Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Buckeyes opt for QB rotation

Krenzel's struggles, McMullen's solid play spur move

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Scott McMullen's right arm forced Jim Tressel's hand.

Tressel deviated from his conservative style with the announcement Tuesday he will utilize both Craig Krenzel and McMullen at quarterback in Ohio State's game Saturday against Michigan State. The QB rotation is believed to be a first in Tressel's 18-year coaching career, but he said McMullen's play merited more action.

"Scott has earned the opportunity to play some," Tressel said.

Krenzel will start, Tressel said. The coach wouldn't say when McMullen would enter the game or how much either quarterback would play.

Krenzel has been medically cleared after suffering a concussion Saturday at Penn State. He was clearly unhappy with the news.

"It's a touchy situation," Krenzel said. "I've never been a fan of a two-quarterback system. If you're a coach and you have a guy, and you think he deserves to be getting the playing time, then that's the guy you go with."

Krenzel is 21-2 as a starter and was co-MVP of the 2002 national championship team, but he hasn't been sharp this fall. He is 95-of-169 (56.2 percent) for 1,191 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions; last season he was 148-of-249 (59.4 percent) for 2,110 yards, 12 TDs and seven interceptions.

McMullen is 43-of-64 (67.2 percent) for 507 yards, five TDs and two interceptions. He led OSU back from a 10-point deficit Saturday, including the game-winning drive in the final minutes.

"I don't view it as a quarterback controversy," McMullen said. "... But this is definitely something you work for, knowing for sure you're going to get in the game."

Said offensive lineman Shane Olivea: "This won't be a problem. It's not like they don't like each other. They're good friends."

CLARETT UPDATE: Suspended running back Maurice Clarett has dropped a federal complaint seeking a $2.5 million fine against Ohio State, which he had accused of violating his federal privacy rights by releasing information from an NCAA investigation to Columbus prosecutors. His motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court said Clarett is still seeking relief from the U.S. Department of Education, which oversees the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The city case charges Clarett with filing a false police report with campus police in April after a car he was borrowing was broken into.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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