The Ohio State football team went through a spritited practice in full pads Monday, ending with a goal-line session between the first-team offensive and defensive units.

“We had a good session, scrimmaged more than we have, had a lot of good contact,” said OSU Coach John Cooper. “The goal-line session was very physical.”

Afterwards, OSU quarterback Steve Bellisari (Jr., Boca Raton, Fla.) met with the media and discussed the Buckeyes’ 2000 offense, which is expected to include an option play or two.

“We will run the option a little bit more this year,” Bellisari said. “But it will not be our main thing. We are doing some things to get me out on the perimeter but we are still going to run the base OSU offense.”

With a stable of talented running backs behind him, the fleet-footed Bellisari is committed to spreading the ball around.

“I would just as soon pitch it as run it.” Bellisari said. “I just want a big play by someone.”

Bellisari said he has seen a different attitude during spring drills, especially with his play and approach.

“I feel more comfortable with my situation,” Bellisari said of his No. 1 position at the quarterback spot. “I have matured a little but I am still learning with each practice.”

The Buckeyes, as a team, have picked up the pace after a 6-6 season in 1999.

“After a season like we had last year we have to go out there and make it fun,” Bellisari said. “That is what we are tying to do.”

So far expanding the offense has made for spirited practices, especially for Bellisari and backups Scott McMullen (Fr., Granville, Ohio) and Craig Krenzel (Fr., Utica, Mich.).

Bellisari said he feels more at ease knowing he will be the No. 1 quarterback heading into fall camp. But McMullen and Krenzel have been right there to keep him focused. “They are both playing well,” Bellisari said. “They are really pushing me everyday.”