and has forced one fumble. The Badger defense has recorded 14 sacks for a total of 88 yards.
On special teams, Mike Allen has made 8-of-12 field goals this season, with a long of 48 yards against Penn State. He has had one blocked. B.J. Moore is averaging 38.3 yards per punt. Jim Leonhard has handled a majority of the punt returns for Wisconsin and is averaging 12.2 yards per return. Brandon Williams has handled a majority of the kickoff returns getting 22.2 yards per return. As a team, the Badgers are getting 11.1 and 20.3 average yards per punt and kickoff returns, respectively.
Wisconsin’s Last Game
Wisconsin led 29-10 with 9:39 to play in the third quarter, but allowed Indiana to score 22 unanswered points in falling to the Hoosiers 32-29 last Saturday in Bloomington, Ind. IU quarterback Gibran Hamdan hit three different receivers for touchdowns to claim the victory. The Hoosiers outgained the Badgers 405-342 yards in total offense, as they passed for 310 yards. Wisconsin ran the ball 48 times for 221 yards, and got 108 yards from Anthony Davis on 18 carries. He added a touchdown, an 8-yard run to open the second half. Brooks Bollinger completed 11-of-23 passes for one TD and one interception. Mike Allen connected on three field goals, the longest from 44 yards.
Coach Barry Alvarez
Barry Alvarez, a 1969 graduate of Nebraska, is in his 13th-year at Wisconsin, his first collegiate head coaching position. The 13-year tenure ranks as the eighth longest among active head coaches. In his career, he owns a record of 89-57-4 and has guided the Badgers to three Rose Bowl appearances since 1990, the year he took over in Madison. The winningest coach in Wisconsin history has guided the Badgers to seven total bowl games, where his teams are 6-1. That winning percentage of .857 ties him for second on the all-time list given a minimum of seven games. Alvarez was hired from an assistant coaching position at Notre Dame (1987-89). He also was an assistant coach at Iowa (1979-86) after four stops as a high school coach.
Opening Day Streak Extended
The victory over Texas Tech extended Ohio State’s streak in home openers to 24-consecutive wins, dating back to a 19-0 loss in 1978 at the hands of then-independent Penn State. The Buckeyes have an all-time opening day record of 97-12-4.
Earle Bruce Honored
Former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Bruce, who coached the Buckeyes from 1979 to 1987 and posted a career record of 81-26-1, will be inducted in December in ceremonies in New York City. He will be recognized in an on-campus salute at the Michigan-Ohio State game Nov. 23.
Zwick Honored By NFFCHF
Ohio State freshman quarterback Justin Zwick has been selected as the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s Midwest Region High School Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2002. He is one of four regional representatives that will be recognized Dec. 10 at the NFFCHF’s annual banquet at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The award “seeks to honor the nation’s top high school scholar-athletes (from the previous year) who have demonstrated outstanding academic application and performance, superior football performance, and exemplary school leadership and citizenship.” Ohio State’s Maurice Hall was recognized with the same award a year ago.
Coach Jim Tressel’s weekly media lunches are held Tuesdays at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Caf©, located at 1421 Olentangy River Rd. Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. Coach Tressel will begin his portion of the interview session at 12:15 p.m. Selected Ohio State players will be available for interviews following Coach Tressel’s question-and-answer session.
Weekly Interview Schedule
Ohio State players will be available for interviews following the conclusion of practice and meetings on Tuesdays throughout the season. Tuesday practices are open to the media and photographers are permitted to shoot the first 20 minutes, or specific periods as designated by the coaching staff. Photographers covering an open practice should check with a member of the Athletics Communications staff to see which periods are open. Coach Tressel and two designated assistant coaches are available for interviews after Thursday practices.
Tressel Radio Show Every Thursday
The weekly Jim Tressel call-in show airs from noon-1 p.m. Thursdays on WBNS AM (1460) Radio. The show is replayed on Thursday nights around the state.
Penn State Up Next for Buckeyes
Following their trip to Wisconsin, the Buckeyes return home Oct. 26 to host Penn State. The game, which is sold out, will be televised by ABC-TV and will kickoff at 3:37 p.m., EST, in Ohio Stadium.
Game 1 Recap – Texas Tech (W 45-21)
Ohio State opened the 2002 campaign Aug. 24 with a convincing 45-21 victory over Texas Tech in the Pigskin Classic. It was the earliest season debut for the Buckeyes.
Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett started the game and rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Clarett, who scored on runs of 59, 45 and 1 yards, was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Clarett had plenty of help from sophomore sidekicks Maurice Hall and Lydell Ross. Hall finished with 74 yards on 13 carries and Ross had 40 yards and two touchdowns to show for his 16 carries.
As a team, the Buckeyes rolled up 317 yards on the ground and finished with 477 yards in total offense. OSU averaged 6.4 yards per carry, did not have a turnover and had just two offensive penalties.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel completed 11 of 14 passes for 118 yards before giving way to backup Scott McMullen, who scored OSU’s sixth rushing touchdown of the day.
The OSU defense, meanwhile, threw up a curtain around Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury finished with 341 yards and three touchdown passes, but much of the yardage and two of the scoring tosses came in the fourth quarter, long after the outcome had been decided.
Led by defensive end Will Smith, the Buckeyes recorded seven sacks and generally harassed Kingsbury all afternoon. Smith had four tackles-for-loss and two of the sacks.
Linebacker Cie Grant was credited with five tackles, including two sacks of his own, and was selected by the OSU coaching staff as the Buckeyes’ defensive player of the game.
The Buckeyes also fared well in the kicking department. Ray Guy Award candidate Andy Groom averaged 48 yards per punt on four kicks and place-kicker Mike Nugent converted all six PATs and hit a career-best 45-yard field goal.
Ohio State had just five penalties on the day, converted 10-of-15 third-down attempts and had the ball for 36 minutes. The Buckeyes were four-of-four in the red zone, while Texas Tech was 0-for-2.
Game 2 Recap – Kent State (W 51-17)
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and were ahead 38-0 with 7:31 to play in the first half on the way to a 51-17 thrashing of Kent State.
Two of OSU’s first four touchdowns came courtesy of the defense, strong safety Michael Doss and freshman linebacker A.J. Hawk each returning interceptions for scores. Doss made it 14-0 with his 45-yard return and Hawk upped the ante to 38-0 with his 34-yard scamper. Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett tallied the other two OSU scores, the first on a 2-yard run and the latter on a 7-yard pass from Craig Krenzel. It was OSU’s first TD pass of the year.
The Buckeyes rolled up 412 yards in total offense and averaged 8.8 yards per play on the way to topping the 50-point mark for the first time in 73 games. Krenzel completed 12 of 14 passes for 190 yards and backup Scott McMullen hit 7 of 11 for 78 yards and a TD. Sophomore flanker Chris Gamble was on the receiving end of six of those passes and finished with 87 yards receiving. Split end Michael Jenkins had four catches for 89 yards. Eight different receivers had receptions for the Buckeyes, thanks in large part to another stellar effort by the offensive line, which did not allow a sack.
Clarett led the Buckeye ground game with 66 yards on 11 carries. Maurice Hall added 36 yards on just three totes, the first of which was a 28-yard TD, and Lydell Ross had 28 yards on four tries as Ohio State’s posse of running backs again proved to be too much for the opposing defense.
Defensively, tackle Tim Anderson was credited with seven tackles, while ends Will Smith and Darrion Scott and linebacker Robert Reynolds each had five. Scott had two tackles-for-loss and a sack.
Kicker Mike Nugent was again perfect, hitting all three of his field goal attempts and all six of his PAT efforts.
Game 3 Recap – Washington State (W 25-7)
The Buckeyes trailed 7-6 at the half, but responded with19-unanswered points after intermission to down visiting WashingtonState, 25-7. The victory over the 10th-ranked Cougars was theBuckeyes first win over a Top-10 team since the 1999 Sugar Bowl
Freshman running back Maurice Clarett led the OSU offense by rushing for 230 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Clarett, who carried the ball 31 times, had 194 of his yards in the second half. It was the sixth best rushing effort in OSU history and came despite a first-quarter knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery three days later. The Buckeyes powered through the WSU defense for 292 yards on the ground and finished with 363 yards in total offense.
The OSU defense, meanwhile, pressured Jason Gesser, the Cougars’ talented senior quarterback, into two second-half interceptions and any number of hurried throws. Washington State, which had come into the game averaging more than 440 yards per game (and 40 points), settled for just 280 against Ohio State – 263 passing and 17 on the ground. The Cougars managed just 74 total yards after intermission.
Linebackers Cie Grant (8 tackles, 3 tackles-for-loss) and Matt Wilhelm (5 tackles and a momentum shifting interception) led the OSU defense.
Sophomore kicker Mike Nugent continued his brilliant play by drilling field goals of 43, 43 and 45 yards. Those three kicks of more than 40 yards gave Nugent six on the year, an Ohio State single-season record just three games into the season. Additionally, he is just the second Ohio State kicker to kick three field goals of 40 or more yards in a game. The only other was Tom Klaban in 1974 against Michigan.
Game 4 Recap – Cincinnati (W 23-19)
Ohio State ran its record to 4-0 with a 23-19 win over Cincinnati in a game that was even closer than the final score would indicate. Cincinnati led most of the day and was on top 19-17 late in the fourth quarter. The Buckeyes took the lead for good at 23-19 on a 6-yard scamper by quarterback Craig Krenzel at the 3:44 mark and then held off a final charge by the Bearcats that ended with Will Allen’s interception in the end zone with 26 seconds to play.
The Buckeyes played the game without starting tailback Maurice Clarett who had undergone knee surgery four days earlier. In OSU’s first three games, Clarett, a true freshman, had rushed for 471 yards and scored seven touchdowns.
With Clarett unavailable, sophomore Lydell Ross made his first collegiate start and responded with a career-high 130 yards on 23 carries.
Krenzel also threw for a pair of touchdowns, finding tight end Ben Hartsock from 20 yards out for the Buckeyes’ first score, and later flipping a 5-yard toss to flanker Chris Vance that gave OSU a short-lived 14-12 advantage.
With the Bearcats on top 19-14 – and driving – the game turned around when defensive end Darrion Scott’s jarring hit forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate David Thompson. Ten plays later, Krenzel scored on a roll out that was designed to go to split end Micheal Jenkins.
Senior linebacker Matt Wilhelm led the Buckeyes in tackles with nine, including four tackles-for-loss. The OSU defense stiffened in the late stages of the game, forcing three turnovers (two picks and a fumble recovery) on the Bearcats’ last three possessions. Wilhelm deflected the fourth-down pass that was then picked off by Allen. The Buckeyes had eight tackles-for-loss against the Bearcats.
The game marked the Buckeyes’ first road appearance against an Ohio team since 1934.
Game 5 Recap – Indiana (W 45-17)
The Buckeye opened their Big Ten season with a 45-17 win over visiting Indiana. Ohio State took control early, jumping out to a 21-10 lead at the half, and then put the game away by scoring 24-unanswered points after intermission on the way to a 45-10 advantage that was just too much for the Hoosiers to overcome.
OSU freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who sat out the previous week’s game at Cincinnati after undergoing knee surgery, was in top form against the Hoosiers, rushing for 104 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. All three of his TDs came in the first half.
The Buckeyes rushed for 244 yards and passed for 217 more. Quarterback Craig Krenzel completed 11 of his 16 passes, including his final six, for 152 yards and a touchdown, before exiting midway through the third period. Backup signal caller Scott McMullen followed Krenzel’s lead by completing all seven of his tosses for 65 yards and a TD.
Michael Jenkins led the receiving corps with seven receptions for 93 yards and both touchdown catches. The Buckeyes also scored on a beautifully executed 43-yard reverse by Chris Gamble and a career-long 51-yard field goal by Mike Nugent. It was Nugent’s 10th-consecutive make.
The OSU defense limited the Hoosiers to 56 yards rushing and 339 yards in total offense. End Darrion Scott paced the defense with three solos and six assists and had one of the Buckeyes’ three sacks. All-America safety Mike Doss had four solos and two assists and also was credited with a tackle-for-loss. Linebacker Matt Wilhelm continued his stellar play with two tackles-for-loss.
The Buckeyes played the game with a makeshift offensive line necessitated by the loss of injured starters Ivan Douglas and Michael Stafford. With those two sidelined, true freshman Rob Sims started at left tackle for Douglas, while Adrien Clarke took over for Stafford a left guard.
Defensive tackle Tim Anderson also missed the game due to injury.
Game 6 Recap – Northwestern (W 27-16)
Ohio State fell behind 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, but led14-9 at intermission. The Buckeyes then scored on their first twopossessions of the second half to take a 24-9 lead. But it wasn’tuntil OSU safety Donnie Nickey recovered a Northwestern fumble inthe final minute of play that the Buckeyes could celebrate a 27-16victory.
Ohio State finished the game with 455 yards in total offense, including 285 on the ground, but turned the ball over three times – all on fumbles. The OSU defense gave up 396 yards, including 283 through the air, but came up with a pair of crucial fourth-quarter takeaways.
Freshman tailback Maurice Clarett again paced the Ohio State ground attack, this time gaining 140 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 29 carries. Lydell Ross added 83 yards and scored the first OSU TD on a 3-yard run.
Quarterback Craig Krenzel threw for 170 yards and also rushed for a career-high 62. Krenzel hit 11 of his 22 passes, four of which were caught by split end Michael Jenkins.
Linebacker Matt Wilhelm recorded a season-high 15 tackles and All-America safety Michael Doss chipped in with 13.
The Buckeye defense came up with a pair of takeaways on Northwestern’s final two possessions.
Linebacker Cie Grant accounted for the first with his first interception of the year. Nickey put the icing on the cake by scooping up a fumble caused by Wilhelm and cornerback Dustin Fox.
Kicker Mike Nugent completed the OSU scoring with a pair of field goals, extending his streak of consecutive makes to 12, the second longest in school history.
BUCKEYES TO WATCH…
Maurice Clarett (Freshman Tailback)
Sensational freshman, who has taken the college football world by storm. Leads the Big Ten in rushing, scoring and yards per carry. Has five100-yard games to date, including 230 vs. Washington State. Has set frosh records for TDs (15) and scoring (90 points) and is closing in on OSU frosh rushing record of 1,126. Currently has 847 yards.
Mike Doss (Senior Strong Safety)
Two-time All-American and the leader of the OSU defense. Picked as the Big Ten preseason defensive player of the year. Playmaker who can turn a game around with a big hit or timely interception. Forty-five-yard pick for score against Kent State was his fourth collegiate touchdown. Season-high 13 tackles at Northwestern. Team captain and leader.
Chris Gamble (Sophomore Flanker)
OSU’s second-leading receiver with 17 catches. Had a career-best 48-yard reception at Northwestern and followed up this past week with a 47-yard grab. Scored his first collegiate TD on a 43-yard reverse against Indiana. Had a 56-yard kick return at Northwestern. Ranks among the Big Ten leaders in punt and kick returns. Played cornerback against Cincinnati, Northwestern and San Jose State, and had an interception on his first play against the Bearcats.
Andy Groom (Senior Punter)
Is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award. Having another sensational year. Averages 43.8 yards and leads the Big Ten. Has willingly sacrificed yards for placement whenever asked to do so. Former walk-on who has since been converted to scholarship. Also holds on placements and is a very good athlete.
Craig Krenzel (Junior Quarterback)
Has helped lead the Buckeyes to their best start since 1998 and has engineered come-from-behind wins against Washington State, Cincinnati and Northwestern. Is 8-1 as a starter dating back to last year. Makes very few mistakes, has a strong arm and also is a surprisingly effective runner. Has completed 62 percent of his passes. Ran for a career-high 62 yards at Northwestern and has a pair of 29-yard runs to his credit this year. Hit 11 of 14 for 241 yards and 3 TDs against San Jose. Both of the latter were career highs.
Mike Jenkins (Junior Split End)
The Buckeyes leading receiver with 32 receptions and three of the team’s nine touchdown catches. Has caught at least one pass in 19-consecutive games and has 18 receptions in the past three games, including seven last week. Has speed, great hands and, at 6-5, is able to go up and get the ball. Is a Biletnikoff Award candidate.
Mike Nugent (Sophomore Kicker)
Has to be considered the most pleasant surprise of the season for the Buckeyes. Has set numerous records this year, including the mark for most 40-yard field goals in a season with eight. Hit three from 40 or more against Washington State to tie a school record. Hit a career long 51-yard shot against Indiana. Has made his last 15 field goals dating back to last year, tying the school record. Has set a record for consecutive makes in Ohio Stadium this year with 11.
Shane Olivea (Junior Offensive Tackle)
Ohio State’s top offensive lineman. Big, strong and quick. Has unbelievable power and is playing his best football this season. Is a superb pass blocker. Sat out the San Jose State game with an injury, but is expected to be back in the lineup this week.
Darrion Scott (Junior Defensive End)
Has great strength and quickness and has demonstrated a penchant for being able to make big plays. His hit on Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser and Cincinnati’s Gino Guidugli are the stuff that highlight films are made of. Has 31 tackles, including a team-high four sacks.
Will Smith (Junior Defensive End)
Sensational football player who is almost impossible to block because of his combination of size, power, quickness and savvy. Has 28 tackles on the year, including eight tackles-for-loss and three sacks. Is capable of wreaking havoc once he gets into the other team’s backfield.
Matt Wilhelm (Senior Linebacker)
Is in his third year as the starting middle linebacker. Leads the team in tackles with 56 and is tied for the Big Ten lead in tackles-for-loss with 11. Recorded a season high 15 tackles in the win at Northwestern. Forced a fumble in the win over San Jose State. Very smart player who has a knack for being around the ball.