Campwatch - 8/9

Dave Biddle stopped by camp today and sends his observations and thoughts. It sounds like Craig Krenzel was sharp, and the D-line looked good, but Adrien Clarke is still struggling.

The Buckeyes continued with two-a-days today as they prepare for Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage in Ohio Stadium. The afternoon session was a light practice in pads. The Buckeyes worked on some 11-on-11 drills (first team offense vs. third team defense; first team defense vs. third team offense), but the majority of practice was spent working on special teams and unusual situations (Hail Mary passes). Both Andy Groom and BJ Sander were booming punts today. You aren't going to find many backup punters with the leg of Sander and he seems to be getting his kicks off quicker. But don't look for Sander to beat out Groom this year. Groom is the leading returning punter in the Big Ten.

During 11-on-11, quarterback Craig Krenzel looked extremely sharp. His accuracy has been a bit off this camp, but he was pinpoint today. And for the first time this week, Krenzel took all the snaps with the ones and Scott McMullen worked just with the twos.

One interesting thing that the defense was working on today was a drill against the backup offensive linemen in which a dummy "pop-up" quarterback was set up in the backfield. Four defensive linemen were going up against five offensive linemen with the intent of getting in the backfield and knocking the dummy QB down. Let's just say that Will Smith has picked up where he left off last spring. He was unstoppable today. Tim Anderson and Darrion Scott were also tough to block, especially Anderson. They all got in some good shots on the dummy.

On the injury front, Adrien Clarke returned today, but does not look good. He didn't participate in all the drills, but at least he was out there. Unfortunately, Clarke was having what looked to be a difficult time just walking back to the locker room after practice. He looks out of shape (on top of his back injury) and I am fast losing confidence that he will be able to help much this year… David Thompson was held out of drills today (knee), as was Donnie Nickey (thigh), Lydell Ross (hip), Ja Ja Riley (appendix) and Nick Mangold (ankle). None of those guys are expected to play on Saturday.

Head coach Jim Tressel hit on a few topics afterwards.
"This morning, I kind of expected them to come out a little tired and so forth, but I was really impressed with the way they came out and practiced this morning after banging pretty good for a couple of days," Tressel said. "Then this afternoon, I thought with the things that we're trying to accomplish, the tempo was good, the temperature was warm, and we put them in some situational things. I'm anxious to see tomorrow."

Tressel on depth and competition.
"I think we have the makings of having really good depth, and depth creates competition. I hope that when we come out of there tomorrow, that we feel like we have the chance to have competition at every position."

On Adrien Clarke
"Adrien's back is feeling better. Now it's just a matter of getting back in football condition and seeing how that effects the back."

What does Tressel expect Mike Doss' role to be as a return man this year?
"I would expect him in the opening game to have a chance to do both (kickoff returns and punt returns)."

How close to 100 percent will the team be going on Saturday? 90 percent? 95 percent?
"Hundred. You don't get hurt as often when you are going 100 percent, it's when you slow down a little bit. You know, if he slows down and I don't, then there's a problem. So we'd like to think that they'll go as hard as they can go tomorrow."

How do the quarterbacks look so far?
"I think they've shown that they've picked up some things. What we haven't shown in my mind is consistency. There are practices when you walk off and say, ‘So and so really did some things today,' and then the next practice you might say, ‘Well, we didn't do some of those same things.' But I think we're picking up and getting more and more of a feel for things, but consistency is what we are looking for as we evaluate the quarterback situation."

How is Dustin Fox progressing at cornerback?
"Dustin Fox is getting more and more comfortable over there."

What will Troy Smith's role be in the scrimmage?
"Troy will play a little bit of receiver and maybe a littler than that at quarterback. So, he'll get a few snaps of each. Troy is a guy that knew during recruiting that he was going to take on an interesting role. We said that we can't get two freshmen quarterbacks enough reps to find out about both of them, so he was going to have to do a little of both. But what was important to Troy Smith was to be at Ohio State with the guys that came and the tradition that is here. And, of course, his half-brother (Rod) played here. So, Troy wanted to be here and he knew the cards that were dealt to him and I think he's done a great job handling that."

Is Tressel disappointed that out of eight home games, there is not a single night game?
"Gosh, I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm disappointed in, but we do have one night game at Northwestern. But, you know, home game wise is really dictated by television. We're in contract agreements with ABC and ESPN, so when you're in relationships you follow the rules they give you. We have a lot of 3:30 games, but none that begin at night."

Tressel can't request to have night games?
"I could request a lot of things, I guess, but there's not that many things I get," he joked.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories