Fickell Presser Notes: Wisconsin Week

By DJ Byrnes on October 25, 2011 at 12:40p
He still terrifies me.Russ Wilson is human after all. 

With Michigan State throwing an unexpected life-line to the Ohio State Buckeyes' division and conference hopes, Luke Fickell took to the podium in the Alumni Lounge of Ohio State's Fawcett Center today to answer the assembled media's questions. Ohio State is coming off its best game of the season, a 17-7 win over (then) #16 Illinois two weeks ago in Champaign.

Wisconsin saw their furious second-half rally fall short last weekend in East Lansing, as Keith Nichol hauled in Kirk Cousins' 44 yard Hail Mary chuck on the last play of regulation. The loss sent the Badgers tumbling in the polls to #15, a ranking they will bring into the Horseshoe this Saturday. 

This weekend's game (where Ohio State will be wearing Nike's latest abomination) will be key for both teams' division hopes. Wisconsin is now looking up to Penn State, while Ohio State is behind everybody in the division except lowly Indiana.

So, what did Ol' Fick have to say this week?

... The Jaamal Berry situation is "on-going," but Fickell said "we represent something bigger then ourselves," and "nothing goes unseen." Ohio State is "looking into it" and "taking it very seriously."

... Fickell was about "forty-five minutes to an hour into sleep" when Kirk Cousins uncorked his Hail Mary pass. "It was an unbelievable play," Fickell said, who has seen replays.

... There is no expectation of Wisconsin coming in "down" after their gut-punch of a loss. Fickell noted it doesn't matter if you lose on the last play or get rolled by 21+, a "loss is a loss."

... Dominic Clarke is "back with us, the program, and the team. He'll be back in the fold."

... Fickell says 18-22 year-olds were more excited about Wisconsin's loss than the coaches were. Fickell noted it was still about taking care of their own business first.

... The coaching staff feels they're seeing "a lot of growth" with Braxton, but Fickell added, "until it shows up on Saturday, it doesn't matter."

... Fickell says he hasn't been involved with too many freshmen quarterbacks, so it's hard for him to compare Braxton to others. Still, Braxton has done a "very good job" and "he's learned every week."

... Russell Wilson, a fifth-year senior, was lauded by Fickell for "being able to blend into the team." He can "scramble and make plays when he needs to." He's also a "good fit for their system."

... To rattle Wilson, Ohio State must be able to get to Russell Wilson, through sacks, rushes, or hits.

... There was no countdown to the Wisconsin game this year. He also noted this isn't about "revenge" or "redemption." Though, he did note, "nobody forgets how that loss felt." When asked if Michigan was still the #1 target, Fickell parried with coach-speak. However, when asked if he knew how many days until Michigan game, Fickell smiled and said, "34." (The illustrious Jeff Svoboda pointed out there's only 32 days remaining).

... Fickell said they're trying to figure out ways to get the best eleven players on the field, although the gamut of talent at running back can hamper that.

... Fickell notes Saturday will be "emotional," and he hopes the crowd is ready.

... For the 100th time this season, Fickell deflected a question regarding his chances of retaining the job (this one centering on the possibility if Ohio State were to get hot).

... When asked if anybody has told him what must be done in order for him to retain his job, Fickell went to the wife-well once again: "My wife tells me what I need to do all the time."

... "A bye-week doesn't bring everybody back to 100%" Fickell said, who also noted he doesn't care for them.

... "With [Wisconsin] it starts up front with them," Fickell said in regards to Wisconsin's "consistent" rushing attack.

... Fickell says the linebacker corps has gotten "better and better." Fickell says we'll probably see more of three-linebacker sets than we have in past weeks, due to having to respond to what Wisconsin is putting out there.

... Fickell says "we haven't been given any insight" into when NCAA could bring sanctions down on their program. "We can't waste energy on things we can't control."

... Ohio State's defense started slow last year in Madison, but Fickell says "it's still about being sound," this time around. "They don't try to surprise you."

... Night games are "more of a difficult thing to sit around and wait." Fickell said he'd prefer all games at noon so he could "get up and go."

... When the prospect of paying players was breached, Fickell said "you're asking me about things I don't know much about."

... When asked about the toughness of balancing recruiting/a game-week of this magnitude, Fickell admitted it's tough, but sometimes it's not a bad thing to "take your mind off some things."

... Eddie George, a teammate of Fickell's, "is probably, to [him], one of the best stories at Ohio State." He noted how things didn't start right for him, but he became the hardest working person on the team. Fickell says he talks to his team about the moral of the story a lot.

... Fickell says "there's an opinion on everything," in regards to Nike's Pro Combat uniforms. He also noted he didn't like it at first, but called it "a good thing" to have around the program. "The guys enjoy it."

... Kenny Guitton "gets a lot of reps, he'll get more of the two reps than Joe [Bauserman], but we still have the ability to play Joe."

... Punter Ben Buchanan was lauded by Fickell.

... Fickell says "they got a lot of work done" over the bye-week. He's not concerned with "a loss of momentum" after coming off the team's best win of the season.


Comments Show All Comments

Bucksfan's picture

F*ck the Badgers.  The Buckeyes need to come out and defend the house with some pride.

BucksfanXC's picture

I'm telling ya, the Fightin' Bielimas always struggle on the road. Fick needs to have these kids pumped up with something to play for.

"You guys want to shock the world? Well so far you have...with how far you've fallen. You've got a second chance. The road to Indy is laid out in front of you. Pave it. Shock the world."

“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

Brady's picture

This will be my one trip down to the shoe this year.  I really hope the crowd is ready to get loud.  I will do my part.  It shouldn't be too hard considering the extra time to get "psyched".


flipbuckeye's picture

I wish this game was on ABC. I don't care about USC vs Stanford. I'm having a halloween party at my place but can only get channels through my antenna.

Kennywayne34's picture

Really really really sick and tired of the alt, errrrr" throwback" unis across the board.
We have one of, if not THE sharpest best looking uniforms in college football. Why keep f&$'ing around with it. The shit is totally played out. I really hope this is the last one. seriously

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

I remember when people complained about the current jerseys being used over the existing ones with scarlet/black/white lines on the sleeves a few years ago. There is nothing wrong with using alternate jerseys one game a season IMHO.

"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

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

til the year we get black jerseys..i'll shit my pants..just for 1 freakin game a year..hurts nothin

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Getting to and putting Russell Wilson on his ass is key. Statistically, Sparty is a better defense, but no way are they more talented than tOSU. We will be the best defense they face as long as we play up to our potential for 4 quarters. O - H!!

P.S. The Nike Pro Combat Jerseys are sick!

"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

Kennywayne34's picture

I guess the uni thing isn't as bad this year because it's not being worn for THE game. I was really starting to miss the silver shiny helmets with all the buckeye leaves against them. I guess my whole thing is really with the helmets. I wish they could tie something in w/ out changing the helmets as much.

Ps the helmets are the same exact thing MSU/Georgia wore except color and logo.

Buckeyejason's picture

So we wait till week 8 to get Guiton involved more? Cool. Thatta boy Luke! Keep up the great decision making.


Maestro's picture

Because Guiton has done so much in his game experience????

Obviously the guy isn't that great.

vacuuming sucks

Buckeyejason's picture

Game experience? He hasn't even been givin a chance. Are you saying Bauserman is playing well enough to even be considered? Give me a break.


RBuck's picture

I didn't think anyone could be more evasive than Tress. Way to go Luke.

Long live the southend.

Jdadams01's picture

I really dont mind the once-a-year alternate jerseys. The players always get psyched for em so.