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.