Krenzel Working His Way Back To 100 Percent

OSU quarterback admits he is not completely 100 percent yet. But he says this open week will help him get back to full strength before the key Oct. 11 game at Wisconsin. Plus, it has given the offense time to work out the kinks.

OSU quarterback Craig Krenzel met with the media Thursday after practice and said he plans on being 100 percent by the time the third-ranked Buckeyes visit Wisconsin Oct. 11 (9 p.m., ESPN).

"I'm throwing the ball pretty well," said Krenzel, who has missed the last two weeks due to an elbow injury. "Not as well as I would like to. I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent. But by this time next week, I plan on being 100 percent. Once I get warmed up, the elbow feels good. We're still treating it and making sure it doesn't flare up. I get a lot of ice on it when I'm not practicing."

Krenzel admitted he is using this week to build his arm strength back up after two weeks of inactivity.

"You've got to build up some stamina in the arm," he said. "The biggest thing was coming out the first day, I was a little bit rusty after not throwing for two weeks. I'm getting that back. I was a lot better today than I was yesterday and even the day before. We're going to go again tomorrow, take a couple days off to rest and, for the team, get our legs back.

"Then, we'll come in Monday and start to prepare for a great team in Wisconsin."

Krenzel, who threw two touchdown passes in last year's 19-14 win at UW, was asked about his memories of playing in Madison.

"I tell everybody that going to Camp Randall is fun," he said. "I think if you asked a lot of guys on this team what their favorite stadium is, besides the ‘Shoe, you're either going to get Camp Randall or Beaver Stadium at Penn State. It's always a great game and you're going to get a very good, tough physical football team. Their crowd is always into it and it makes for a great atmosphere for college football."

Krenzel was asked how OSU is approaching the home stretch, with four of the last seven games on the road.

"Especially in this conference, every game in the Big Ten is a challenge, whether you're home or away," he said. "You have the hostile environment that Camp Randall presents and the fact that Wisconsin is a tough, physical team. They will present a lot of challenges for us."

Krenzel said the open week has hit OSU at a good time.

"When you get a bye week in the middle of the season, it always allows a couple of guys who are banged up to get back and get healthy again," he said. "We're no exception this year. We're using this week to get our timing down a little bit. Mentally, we're using it as an extra week to prepare. We have a great challenge ahead of us with Wisconsin. We get an extra year to prepare for them."

Krenzel said OSU is also using this week to work extensively on the offense, ranked as the Big Ten's worst through the first five games.

"The thing about offense is if one guy messes up his assignment, it affects the whole chemistry and movement of the offense," he said. "There are so many minute details that are looked over on offense, but they're critical. We'll start moving the ball and get a penalty. We'll start moving it and turn it over. Sometimes, it comes down to taking a sack and not throwing the ball away. Those are all things we need to do a better job of avoiding.

"We need to be a more consistent first down team and move the ball on first down and get away from second-and-longs. We've been in a lot of second-and-10, second-and-12 and second-and-14 situations. That makes it a lot harder to convert."

Krenzel was asked what his viewing plans would be for Saturday's smorgasbord of college football.

"It will be a great day for us to get off our feet," he said. "I'm sure guys will take home some tape, get in some Wisconsin film and just relax and catch up. I don't even know who is playing this weekend. I just flip through the channels to see who's on."

Krenzel was asked if he can glean anything about, say, the Badgers by watching a live game broadcast. (UW meets Penn State at noon Saturday on ESPN.)

"You gain something, not as much as you do when you have the clicker in your hand and you have a chance to stop and rewind," he said. "But you see what they're trying to do."

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