Fickell Presser Notes: Illinois Week

By DJ Byrnes on October 11, 2011 at 12:40p
DO THEY LIVE? DO THEY DIE? ONLY CESAR KNOWS THIS.Ron Zook, preparing to render his verdict.

With his team’s season teetering at 3-3, Coach Luke Fickell stepped to the podium in the Alumni Lounge of Ohio State’s Fawcett Center today to answer the assembled media’s questions. Who did the little things, which those of us in the stands didn’t realize? Who was still competing? And, most pertinently, what kind of federal investigation is Kenny Guiton under to not warrant any playing time?

Things certainly won’t get easier for the Buckeyes this week, as they travel to the barren stretch of land known as “Champaign, Illinois.” Illinois' peculiar coach, Ron Zook, has the Fighting Illini off to their best start since 1951. Nathan Scheelhaase is fifth nationally in passer efficiency. Dynamo receiver A.J. Jenkins is averaging 135 yards per game receiving. To make matters worse, their defense ranks fifth nationally against the run. (79.5 yards per game).


… Coach Fickell started by saying they were “disappointed” with last week’s game, but they “have to move on.” He said the team will all grow and be better from the loss, as long as “they handle it the right way.”

… Braxton Miller “looks like he will be okay,” but Fickell noted it all depended on how Braxton performs in practice this week. Fickell also noted that “the growth is there, and there’s potential to continue to grow.”

… Kenny Guiton “will get some more reps,” this week. Fickell said Guiton “has been getting more reps at quarterback and special teams” and said Guiton will get “more opportunities in the weeks to come.”

… “Could [Bauserman] have done better? Yes, but we could’ve done better as coaches, we could’ve blocked better… We have to continue to get better.”

… When asked if the game was called in a way which gave his team the best chance to win, Fickell skirted the query with a flurry of coach-speak, but did mention “hindsight is always 20/20”, but there was “nothing he wanted to say publically about ‘we should have done this, we should have done that.’”

… Fickell pinned the defensive meltdown at Nebraska to missed tackling, but did say the first half was about as “lights out” as the defense has been all year. “Ultimately, we didn’t get the job done.”

… The biggest challenge Fickell has faced in his first year of coaching is about “finding a balance in [his] life.” Fickell also noted it is strenuous talking to the various groups which the Ohio State coach has to meet with because “he isn’t about a lot of talk.”

… Fickell refused to speculate on his future. “We don’t get into that, we tell our guys not to get into that.”

… Boom Herron “will get some touches,” but said Buckeye fans may get their first view of him on special teams.

… The psyche of the defense doesn’t seem to concern Fickell. “To me, some of the worst things happened when the guys got tired.” 

… In regards to Mike Adams getting his starting spot back and Boom Herron being relegated down the depth chart: Adams immediately returned to his starting spot, but that wouldn’t have been the case if Ohio State “didn’t have a mix-up at offensive line.”

… On Marcus Hall being back and what it would do to the offensive line, Fickell advised the media to “look at the depth chart. It will probably look a lot like last week.”

… Mike Adams played “pretty well” last week.

… Nathan Williams “probably won’t be with us the rest of the year… He will probably have another surgery.” Fickell wouldn’t shed any light on the injury, which people thought had been minor.

… Fickell couldn’t speculate on why Illinois always seems to be the thorn-in-the-side of Ohio State, but said “it goes all the way back to when I was in school.”

… On what Guiton could potentially bring to the table, Fickell said, “Kenny starts with his passion to play right now… He wants to play football.”

… When asked about any caution being applied to Braxton due to the hits which he’s accumulated thus far, Fickell said, “You’re always worried about that… but sometimes, you have to do what you do best.”

… A.J. Jenkins, Illinois monster wide-out, “is a play-maker. If you see a long pass from them… it’s probably going to Jenkins.” Fickell noted the tendency is to stuff the box against Illinois, which opens things up for Jenkins.

… Fickell declined to single out the defensive line, which was vaporized by Nebraska’s offensive line in the second half. “It’s on the whole unit.”

… Fickell had noted the tightness of the group coming into the year, but said, “it’s easy to be tight right now.” With adversity hitting them in the face the last few weeks, Fickell seemed confident in the cohesiveness in the team. “I believe they’re all with us.”

… Ohio State has one player in the Big Ten’s Top 50 tacklers. Fickell joked that other programs seemed to be much more liberal with assigning their own players' tackles.

… When the idea of permanent captains was broached, Fickell said “they made a decision [with rotating captains] and we’re going to do that.”

… Does Fickell have the authority to change who or how the plays are called? “Yes. Who would I have to check with? My wife?”

… Fickell makes “a couple suggestions” to the offense during the game.

… Jaamal Berry, Ohio State’s lost running back, has been “most focused” with special teams. “He has a lot of ability,” but Fickell noted there were other backs getting more opportunities. “I’m sure it’s tough for him, but he knows it’s about the team… His attitude has been right.”

… John Cooper’s quote of “Ohio State fans are with you win or tie,” was brought up, but Fickell said the criticism from fans didn’t bother him. “We love them when they’re with us too,” but Fickell said he may not have turned on the TV the last six weeks. He also went back to saying to saying criticism motivates him much more than praise does.


Comments Show All Comments

Jason Priestas's picture

The wife line was absolutely epic. Bummer to hear about Nathan Williams, but I'd been bracing myself for that since rumors surfaced along those lines last week. Hopefully he comes back for a another go.

Nappy's picture

Any chance for a medical redshirt?  If he's out the rest of the year wouldn't he have played in less than 30% of games?

Edit: DERP! Just saw the forum post

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Jason Priestas's picture

Yep, medical redshirt is his only option as he played in the opener.

Bucksfan's picture

Man, I know that if I let my wife make my football decisions for me, I would be watching Lifetime Movie Network every Saturday.

Squirrel Master's picture

What! No questions about how much of a dumbass Bollman is?

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

DJ Byrnes's picture

No, there were, they just weren't phrased like that, hahaha. (See his wife line) It's just tough, because it's not like Fickell is going to put his OC on blast publically or anything. (As he stated today).

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Alex's picture

Yeah it was very interesting when Fickell said: "There's no things I want to come out and say that I wish we had done public at least"

Squirrel Master's picture

Said it before and I will say it again:

1) Thank god Bauserman's elligability ends this year!

2) Fickell can stay head coach if he fires Bollman and brings in someone who knows what they are doing.

Outside of those two things, I have not complained one bit..........Okay I am lying! I do have some issues with Shugarts.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

klfeck's picture

Fickell can stay HC as long as he hires Urban as OC. That way Urban gets to show off and still have time for family. Everyone wins.



Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

NC_Buckeye's picture

This would be my dream too. Except replace Meyer with Gruden.

Back to the real world though.

Squirrel Master's picture

How about Gruden as head coach, Meyer as OC and Fickell moves up to AD?

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

theDuke's picture

been saying this for 3 weeks now. i wouldn't care if Urban faxed the plays in from costa rica, we need some offensive ingenuity bad.


Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Gotta think Fick knows he's a one and done at this point. But he is a Buckeye, so I am sure he will continue to do his best. The way I look at this season is to just get all the bad out this season. Then, starting next season, this team will be straight nasty. And there wont be a significant difference at the QB spot w/Cordale Jones (barring he redshirts) if Braxton goes down. I have a firm belief that if #5 stayed in at QB, we would have atleast held the lead. That just shows that Miller gives us the best chance to win. 1-10 passing and 1 first down w/Bauserman against Nebraska should show this coaching staff that he shouldn't do anything more than hold a clipboard the rest of the season. I could complete 1-10 passing...and I can actually throw a spiral.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Squirrel Master's picture

The fact that Bauserman got 10 pass attempts with less than a full half is astonishing! That right there tells you the game planning went right out the window the second Braxton went down!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

timdogdad's picture

right, by next year all of these new players will have a  year of experience. especiially the offense. i see a lot of players in their 2nd full year becoming pretty good.  i just see the positive potential of miller. corey brown, hyde, devin smith.  plus the defense will have more experience and will be better. 

AC1972's picture

I don't think we need Cordale, Guiton should be a fine backup QB next year.  For that matter, I'm thinking he would be a fine backup THIS year! 

Then hopefully OHST lands Darryl Richardson from Armwood HS in Tampa in 2013.  Dude is a beast.

btalbert25's picture

The best answer to that 5th ranked rush defense is Carlos Hyde.  Dude is a wrecking ball out there.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Absolutely. Hyde is warming up his beast mode. 

jfrank373's picture

Absolutely. How he is not #1 on the depth chart is beyond me. Dude totally reminded me of Beanie on Saturday. Top end speed, has the shake to make you miss, and the hammer if you don't get out of the way.

Buckeyejason's picture

What's the over/under on how many catches Jenkins gets on Howard Continent?

This might be the game that Howard finally gets yanked for Clarke.


Doug Buckles's picture

Fickell seems like a douchebag. Not saying he is because I do not know him but based off of presser notes and his beatass responses the entire year, huuge duff.

RBuck's picture

Man, that's real harsh and IMO uncalled for. I don't think any true Buckeye should be called that...and, regardless of what you think, Luke Fickell is a true Buckeye.

Long live the southend.

thorvath22's picture

True buckeyes aren't immune to being douche bags.

RBuck's picture

Being a bad coach and doing a Tress impersonation during a presser does not make Fick's a db. You guys don't know the man and neither do I. Save that term for someone who really deserves it.

Long live the southend.

Doc's picture

Like Brady Hoke.;D

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

thorvath22's picture

I never said he was a db, just saying just because he's a buckeye doesn't mean he's not.

Jdadams01's picture

I honestly wish he would be more of a Douche towards other teams during games.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Doug -

  I don't intend for Fickell to come across as a douche-bag. We're having some video uploading problems with YouTube right now--but my aim with this is to just present the facts and what's said.

   Fickell, as he said today, isn't much of a talker. I don't think it's something he enjoys. In the lockerroom, I'm sure he's much, much different. I've never thought ill of Fickell--in fact I like him a lot.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

KenK's picture

Good point. If Fickell, or anybody for that matter, is uncomfortable with the public speaking part of his job, then he probably won't come across that well. I guessing he didn't have to hold too many pressers as a defensive coach, so this public speaking needs to bea learned trait. He'll be fine. 

Johnny Hooker: "He's not as tough as he thinks". Henry Gondorff: "Neither are we".

Buckeyejason's picture

Yeah he kinda comes off that way..i can understand that.


buckeyewx's picture

Fickell motivated by criticism...what motivates Bollman? Beef brisket?

BuckeyeSki's picture

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

Denny's picture



cronimi's picture

You, sir, win the internet with that wordless post.

Hoody Wayes's picture

If it comes from the City Barbecue, I can understand such a motivation.

thorvath22's picture

Joey Galloway is on ESPN's "The Experts" and stickin up for the good guys!

theDuke's picture

THOR, please post a link for this if one is available. I know it's ESPiN, but man, Joey G. is a Dawg!!!


thorvath22's picture

Sorry, can't find one.... It was on yesterday so hopefully it will be on youtube in a day or so.

ArTbkward's picture

I do realize correcting spelling has never made anyone friends but the game is in Champaign, not champagne which is the bubbly stuff you drink. I used to live there, its a pet peeve. Sorry for being, "that person".

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

Jason Priestas's picture

Fixed. Thanks for the heads-up.

DJ Byrnes's picture

I googled this like last week too, smh. Completely missed it in the proof-read in my haste to get to class, good look on the fix.

I also put an "i" in champagne on a regular basis. In short, I hate the word.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

BoFuquel's picture

I know it's a sham and a pain in either form.GO BUCKS!

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

costinjr's picture

Heard Brandon Castel over at asked him about Bauserman truly giving them the best production of Braxton comes out.


Among his response Fickell said, "You never know, an opportunity is probably going to arise at some point in time for him again, and I'll have confidence that he'll make the plays that he needs to. "

I understand standing by your players in front of the media, but that has got to be a lie. 5th row Joe would not start on a MAC team, and possibly not even a dIAA team.  He's 26 years old, he doesn't need coddled he needs to be put at the end of the bench. If Guiton gives you the most resemblence to Braxton, how could you not give Guiton a backup position? High school coaches don't coddle their kids as much as this staff does. Absolutely blown away with the ineptitude and stuborness of this staff. Maybe they should watch the second half of the Nebraska game a few more times.

biggy84's picture

Agreed! No way Baus gives the team ANY chance of winning! Not so smart benching your best running back, who is a senior, and been a warrior for this program, right after he ALREADY served a 6 game suspension. Not like we will win the public relations war by not starting him. We lost that battle a long time ago, so why try. How about winning a game!

jenks's picture

maybe now is a bad time to note that my last name is jenkins and my friends call me aj =/

no relation

NYC Buckeye's picture

I have no legit reasoning for the following statement, however I have a feeling that if Miller is fine and able to play, that we will win this game...  

I think more based on the fact that Illinois is due for a letdown game, (they have teased their fans enough to this point that they think the team is good now) less to do with us actually playing quality football for an entire game...

theDuke's picture

someone in the office today suggested that poor Baus might be a "mole" for the NCAA...


Bucks's picture

I'm convinced Bauserman has naked pictures of Bollman. Well naked plus the straw hat he wears. This crap with Baus is just nutty. JIM -SENIOR LOYALTY- TRESSEL would have already played Guiton.


I, as others above, love the checking with wife response. Gave me a good laugh there on that.

Luke's post-game presser was hard to watch for me personally. To me, he was past deflated. Seemed broken. Not sure if that has continued or if he shook it off a bit.


NC_Buckeye's picture

Where are you guys seeing the post-game pressers? BTN?

I would like for that.