April 3, 2002


%^$%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio–Jim Tressel directed the first of 15 spring practices Wednesday without many of the difficulties he faced last spring when he took over as head football coach at Ohio State.%^$

%^$”We are more familiar with each other,” Tressel said. “We are on the same page with our communications with the players.”%^$

%^$Over a period of 25 days the Buckeyes will practice a total of 15 times in preparation for the annual Spring Game, which will be contested at 1:30 p.m. April 27 in Ohio Stadium.%^$

%^$Tressel and his coaching staff were anxious to begin preparation for the 2002 season, which will kickoff Aug. 24 against Texas Tech at Ohio Stadium in the 2002 Kickoff Classic.%^$

%^$With a full season under his belt, Tressel said he enjoyed watching the players and his staff working on the Woody Hayes Athletic Center practice fields.%^$

%^$”We have a chance to show significant improvement during these workouts,” Tressel said of his second set of spring practices. “As always, our goal is to get better at everything we do.”%^$

%^$On offense, Tressel said the offensive line will get have an opportunity to get better against a veteran defensive front. A pair of junior quarterbacks, Craig Krenzel and Scott McMullen, will benefit from the opportunity to share the majority of the practice repetitions.%^$

%^$”I think it is a real plus for Craig and Scott to get significant snaps,” Tressel said. “They will need to concentrate on what they individually need to do to get better.”%^$

%^$Defensively, the Buckeyes return veteran down linemen but will use spring drills to experiment with the linebacker and cornerback positions.%^$

%^$Tressel said the defense will concentrate on stopping the opposition in third-down situations and in the situations where the opponent is inside the Buckeyes’ 20-yard line.%^$

%^$”We need to improve in a variety of situations,” Tressel said. “We especially will be concentrating on the importance of the special team units.”%^$

%^$Tickets for the Spring Game are now on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in the southeast rotunda of the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Tickets, which are $5 each, can also be purchased by phone at (614) 292-6861 or 1-800-GO-BUCKS. They also are available by logging on to^$

%^$The Spring Game will be telecast by WBNS-TV and ONN and broadcast by WBNS Radio.%^$