Fickell Presser Notes: Colorado Week

By DJ Byrnes on September 20, 2011 at 1:05p
79 Comments
seems a little extravagantWILL RALPHIE MAKE HIS WAY EAST!?

With the Ohio State Buckeyes vanquished from the AP polls for the first time since Usher's "Yeah!" was topping America's music charts, head coach Luke Fickell took to the podium to answer the media's questions.

After last week's debacle in Miami, the Buckeyes shift their gaze to the 1-2 Buffalos of the University of Colorado. With the Buckeyes needing to improve in every facet of the game, Colorado offers a good opportunity for such improvement, before Big Ten conference play begins next week. (Ohio State is the only Big Ten team playing a team from a BCS conference this week).

So how would Fickell go about parrying the media's questions with deft coach-speak this week?

... Fickell opened up by saying his team would make no excuses, and they would focus on how to become a better football team (and a better football coach) going forward.

... The plan for quarterback hasn't been established this week. Until Fickell sees his quarterbacks "compete" in practice, then he's not going to set anything in stone. While the team has had a tough time throwing the ball, but Fickell says there are other things they can improve on to help the offense moving forward.

... Fickell planned to call a time out on Miami's 3rd down conversion, but Miami ended up calling one anyway. With Ohio State down two scores, they figured they would need as many timeouts as possible if they got the ball back. Later in the interview, Fickell was again asked if he regretted ending the game with three timeouts in his pocket. Fickell said "maybe the last one, right before they went for it on 4th down, which could have saved us 20-25 seconds."

... Ohio State didn't lack fight, in Fickell's eyes. He noted that with expectations so high, the defense was a little shell-shocked after Miami's first touchdown, which may have led to Miami's second one. This was something that Fickell said was to be expected with a young team. Still, while they "didn't make some plays", Fickell refused to say his team wasn't handling the adversity.

... Fickell talked about his staff wanting to "coach these guys up as much as possible," this week.

... Turnovers and "missed shots" were some of the critiques of his quarterbacks' play, but refused to divulge specific instances. "We have to get better, across the board," he said, but mentioned he didn't entertain the idea of inserting Kenny Guiton or Taylor Graham into the Miami game.

... With the subject of Braxton's fumbling broached, Fickell said you "expect it with a young guy." He also talked about how the lack of hitting the quarterback in practice could have something to do with it. He acknowledged that turnovers are up ~327% this year and said it was something they had to get better at.

... Jordan Hall is 100% this week. "It was just a cramp issue."

... The success of Ohio State's running game against Miami's frontline was something Fickell said he liked and something "they could build on."

... Is the confidence of the team something Fickell is worried about? "We'll see," Fickell said.

... When asked if there was a clear-cut number one in the Bauserman-Miller duel, Fickell said "we need to see them practice." When asked if he sees any upside in what Braxton Miller can do as opposed to Bauserman, Fickell said, "Sure, if he can hold on to the ball." He then was quick to add that he also saw ways which Bauserman could help the team too.

... Fickell didn't see Joe Bauserman laughing on the sidelines late in the game, but did say "that's not something you want to see," though he added he hasn't seen anything "that says Joe isn't with us."

... 17 minutes into the press conference, Colorado was finally brought up. "They have some serious weapons," he said, noting the Buckeyes would have to "play sound" and "start fast". While they haven't started fast the last two weeks, Fickell noted that it was on him.

... "They're a group who has some athletes and has some ability," Fickell noted of Colorado. He also noted a "sense of revived leadership," there. 

... Fickell says John Simon has done a great job this year, as the defense has asked him to move around to multiple positions.

... Fickell says that, in football, it's hard to gain the experience needed without actually playing. Fickell said he was not aware by any college player's career stunted by being put in before he was ready.

... When asked if he was pondering taking a look at Guiton or Graham or if it was still a two-horse race, Fickell said, "There will probably be more snaps for all of those guys." (Still, after watching the Miami game, if Guiton or Graham haven't done enough to earn playing time by now, it's hard to envision anybody but Bauserman or Miller going forward).

... With Colorado wanting to come in and sling the ball, Fickell says that his secondary will have to improve "everywhere".

... Andrew Sweat is "dinged up--he's got some things," Fickell said, but he expects Sweat to "fight through it and get better." Corey Brown's status is still up in the air, but Fickell said they'd know more later in the game.

... There was booing in the Horsehoe during the Toledo game, and Fickell had himself a chuckle when asked if he had thought about the potential of booing going into the Colorado game.

79 Comments

Comments

OSUBOB's picture

other than the lack of and what nots, what have you's, and so forth's... this seems like JT's interviews all over again, now if only he could replicate what JT did on the sidelines :).... i kid i kid, I havent jumped the Fickell bandwagon yet, this is a young team, he is a young coach, hopefully they can grow a lot from last week

you win with people

Maestro's picture

BOB in the house

vacuuming sucks

OSUBOB's picture

yep... figured I read on here all the time, may as well sign up ha

you win with people

Buckeyejason's picture

This guy sounds like he doesn't have an F'in clue!

Way in over his head. I'm not a Fickell fan anymore, that lasted about a month.

BUCKEYES BABY!

ballgame's picture

"I'm not a Fickell fan anymore"

Sure you are.  You just spelled fickle the wrong way.

Scott's picture

OOO BURRRN!

Class of 2008

Maestro's picture

+1

vacuuming sucks

Buckeyejason's picture

Wow you zingggged me there.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Sgt. Elias's picture

It just sounds like normal coach-speak. What I read between the lines was "we kinda sucked, especially at passing the ball, we'll get better at stuff & things, I'm still learning too: here's why I saved my timeouts, you'll prly see more Braxton unless he drops 1000 balls this week".

 

Is he in over his head? Yeah, but didn't we kinda know this deep down? He's in a unique situation for this season only, would you rather have Bollman calling all the shots? <vomit>. He'll either get better or he won't.  For now we deal with it and hope he gets dialed in and our team pulls it's collective noggin out of the proverbial ass.

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

elloyd1681's picture

I've been a Fickell supporter but I cannot understand the timeout debacle.  How do people not understand that you have to call the timeouts when the OTHER team has the ball.  It saves you 25-30 seconds.  When YOU have the ball you get first downs, run out of bounds, hurry up, etc. Having three timeouts left with 30 seconds is useless.  Having zero timeouts with 2 minutes left gives you a fighting chance.  

I would have much preferred him to have said, "we were giving up and knew we couldn't win".  

Are there classes football coaches can take to help them with math????

BuckeyeSki's picture

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

Riggins's picture

Agreed 100%.  Either tell us you gave up or tell us you messed up.  There isn't a third option.

buckeyedude's picture

Do you honestly think using those timeouts would have made a difference in that game? Seriously?

 
 

OSUBOB's picture

I also dont like hearing all 4 qb's are gonig to get more reps, I think that is counter productive, pick one guy, give him almost all of the reps so he can develop, and I am not talking about Bauserman, he has had enough time to "develop" at this point in his career.  I know QB isnt our only issue, but with an offense struggling like ours, need to focus on the kid that can make the most plays, and IMO right now thats Braxton, even htough he didnt look great on Sat either, but perhaps with more practice that will change...

you win with people

Doc's picture

I'm off the Fickell bandwagon.  Being a first year coach and knowing this is a one season interview there is very little to no excuses for the team coming out flat 2 weeks in a row.  Coming out flat against Toledo could be explained, but not against Miami.  He seems lost on the sideline, as does Vrabel. 

The not knowing is killing our recruiting as well.  Gene Smith has f'ed the dog on this one.  He needs to be shown the door.  If anyone out there in 11dub land is in the Buckeye Club make sure you go to the reception before the MSU game.  Smith is usually walking around looking disgusted to be talking to us lesser donors.  Make sure you approach him and tell him he has embarassed the university and needs to go.  He is supposed to be the NCAA rules guy and know the ins and outs, but has stumbled and bumbled his way threw this entire debacle.  On that note does anyone have his and EGG's electronic mail addresses?  I think an e-mail campaign, like last years potential OSU/UM last game change, may put the heat on him and possibly get him out the door a little faster.

Thanks,

Doc

"Say my name."

OSUBOB's picture

some cynical folks in here... lets remember JT lost his first road game as well... and lost 5 game his first year.  I am not saying thats okay and should be accepted, but if we see improvements in the coming weeks, I see no reason to freak out because of 2 games, that in the grand scheme of things mean nothing... this team wasnt going to win a national title, so lets focus on working things out before conference play starts, and who knows maybe the team gels and we get a shot at competing for a conference title... seems far fetched right now, but wit hsome game experience, there is talent there, we have a shot, so I will wait a little long before I jump the Fickell bandwagon

you win with people

Scott's picture

Careful. This is one of the few places where being even-keeled can really rock the boat. Leaves us with nothing to wring our hands over.

(+1)

Class of 2008

OSUBOB's picture

i promise if we lose to Colorado, I will come in here gunz a blazin... yeah thats right, gunz with a Z

you win with people

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

gunz.. PEWPEW

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

Bucks's picture

Don't know that this wasn't asked, but if Fickell wasn't at the least directly asked about how much he took part in or kept out of the offensive playcalling & decisions on when to put-in/pull the QB's ... i'm going to be a bit annoyed.

I want to know how much Bollman has been left to make his own call on.

 

Sgt. Elias's picture

^^what he said

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Tony's picture

Some people seem a little upset about a few things on here.

Doc's picture

I'm not upset with Fickell per se.  I think he has stepped into a no win situation.  First off he had to deal with JT leaving and that stuff.  He also got the job after spring practice, making it impossible to change the staff around(i.e. getting rid of Bollman).  I feel bad for Luke, because in my mind, he gets shit canned at the end of the year no matter what.  I have no faith in Gene Smith and the Board of Trustees making the right decision at years end.  I also think Fick needs to cut his teeth at a lesser school before being the head guy at a major university.  To be fair the powers that be need to say publicly that a coaching search is being made and they are going to look nationally.  Recruits are fickle creatures.  They aren't going to come to tOSU with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over our heads.  IMHO if they knew the school was making every effort to get a top name coach I could rest a little easier picking Ohio State.

Fickell has no HCing experience and it is showing in games and with his decision making (or lack there of).  He needs to be clear with us and make a choice for QB and live with it.  He also needs to call some of the offensive plays or tell Bollman to turn the page there are more plays on the other pages.  Being a "Man of Action" is being able to make decisive choices and believing in yourself and your abilities.  I get no vibe from him that he does.  He looks and acts like a puppet at this stage of the game.  Show me some fire and some passion.  Show me you are the man for the job, not just the man keeping the seat warm.

Doc 

"Say my name."

buckeyedude's picture

One can learn more from one failure than 10,000 successes. Confucius (I think)

Let's watch how Luke and the Bucks respond.

 
 

Buckeyejason's picture

+ a billion Doc, well said.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Doc's picture

Thanks Jason.  I find it hard to articulate my thoughts and feelings sometimes.  I do feel bad for Luke.  I think of anyone he truly bleeds Scarlet and Grey.  Right now though he is not ready for the job.  I also think Smith and the rest of the higher ups are going to kick him to the curb like yesterdays garbage at seasons end.  He will never get another opportunity to be at OSU after that.  That is part of the reason I feel Smith's time as the AD needs to come to an end.  This situation has been mishandled from jump street.

"Say my name."

original buckeye's picture

I'm not upset with OSU losing to Miami, I'm not upset about the timeout issue, and I'm not upset with Joe B's play (I believe he's doing the best he can).  What I'm upset with is the fact that Fickell apparently can't see that Braxton Miller is the better option not only for OSU this year, but certainly for OSU going forward.  That, IMO, doesn't speak well for his ability to succeed as a head coach. 

Buckeyejason's picture

Does anyone know if that little speedy runningback from Ohio is still on Colorado? I think his last name was Harrison, not sure though.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Irricoir's picture

I wanna say they have another guy named Stewart. I need to google now.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Irricoir's picture

I amaze even myself. I was right. Here is a link. He's actualy pretty decent. here is to hoping he can't do to us what Miller did.

http://www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=3845&SPID=255&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=600&ATCLID=1514883&Q_SEASON=2011

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

btalbert25's picture

I was never on the Fickell bandwagon to begin with.  You have to earn it. I don't just refuse to believe the guy is not the answer because he was a Buckeye and rumors say in 3 or 4 years he was the heir to Tressel's throne.   I always felt that Tressel was doing the right thing when he was the coach. I may not have liked Tresselball all the time but it worked almost all the time.  I don't like the sentiment that well Tressel lost his first road game and 5 games the first year. That means nothing to the Fickell situation.  Tressel was hired, after a lengthy process.  He may not have been the first choice, but it was decided that he was the right man for the job.  They got it right.  Maybe he coached at a lower division, but he was the head man somewhere first, and damn good at being the head man.

He had a system that he put in place and once the team adapted to it, wow were they good.  What is Fickel's system?  Not committing to a QB?  Thinking that if he doesn't use his timeouts they could be used the next game?  The thing is, we don't know what Fickell will put in place because he doesn't know how to be a head coach.  He's never done it before, EVER.  A coach at Ohio State shouldn't be learning how to be a head coach at Ohio State. 

The interim tag should not have been removed from Fickell at all.  Sure the one year contract leaves uncertainty, but do you want to give a guy who has never been the head coach a 5 year deal?  What happens if you have a really bad season and recruits jump ship anyway, then you have to buy that contract out or suffer more seasons of bad football. Which leads to more poor recruiting? 

It's only 3 games, and he can improve as the season goes on.  I hope he truly does.  Through 3 games though, he looks like he's in way over his head, and he is.  At our jobs, would we support our company for promoting a lower level manager to the CEO?  Probably not.  He was working his way up the ladder sure, and he may have been getting groomed, but he certainly wasn't there yet.

Nappy's picture

Well said, BT.  I said the other day that as much as I want Fick to succeed, Ohio State isn't a place where you learn to become a successful head coach.  Had Tress been fired/resigned/retired when all this mess came out and Smith was able to conduct actual coaching interviews, I can't see a scenario that ends with Fick getting the job.  By all accounts he's an intense guy and an excellent recruiter, but this team lacks an offensive identity and I dont know if Fick is the guy to give them one.

Fan of bacon since 1981

btalbert25's picture

That's the thing, there probably wasn't a coach who could've come in and this team would just be awesome right now.  Too much has happened to this program, and too many key players are gone or suspended.  To lose one of the most talented athletes who would've been in his 4th year starting as a QB is tough.  Especially when you have a really bad senior and a True Freshman as your best option to replace the guy.

Don't know what coach is going to replace Fickell, or if he does get replaced, but that's why I feel the guy should still have the interim tag.  I have to wonder if the whole staff is kind of interim at this point and that's why one of the Coordinators didn't take or wasn't offered the position.  Let the season play out and let him interview with other coaches and see what shakes out.

NC_Buckeye's picture

He's a guy with a defensive pedigree. How is he going to put his stamp on this offense without being able to bring in his own OC?

I'm really growing weary of reading all of this Fickell-hate. Think I'm going to have to stop reading comments for the remainder of this season. This bs makes me not especially proud of my Buckeye heritage.

BTW, if it plays out the way you guys are hoping, I'm giving Fickell's replacement one year to get at least 9 wins and a W against scUM. I think that's fair.

btalbert25's picture

In the comments I made, where did I ever hate Fickell? Sorry if you don't like my belief that you don't just blindly support a guy because he used to play for the Buckeyes.   I said in the offseason it's not about wins and losses so much as it is how does the team look?  Unprepared, not focused, and disorganized.  If his own offensive staff consists of buddies he used to play with that have no prior coaching experience much like Vrabel, then I'll pass.  I also thought it was important how he carried himself on the sideline and in the media.  The Bauserman OR Miller on the depth chart is foolish.  Rotating captains, kind of dumb, but those issues aren't even that important.  Look at him on the sideline, he looks scared.  He doesn't look engaged in the game, and he doesn't manage the game well either.  It's not losing, or how the offense looks.  No one could've reasonably thought this offense was going to be great.  It's the failure to commit to one guy or another.  So after 3 games, he's failing so far in my opinion.  We'll see how the team looks after 8 or games.  I still say end of the year they should open up the job and interview other people.  If Fickell gets the job after that, good for him and the program, if not we appreciate his service and good luck to him where ever he goes, be it staying here as a DC or going to the MAC and coaching. 

I think whoever coaches this team next year should be able to get 9 wins.  There is a lot of very young talent on the field every game that will have a whole year of experience under their belts.  I don't think Fickell should be expected to win 9 games this year, but short of making a BCS bowl, I don't think Fickell was ever intended to be the long term solution here when he was given the position in June or on May 30th whatever. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

There's only one current HC that I think Fickell's situation is comparable to -- Pat Fitzgerald.

Here are both of their coaching histories.

Luke Fickell (age 38)
2000–2001 Akron (DL)
2002–2003 Ohio State (ST)
2004 Ohio State (LB)
2005–2010 Ohio State (LB/co-DC)
2011–present Ohio State (HC)

Pat Fitzgerald (age 36)
1998 Maryland (LB)
1999 Colorado (LB)
2000 Idaho (LB)
2001–2005 Northwestern (LB)
2006–present Northwestern (HC)

I'd be willing to bet that it took Fitz a while to get acclimated to the HC role. And now he's deemed to be enough of a high caliber coach that he was scUM's third choice after being spurned by Harbaugh and Miles. (He sent word that he wasn't interested either.)

The Wildcats went 4-8 in his first season. The big difference. Fitz didn't have a fanbase that was ready to throw him under the bus after losing to both New Hampshire and Nevada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Northwestern_Wildcats_football_team

Hey, 11W staff. Do you have any Nortwestern blog-friends that can discuss Northwestern's 2006 season and how Fitzgerald has progressed as a coach.

btalbert25's picture

All I can say is Northwestern is not Ohio State.  Before Pat Fitzgerald took the program over the only coach since 1963 to have a winning season was Gary Barnett.  So, I would say 4-8 in his first year may not have been ideal, but it certainly was something Northwestern fans were accustomed too.  Taking over Northwestern for your first head coaching gig and learning on the job is much much different than doing the same at Ohio State. 

As I've said before too, just because Pat Fitzgerald did it at Northwestern and it worked, and now big programs like Michigan may be interested, doesn't indicate the same thing will happen with Fickell, just because both happen to be the same age and both played Defense for the school that they took over.  

I don't know how it's going to play out.  I want him to get better and have a shot at the job. I just don't want him to be handed the job just because, if other guys are out there who are proven and would be better.  I don't know why that is such a horrible opinion to have.  I'm not rooting for him to fail.  Just want him to earn the job long term, and not be the guy who gets the job because he has strong buckeye roots. 

smith5568's picture

Claiming Fickell is showing poor coaching skills because "[his] failure to commit to one guy or another" is riduclous. Numerous VETERAN coaches struggle with the same decision, so it is completely unreasonable to think Fickell wouldnt have the same difficulties. Tressel even struggled to pull the trigger on one QB or the other (Zwick/Troy and Boeckman/Pryor). If it is something coaches like Tressel, Spurrier, Joe Pa, Les Miles and others struggle with, why is it so absurd for Fickell to have the same problem.

Also, the captains rotate because the players would have chosen SUSPENDED players. Huge PR nightmare. Its not some new tradition Fickell is creating, it was to protect the program from the media onslaught of "Suspended player(s) named team captains".

 

baddogmaine's picture

The other coaches play QB by committee because they have two fairly comparable candidates and think they can win NOW if they only find the right mix. You and Fickell have a simple question: will OSU qualify for an acceptable bowl THIS YEAR if the "right" QB gets the playing time? If so then keep tinkering until you find the right QB, hoping that in the mean time we don't lose so many games we no longer qualify for a decent bowl. If we're not going to a good bowl regrdless then lets stop the charade of giving ouselves the best chance in 2011 and start preparing for 2012. Whatever you think of Bauserman he is not going to be on the roster in 2012. Give someone who will be the game experience. And if that someone learns on the job and becomes pretty good this year we might both beat scUM and several others this year and be stronger next year.

buckeyedude's picture

It all just sounds like a lot of bitchin' to me.

 
 

Maestro's picture

In the NC Buckeye boat. Give the guy a chance everyone. 3 games in without 3 of his best offensive players or Nathan Williams and he's a failure....................sheesh..............slow down people.

vacuuming sucks

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

William's picture

Honestly? Norwell has played well at LT, so Adams really has not been missed that much. The WRs stink right now, but Posey is in a boot and he had a tendency to not haul in clutch receptions, Boom however is sorely missed. This still doesn't explain the piss poor game management or the absolutely awful game preparation.

BucksfanXC's picture

I'll tell you this: Colorado has less talent than we do, but they will be in better shape. We looked gassed in Miami. Colorado practices at altitude. This better not be close in the fourth quarter, but if I were coaching Colorado (which I'm probably not only because I haven't applied) I'd be trying to run hurry up offense and get us worn out early.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

bucknut24's picture

Hold on everybody.  Granted our offense did look terrible and the defense got wore out but OSU only had one week to prepare and Miami had two. OSU only had the Maryland game film to look at and there were suspended players where Miami had the Akron and Toledo games to look at which gave them the advantage.  I don't think this team is as bad as everyone is saying they just need time to gel.

OSUBOB's picture

agreed, look at the 08 season, we struggled in week 2 with a lesser opponenet, got waxed in game 3 by a good BCS opponent on the road, changed QB's to a more dynamic player, and won the big ten title... all of that can still happen

you win with people

Buckeyejason's picture

"All of that can still happen"

It could..but it would prob take a miracle.

Once again, back to 2008 yes we did get waxed by a better USC team and did struggle against Ohio and won a big ten championship, but the key to that team was senior leadership. It also had a lot of talent on it.

That team had offensive weapons like Beanie Wells, Robiskie, Hartline, Pryor. That team was also loaded on defense with Laurinaitis, Freeman, Jenkins, etc etc.

My point being is you can't compare apples to oranges. Two completely different teams with different head coaches.

I want it to happen, as does any Buckeye fan. But this team won't, and I mean WON'T win the Big Ten this year. Going to still watch and pull for them every game non the less.

BUCKEYES BABY!

OSUBOB's picture

well what you just said goes even mroe to the point people should probably back off Fickell a little... what were people's expectations this year?  I think with Herron and Posey back on offense (I think Posey is way better than Robo) Beanie was ganged up for a lot of the year and between Boom and Hall I liek our RB's a lot... so I dont see the comparison as that far off, and the big ten IMO is certainly not very good this year outside of Wisconsin. But either way the point of my post was to say that maybe we shouldnt jump to conclusions so fast after 3 games with such a young team and coach... in week 7 if we are 3-4 and not getting better, okay then start knocking down walls, but right now, there is still a lot of good things that can happen with this team

you win with people

Cross Village's picture

Further proof that your Buckeye "tough" is just veneer.  

GoBucks713's picture

this guy again?

-The Aristocrats!

Sgt. Elias's picture

yes, we all ride pretty ponies to the disney store. how did you know?

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Oh how we missed you, Cross Village - trolling with absolutely nothing added to the discussion. 

GoBucks713's picture

i think his avatar is that pic because he likes it between his legs, hence the picture of the Legs Inn.

-The Aristocrats!

baddogmaine's picture

The problem isn't that he's in his first year, the problem is that he doesn't know basics. When trailing at end of game and the other team is at your doorstep if your choice is to keep them out of the endzone and having the clock run out or letting them score quickly which gives you the better chance? Similarly, if your choice is to let your opponent drain the clock or go on offense with no timeouts but some time on the clock what's your choice? Saving TOs for your offense when there will be no time left in which to use them is suicide. Much better to try to preserve as much time as possible by calling TOs on defense and then using OOBs, spikes and 1st downs on offense. There really is no other way to see this, and that Fickell had any question about this at all, and the game ended with OSU still having 3 TOs left is why Luke is not ready for a head coaching job under the pressure of Buckeye football. Anyone who doesn't understand this should watch the end of the Auburn - Utah State game. Of course it was luck (and terrible play for trhe first 57 minutes), but at the very end it was Div 1 calibre coaching by Auburn that put them in a position where they could capitalize on luck.

 

It also is stupid at this point to not know what will happen with our QBs. The only reason to still consider Bauserman the #1 is to try to run up the score against weak competition. This will impress the easily impressed and leave Miller just as inexperienced for MSU, NE and the rest of the tough part of our schedule. Unless Fickell truly believes that we can win, say, all but two of the rest of our games with Bauser so that we get to a decent bowl he should demonstrate that he understands long-term goals by using this year as training for Miller, so that we start next year with a QB who knows the OSU offense as well as anyone can (if there is a change in offensive coaching then no one will know the offense) and knows how to handle game pressure.

 

Luke, you don't have the track record that  lets you be senatorial. Your clock is running - you need to show clarity of thinking and readinerss to make difficult decisions, or you start looking for a school that will need an assistant next year.

pompano buckeye's picture

I was fortunate (not sure if that is the right word now...but it seemed so until kickoff) enough to get to go to the game.  I had a great seat in the upper deck, row 2, 20 yard line behind the Buckeyes, and it seemed to me that Fickel spent an inordinate amout of time with the Defense when it would have made sense to be with the Offense.  An OSU fan next to me said, "Well, you know, Bollman is calling the plays".  I say, "so what...he needs to be trying to fire up the Offense."  He did seem lost.  I didn't spend the entire game watching Fickel, but when I did, he was frequently on the sideline alone, or talking to Vrabel.

I met some nice Miami fans, but overall, they were pretty rude and confrontational.  I was expecting it, since I live down here and know quite a few personally, but I was still surprised by the vitriol.  I have not heard this mentioned by anyone, but at one point the entire endzone (UM student section?) was rocking the place with "F*CK OHIO.  This went on for a couple of minutes, but I didn't notice if it was during a timeout or not.  It was as loud as any other cheering ever got, and I wondered if anything was said about it on ESPN.  (The "OVER RATED" chants at the end of the game were both expected and deserved..at least for that game.)

I would like to read what others who attended the game observed.

 

“...indomitable in victory, insufferable in defeat.” Woody Hayes

Brutus's picture

Can we all stop bitching about the timeouts. We did not lose because of timeouts. That game was lost well before the 4th quarter. All the timeouts in the world weren't going to get us a completed pass.

baddogmaine's picture

You're not saving Fickell, just giving a different, valid reason why he was inadequate. If we lost because we couldn't complete a pass then the blame falls on the coach who stuck with the guy who couldn't complete a pass. Three quarters of Bauserman was enough to establish that he would not lead the offense in that game, especially when the record is supplemented by his performance in the preceeding game. With 3 other QBs on the roster and the game still within reach refusing to try something different is stubborn for no apparent reason. Though the end of game situation is not about what is likely to get a win - it is about what makes a win possible as opposed to imposible. Auburn won because it preserved possibilities. OSU lost because it both failed to complete passes and failed to preserve possibilities. The head coach is responsible for the choices involved in both of those.

Brutus's picture

I'm not trying to save Fickell. I'm not defending his coaching decisions. I'm just saying that the timeouts were insignificant and people need to stop bitching about this point because we sound ridiculous (as opposed to rediculous). If he takes the timeouts at the end of the game, Miami scores anyway, we get the ball back, go three and out, our passing stats look even worse, Miami gets the ball back and we prolong our agony. I'm being facetious, lest anyone get the impression that I'm actually implying Fickell didn't call timeouts because he just wanted the game to end already.

And miller wasn't exactly racking up passing stats. He looked just as lost as Bauserman. I know, this is Fickell's fault for not getting him more playing time, but we've established that about a thousand times over.

One last thing, JT would not have won that game with that level of QB play. We lost because the players on the field we're not as good as theirs, particularly the QBs and the receivers who kept dropping passes. If JT were coaching, it would be the same outcome. We'd just be calling for his head.

Fickell is our coach for the season. He didn't ask for the mess he inherited. He didn't ask to be made head coach. He didn't ask to lose one of the best players in the country and have several others suspended. What we have here is one big shit sandwich and we pretty much all have to take a bite.

Tommy's picture

The timeouts were insignificant to the result of the game, but not insignificant to the evaluation of Fickell as HC.  The fact that we almost assuredly would have lost the game regardless of anything Fickell did or did not do makes it all the more important to critique him on the things that we know he is in complete control of... like the use of timeouts.

During the rough times, whether in sports or life, people want to know that you're giving it your all regardless of how bad things get.  It's what gets you through and back to ride the good times again.  There is definitely a certain element of pride involved as well.  We are The Ohio State University and we are going to fight until the last whistle.  Its bad enough that we had to be embarassed at the hands of a thug institution like that.  The least we could do was go down swinging.

Either Fickell forgot about the timeouts, truly thought it would be better to let the clock run down and save all 3 for when we had the ball with under 1 min left and down at least 2 scores, or he just plain gave up before the last whistle.  None of those are good coaching, and therefore he should be judged accordingly.

buckeyedude's picture

Right on Brutus, right on!

 
 

rider1's picture

Man it sucks to be irrelevant! I hope we never get used to it.

billjones's picture

With all due respect to Luke Fickell (clearly he inherited a crappy situation), who is ready to begin speculating about the next HC at The Ohio State University?

NC_Buckeye's picture

And that was the last 11W comment I'll read this season. Thanks.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

sort of like how i haven't watched sport center all week.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

BoFuquel's picture

I don't watch no stinkin' ESPN. I think Brax. gets the starting job at IL, witch will probably be our 3rd and final loss of the year.

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Neilwoodgables's picture

"He seems lost on the sideline, as does Vrabel"

 

 

I hardly remember seeing Vrabel shown for more than a second in any of the 3 games

 

I am not happy with the game and I think Luke is in a now win situation here but Tressel was grooming him and that says a lot to me.

 

He gets to work his way through this and I will reserve my judgement until the end of the season.

 

I am almost relieved that we are going to struggle this season.  It is about time for the bandwagon pussies that have been hanging around this team the last 10 years to jump the hell off and find something else to post inane crap about.   

 

 

 

I Hate Michigan.

baddogmaine's picture

So you both will trust Fickell and will reserve judgment on him, and you hate Michigan. How will you feel if Bausermen remains the starting QB even as he continues playing the way he did against TOL and Miami and Choke dances on our graves? Reserve judgment all you want but if Luke sticks with a QB who panics under pressure there is going to be a day when judgment is going to explode like a volcano; and at that point it will be too late to ask if the movie could have ended any other way.

Neilwoodgables's picture

Like I said I will wait and see how he handles the season.

 

He is inexperienced and was dealt a really shitty hand but if Tressel thought enough of him than I think he deserves the season before I cast my judgement on him.

 

It is going to be what it is going to be and if that is a clean break from the Tressel era and staff then so be it.

 

The Qb situation isnt good and it is more a product of what he was dealt than his own doing.

I Hate Michigan.

Jdadams01's picture

And that is just not true. He was dealt a talented, but inexperienced freshman and chose not to give him as much experience against Akron and Toledo. He was dealt Bauserman, but chose to start him.

Bucks's picture

I'm glad you are intricately involved in the program and with that, know things past everyone else.

Braxton has had issues with learning the system/playbook. It hasn't come as easily as some had expected. That has been admitted to. Miller gained the "or" 2nd spot ahead of other QB's so it's not like he is ignored. Boren was asked specifically about Miller & responded indicating there are some issues within the huddle & getting frazzled.

 

While I agree that Miller should be the starter, acting like it is cut and dry and there can be no possible reasoning for him not starting, is flatly wrong.

Jdadams01's picture

Never said it was cut and dry. Never said there was no possible reason for him not to start. Just merely stated that everything has been Fickell's choice. Just as taking the job was. I'm a Fickell fan and am rooting for him, but at the same time I won't excuse his choices with "well that was the hand he was dealt". He knew the stakes no matter what hand he was dealt. Buckeye Nation does not tolerate games like the one against Miami. Fickell chose to start with an ineffective game plan and an ineffective QB. He didn't give Miller serious playing time until we were in a big hole and desperate. All of those choices fall on him.

btalbert25's picture

That's been my point, people say the poor guy was thrown into a horrible situation.  I say no not really, he took the job knowing exactly what it was going to be like.  No one forced him into it, and maybe no one else wanted it.  

Also, I agree with what you have kind of implied.  We can like Fickell and be pulling for him to do well, while still recognizing the guy is in over his head.  It's like people think if you don't think he's the guy for the job you hate Fickell and are wanting him to fail and that couldn't be farther from the truth in my case.  I want him to succeed, I just don't see it happening at this point. 

baddogmaine's picture

How do you fix Miller  getting frazzled? by putting him in game situations and letting him get over it. There is no other way to fix it. I have no idea how well or poorly Miller has mastered the playbook. I know a) that Buserman's mastery of the playbook lead to 2 completions for 13 yards in over 3 quarters of play against a decent but not elite defense (and we don't have a Ga Tech running game that makes the passing game unnecessary); and b) on the field Miller did not seem lost, he seemed careless. And in the one series he was given before the lost fumble he moved the ball against that defense better than Bauserman had all game.

 

I'm not arguing that Miller should start. If you want to soothe the senior's pride by giving him the starting spot that probably won't affect anything. But if Miller is the QB of the future and the future starts now based on play on the field I see no reason other than Bauser's pride to start him. Again, the issue is pretty simple: if Bauserman can not get us to a bowl we will be happy with then Miller should be getting most of the practice and most of the play. Just keep in mind that not many alums, donors, or general fans are going to be happy with the Little Debbie Snack Cake Bowl against the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.

 

 

Rooster Buckburn's picture

on another note - anyone concerned that Delaney is sitting on his thumbs while the ACC, SEC and PAC 12 are becoming super conferences?  Was hoping to see Missouri get an invite to the B1G, but doesn't look that will happen:

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/6997737/oklahoma-consider-s...

Denny's picture

Problem is Delaney's just been sending this to everyone, and it's kind of creepy/sad.

Taquitos.