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2001 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

South Carolina
Conference Big Ten
2001 record 7–5 (5–3 Big Ten)
Head coach Jim Tressel
Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman
Offensive scheme Multiple
Defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio
Base defense 4-3
MVP Jonathon Wells
Captain Steve Bellisari
Captain Mike Collins
Captain Joe Cooper
Captain Jamar Martin
Home stadium Ohio Stadium
(Capacity: 101,568)

The 2001 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the college football season of 2001–2002. It marked their first season under new head coach Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes compiled a 7–5 record, capped by a 26–20 victory over their fierce rival the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor in the regular season finale. The Buckeyes went on to play in the 2002 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, where they lost 31–28 to the South Carolina Gamecocks.


The 2001 Ohio State Buckeyes football season marked a transition from former head coach John Cooper to new head coach Jim Tressel. Tressel was beginning his first season as head coach at the Division 1-A level as the 22nd head coach of the Buckeyes. He came from Youngstown State University where he led the Penguins to four national championships at the Division 1-AA level. The Buckeyes finished the 2000 season with an 8–4 record and Coach Cooper was later fired on January 2, 2001.[1]

Prior to Cooper's firing, the Buckeyes were ranked 23rd in the AP Poll, losing in the 2001 Outback Bowl to the South Carolina Gamecocks by a score of 24–7.[2]


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 8 12:00 PM Akron* #24 Ohio StadiumColumbus, OH W 28–14   102,602[3]
September 22 3:30 PM at #14 UCLA* #21 Rose BowlPasadena, CA ABC L 6–13   73,723[3]
September 29 12:00 PM at Indiana Memorial StadiumBloomington, IN ESPN+ W 27–14   48,577[3]
October 6 7:45 PM #14 Northwestern Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN W 38–20   104,042[3]
October 13 3:30 PM Wisconsin #21 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ABC L 17–20   103,520[3]
October 20 12:00 PM San Diego State* Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN+ W 27–12   102,432[3]
October 27 12:00 PM at Penn State Beaver StadiumUniversity Park, PA (Rivalry) ESPN L 27–29   108,327[3]
November 3 7:45 PM at Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, MN ESPN W 31–28   45,407[3]
November 10 12:00 PM Purdue Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH ESPN2 W 35–9   104,189[3]
November 17 12:00 PM #12 Illinois #25 Ohio Stadium • Columbus, OH (Illibuck) ESPN L 22–34   104,407[3]
November 24 1:00 PM at #11 Michigan Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI (The Game) ABC W 26–20   111,571[3]
January 1 11:00 AM vs. #14 South Carolina* #22 Raymond James StadiumTampa, FL (Outback Bowl) ESPN L 28–31   66,249[3]
*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game.. All times are in Eastern Time.


Coaching staff

  • Jim Tressel - Head Coach (1st year)
  • Jim Bollman - Offensive Line/OC (1st year)
  • Ken Conaster - Special Teams (1st year)
  • Joe Daniels - Quarterbacks (1st year)
  • Mark Dantonio - Defensive Coordinator (1st year)
  • Jim Heacock - Defensive Line (7th year)
  • Mark Snyder - Defensive Linebackers (1st year)
  • Tim Spencer - Running Backs (8th year)
  • Mel Tucker - Defensive Backs (1st year)

  • Bob Tucker - Director of Football Operations (7th year)
  • Dick Tressel - Associate Director of Football Operations (1st year)
  • Bill Conley - Recruiting Coordinator (14th year)

Game summaries


1 234Total
Akron 0 707 14
• Ohio St 14 770 28


2002 NFL draftees

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
LeCharles Bentley 2 44 Guard New Orleans Saints
Derek Ross 3 75 Defensive Back Dallas Cowboys
Jonathan Wells 4 99 Running Back Houston Texans
Darnell Sanders 4 122 Tight End Cleveland Browns
Jamar Martin 4 129 Fullback Dallas Cowboys
Courtland Bullard 5 167 Linebacker St. Louis Rams
Tyson Walter 6 179 Center Dallas Cowboys
Steve Bellisari 6 205 Quarterback St. Louis Rams


Draft data
  • Ohio State Drafted Players
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