Sunday, September 28, 2003

OSU notes: McMullen earns new respect as backup


Krenzel expected to start vs. Badgers

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Scott McMullen probably will head back to the Ohio State bench, taking with him some lovely parting gifts and a 2-0 record.

His contribution in relief of injured quarterback Craig Krenzel, though, didn't go unnoticed.

"He's done nothing but prove he can play here," tight end Ben Hartsock said.

McMullen was 16-of-25 for 166 yards, one touchdown and an interception Saturday against Northwestern. He also ran three times for 23 yards.

Coach Jim Tressel said Krenzel should be ready to start in two weeks at Wisconsin. McMullen has been grateful for his chance to play.

"That's the reason I came here," he said. "It's been great for me, and it's really boosted my confidence."

Tressel inserted Justin Zwick at QB for a series late in the first quarter. He later brought in Troy Smith - first trying him as a running back - then played both Smith and Zwick at QB later in the game.

Tressel said he wanted to play Zwick early to get him experience outside of a mop-up role.

CLARETT MUST WAIT: The school has changed its mind on possibly allowing Maurice Clarett to return as a practice player.

Athletic director Andy Geiger said Saturday that Clarett would not rejoin the Buckeyes in any fashion this season, but could possibly return for spring football.

"We'll see how fall and winter (quarters) go," Geiger said.

When OSU announced that it was suspending Clarett for the season, Tressel had said he would consider allowing the tailback to return to practice later in the season.

Geiger also said Saturday that he would not begin the process of applying for Clarett's reinstatement with the NCAA until at least the spring. Geiger has said Clarett would have to meet several criteria, including progress in his classes, before doing so.

CLARETT WANTS CHANGE: An attorney for Clarett has asked Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Steven Hayes, son of former OSU football coach Woody Hayes, to disqualify himself from a criminal case involving Clarett.

In the memorandum filed by Columbus attorney Percy Squire, Squire said Hayes' "unique tie" to OSU "will clearly create questions as to whether Woody Hayes' son may tend to favor the university."

LOCALS ROUNDUP: Reserve cornerback E.J. Underwood (Hamilton) underwent surgery on a thumb after suffering a deep cut Thursday night. Details on how the injury occurred were not available. He is out indefinitely. ... Ryan Hamby (Moeller) caught a 1-yard TD pass.




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