Aug. 19, 2000



COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State football team will hold its final%^$scrimmage of the fall next Wednesday in preparation for the home opener%^$Sept. 2 at home against the Fresno State Bulldogs (12:10 p.m./ESPN Regional%^$Television). Following the final scrimmage, the Buckeye coaching staff will%^$begin to finalize its depth chart heading into the season opener.%^$

Starters and their backups at each offensive and defensive position%^$will be set giving those players ample time to practice at their respective%^$positions anticipating the arrival of the Bulldogs. Prior to the Wednesday%^$scrimmage, all players in camp will have opportunities to break into the%^$lineup as a starter or backup.%^$

John Cooper, OSU head coach, said there are several positions that%^$remain available. Offensive linemen and linebackers all will have%^$opportunities to find starting or backup roles over the next several days.%^$

Several players have worked out at the middle linebacker position%^$during fall camp. Sophomores Matt Wilhelm (Lorain, Ohio/Elyria Catholic) and%^$Freddie Pagac (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) each have performed well at that%^$position.%^$

True freshman Robert Reynolds (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green)%^$also has been given an opportunity at one of the linebacker positions but%^$most likely will see time on special teams or as the long snapper.%^$

“Robert will play this year,” Cooper said. “He is a football%^$player.”%^$

Other defensive players who have impressed the coaching staff during%^$camp include freshman Bobby Britton (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines) at defensive%^$back and senior linebacker Joe Cooper (Columbus, Ohio/Independence) who both%^$sparkled during the first fall scrimmage Friday.%^$

“Bobby came up with a nice interception,” Cooper said. “We like what%^$he can do. Joe Cooper seemed like he was all over the field and around the%^$ball.”%^$

On offense, the staff has been installing Chuck Stobart’s playbook%^$and will continue to do so up until the week of the Fresno State game.%^$

“We have every play known to man in our offense right now,” Cooper%^$said. “Once we have all the plays in, we will selected the best ones we feel%^$will work against a particular team and concentrate on those the week of the%^$game.”%^$



The Buckeyes were able to get the feel of game atmosphereFriday.%^$Not only did the team scrimmage at the renovated OhioStadium, but Big Ten%^$officials were on hand to create game-likeconditions.%^$


The entire team had its first opportunity to play at OhioStadium%^$this year but the freshmen class was treated to its firstchance to play in%^$their careers.%^$


Players and coaches will enjoy the first off day of the 2000camp%^$Sunday before continuing work Monday. The Buckeyes willbreak camp next%^$weekend. A normal game-week schedule will beginMonday, Aug. 28.%^$