Saturday, August 24, 2002

Buckeyes plan to hit the ground running

Pass-happy Texas Tech will test DBs

The Associated Press


        COLUMBUS - Quarterback Kliff Kingsbury divulged Texas Tech's game plan for No.13 Ohio State today in the Pigskin Classic.

        “Plan A is throw it. Plan B is throw it,” Kingsbury said. Neither side is afraid to tip its hand when it comes to a game plan. The Buckeyes like to run the ball and rely on a solid defense led by strong safety Michael Doss.

        The Red Raiders are smaller on the line but use the spread offense and take risks on defense to make up for that difference.

        Kingsbury figures to pass at least 50 times against a defense that returns eight starters from last year's squad. The Buckeyes have their own plan for Kingsbury.

        “If you don't have time to sit there and eat a sandwich, you're going to make a bad throw every once in awhile,” free safety Donnie Nickey said.

        Ohio State will be without flanker Chris Vance, suspended for the game for violating team rules. Also, projected starting fullback Jessie Kline left the team earlier this week for health reasons.

        The Buckeyes still have plenty of firepower because all their receivers return. Quarterback Craig Krenzel was a backup the past two seasons but led Ohio State to a stunning win against Michigan in November.

        Tech has more going for it than just Kingsbury. Nine starters are back on defense, including linebacker Lawrence Flugence and defensive end Aaron Hunt.

        Ohio State has 14 freshmen and eight sophomores listed on its two-deep lineup. Coach Jim Tressel hopes to avoid any missteps while the young Buckeyes gain experience during the longest season - 13 regular-season games over 91 days - in school history.

        “You know what? I'm sure we're a tad overrated,” Tressel said. “I hope by the end we're good. Where we are now is not significant.”


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