Fickell Presser Notes: Indiana Week

By DJ Byrnes on November 1, 2011 at 12:50p
126 Comments
This 1994 MS Paint graphic is about as titillating as watching Indiana play football.Another sea of red invades Columbus this weekend.

Coming off the biggest win of his head coaching career, Luke ​Fickell stepped to the microphone in the Alumni Lounge of Ohio State's Fawcett Center today to answer the assembled media's questions. After disposing of the Wisconsin Badgers last Saturday, it's the Hoosiers of Indiana who are coming to rumble this week. While the fanfair surrounding the game won't be as extravagant as it was for the Wisconsin game, it's no less important due to the new divisions in the Big Ten. If Ohio State is to make it to Indianapolis, then the Hoosiers must be moved out of the way.

For once, Ohio State isn't the team involved in controversy. Indiana dismissed its leading receiver, Demarlo Belcher, earlier this this week. (He was only three receptions short of being Indiana's all-time leading receptions leader.) Like Ohio State, they too bring in their fair share of freshmen and sophomores as they continue to look for the right recipe in Bloomington. 

The Hoosiers also come in seeking their first win in conference play.

... Fickell said the focus isn't particularly on who his team is playing every week but on bettering themselves every week.

... Boom Herron is a "secure runner", and he mentioned Boom brings a "confidence level", in both the player and the coaches.

... The oversized defensive-line is due to Ohio State wanting to get the "best eleven players on the field." Fickell said they'd look different if they had a Nate Williams or Thaddeus Gibson available to them.

... "Every win is big... It goes down the same on the schedule. It's one win and we move on.... It's not the time to look at it during the season."

... The goal of winning the Big 10 "doesn't change." He said going into the season you have "an idea" [of the expectations], but you always want to push your players to try to do better.

... "A couple big plays" was the cause of Ohio State's defensive melt-down in the last four minutes. Fickell also mentioned a "blown coverage" on Wisconsin's go-ahead score. 

... The defensive line has "done a good job. They took the challenge." He said they're "unselfish and they get better every week," (which is what Fickell is all about himself).

... Indiana also plays a lot of freshmen. Fickell said "you have to get them out there... so that way they're not freshman by the end of the year." He mentioned how Shawn Springs (his teammate while at Ohio State) might have been even better if he had gotten earlier reps as an example of the need to play young guys.

... "It's difficult" to play three running backs, Fickell admitted when asked about Carlos Hyde's lack of playing time. He said it has tested Carlos' dedication to the team, and Carlos has passed all the tests. He admitted "it's tough," but he said Carlos' opportunities will come and "he's got to be ready for them."

... Reporter: "You seem to be the only one in Columbus not concerned with your future. Is it really that simple?" Fickell: "If you let it." 

... Fickell said the coaching staff tries to lead by example in regards to unselfishness and dedication to the team. He said if they didn't, the players wouldn't respect them.

... Indiana is "a young group with nothing but up to go." He said they expect a wide-open offense with a lot of youthful aggressiveness. He said if you're trying to change some things at a program, "that's what you're looking for." He said the freshmen Indiana play "won't be freshmen on November 1."

... Luke Fickell has no rooting interest in LSU-Alabama. He doesn't get to watch a lot of college football because it's hard for him to enjoy it and not approach it like a coach.

... When asked where he's seen the most growth in his team: "The confidence level... they believe in one another."

... Before Braxton led the game-winning charge, he told Fickell "We got this." He said that's the confidence the coaching staff has tried to instill in him this year.

... Being at home -- after a win like last week -- "is big." But Fickell said they'll have to adjust to the noon kick-off time, which they haven't had in awhile.

... "If we can have an atmosphere close to last Saturday... you don't know how much that helps. It's a huge benefit... I'll work on the team; you guys work on the crowd."

... Fickell said his teams ability to work has led to recent success and not really the return of regular personnel.

... Fickell said the one thing his team does have to work on is "not worrying" if things go wrong on the field. 

... Note: Fickell's swagger level was about 324% higher than the first time he did this.

126 Comments

Comments

Buckeye Scottie's picture

SHAWN Springs, not Sean.  I only know cause he was one of my favorite players and I ALWAYS worked out a trade for him on Madden...

DJ Byrnes's picture

Good look!

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

RBuck's picture

Heard the presser and came away from it more impressed with Fickell. I'm now on the bandwagon to keep him and bring in a new OC and OL coach.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

JLP36's picture

don't forget your QB coach!

JLP36

RBuck's picture

Yeah, punch myself in the face.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

Buckeyejason's picture

I wouldn't really have a problem keeping Fickell if we don't bring in a big time coach like Meyer, Gruden, etc.

BUCKEYES BABY!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

I would take Fick over Gruden in a heartbeat. But, if we do hire Fick and he achieves anything less than JT's 80% winning percentage (which is what we will probably demand), then we'll always wonder, "What if we hired Urban?"

The gap between going down the road of a ND and getting it right the first time is incredibly small.

Buckeyejason's picture

Exactly!

BUCKEYES BABY!

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I think Jon Gruden would make an excellent college coach. I know his commentary gets very old. Whatever happens next year, Jim Bollman clling plays has to end if we are to ever take that next step back up.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Buckeyejason's picture

A huge concern for me is Keeping Fickell as head coach and him keeping Bollman and the Geek squad QB coach. Then what?

BUCKEYES BABY!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Honestly, I can't see this happening (and I have nothing to back it up). If Fick gets hired, he has zero ties to Bollman. While Smith's PR savvy might be awful, I don't think he's dumb. I think he opens up the checkbook, and we get some quality assistants.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

I think Vrabel's presence on the coaching staff might actually help here. There's no way he's not lobbying to get Bollman out of there. If the story about him throwing Bollman's playbook is to be believed, then I would think that he wouldn't let Fickell keep Bollman. 

NYC Buckeye's picture

I agree, he has no ties to Bollman, and I would "think" Bollman is out either way at the end of the season, however I definitely echo Jason's concern about retaining Fickell, and Fickell keeping Bollman... its not like Fickell has a long history of coaching jobs to run down his list of OC candidates... who is he gonna hire, Eddie?  

Also, keeping Fickell and firing Bollman might not lead to a fancy high priced coordinator, it could lead to Stan Drayton taking over as offensive coordinator...not implying that would be bad...

OSUNeedles's picture

"If we can have an atmosphere close to last Saturday... you don't know how much that helps. It's a huge benefit... I'll work on the team; you guys work on the crowd."

If only the "fans" who asked me to sit down right before kickoff cared enough to read comments like that. Fills me with such rage...

Buckeyejason's picture

Fans like that you either ignore or tell them to go F' themselves! Simple as that.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Pam's picture

As we did to the loud mouth behind us who kept blabbing about how an "SEC coach would have...."

jfrank373's picture

I don't get that either. I stood (even though I was 5 rows from the top!) for almost the entire game. Wouldn't you rather stand instead of having 4" of ass room anyway? Who could sit during that game?

Doc's picture

You have to ignore the corporate ticket holders.  Stand up and cheer!  You are at a football game not the symphony.  If the time is correct to stand, like third down and must get downs, stand and yell.  The university should get rid of the bleachers and make everyone stand!  J/k

"Say my name."

BED's picture

I think they just need to remove the front 3 rows of every section and give those seats to students.  Making "student only" sections in the north and south endzones (outside of Block O) ruined the atmosphere.

If I ever hit the Powerball, I'm buying every last one of those seats in AA and A and giving them to students who will promise to NEVER sit, and always yell on Defense EVERY SINGLE DOWN.

You want to sit and watch the game, stay home and give your ticket to someone who cares.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

William's picture

Haha great idea. As a student I'd take that deal after getting stuck in 32B in the south endzone. Regardless of that everyone in my section stood the whole game.

BED's picture

It was MUCH better back when they did have us spread out.  I graduated undergrad in '06.  They made the switch in '07 when I was a law student, so I had 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 seasons to compare to 07 and 08.

The BEST thing I've ever experienced in my life was sitting on the 20 in AA in the 8th row for that 1 v. 2 '06 scUM game.  The atmosphere was electric, because no one sat a single down.  

When I was a JR and SR I sat in A and AA respectively, and it was MUCH louder than my 2nd year of Law school when they moved the students to the endzones.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

were they over 60 years old?

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

BED's picture

Does. Not. Matter.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

jfrank373's picture

I'm slowly moving onto the Fickell bandwagon. Everyone talks about how we've seen a quarterback come into his own in recent games, we've also seen our coach come into his own as well. I think he's found his groove. I do however believe there will be a direct correlation between how he does against scUM and if he is retained.

If he does stay, I can see him making Vrabel the assistant coach and D Coordinator and letting Heacock (even though he's been awesome, he's old) and Bollman go. Fick and Vrabel will run the D and he can bring in a Mike Leach or Greg Brandon (Urban's former O-Coordinator at BG, who is now at Wyoming) to run the offense.

Let's just hope our winning doesn't piss off the NCAA even more and they don't decide to punish us for actually pulling ourselves from the rubble.

William's picture

I definitely would have prefered Meyer earlier in the season due to Fickell's indecision, and the team's performance. But now after the past few weeks this team is really starting to come into its own as has Fickell. I would definitely understand if he was hired as the permanent Head Coach after this season, but if he is he needs to get rid of Bollman, Siciliano, and probably Dick Tressel even though our running backs and special teams have been solid. As for Heacock I think you have to keep a defensive genius like that for as long as you can.

Seth4Bucks's picture

So what's the reasoning on getting rid of Dick if the RBs and ST have been solid? Oh and I'd argue that the ST this years is way ahead of any STs we've seen from OSU in recent years. I believe I'm right in saying that this is the first season he's been put in charge of them and it's paying off big.

William's picture

I understand with what you're saying, the reason that I could see OSU getting rid of Tressel is because he was one of his brother's yes men. But you are right ST has been on another level this year.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Definitely keep Heacock if possible, and ease Vrabel into a co-defensive coordinator/LBs coach role. It's like people who think Spiels would be an awesome coach; we have no idea what he brings to the table. The same could be said for Vrabel in an expanded role.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I'm thinking Paul Petrino will be available in January. Pretty sure Zooker gets the axe with a loss to Minnesota. Jerry Kill can coach circles around Zook and the Gophers will be much improved by Nov. 25th at home.

William's picture

I think you're right about Petrino being available in January, but I think MSU is rather fed up with the disappointing season they're having. I think Dan Mullen may be on the coaching market come January, would love it if OSU were to pick him up.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I would hope Fick would want to get back to more of a pro style offense than the spread. Clearly that's the direction the conference is heading. I'm all for it. I think spread offenses are way too sporadic, and let average teams back into games. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

William's picture

I disagree, spread offenses allow teams with lower talents levels to compete (Northwestern is a great example), they don't allow teams back into a game. Also we would need a tall pocket passer for a pro-style, and unless you see Taylor Graham taking over that's not happening. I think the talent we have on this team would best be suited for a run heavy spread offense.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I just think spread teams turn the ball over too much. I miss the ground and pound days. I couldn't count how many times we ran out of shotgun or pistol, and gained 1yard per rush attempt, while Boren watches.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I think spread teams are incosistant, can't control the clock, and you are right, allow less talented teams to compete. Spread football is for teams who are weak on the offensive line and can't line up and run the ball. I guess I never pegged us as "a less talented team". 

Watch Oklahoma State lose because of turnovers, or having a tired defense from 3 and outs. I can't think of any spread team that has ever been consistant all season long. I'd be willing to bet Stanford wins out because they wear teams down, and control the game tempo. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

William's picture

UF controlled the clock under Urban Meyer, Northwestern does it well enouh under Pat Fitzgerald. You are right about Stanford winning out, but that's because they have Andrew Luck at QB, and have an O-line that is great at pass blocking, ours is good at running blocking but for the most part has really underperformed when it comes to pass blocking. Why do you think we have employed mobile QBs so much over the past decade? There's a reason that a guy like Taylor Graham isn't starting at OSU.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

IU has lost 19 players this year: 6 to injury, 1 to dismissal, 3 to early graduation, and 10 to quitting.

 

Buckeyejason's picture

I love how Heacocks defense's are generally always great, but the prevent D towards the end of games are getting pretty ridiculous. Couldve cost us that game easily as its cost us a few big games already in the past...Texas(Fiesta Bowl) USC(09)

BUCKEYES BABY!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

In Heacock's defense: if there's one thing that's he's done that sets him apart from Bollman, it's his ability to adapt. Compare how our D played against Wisconsin to only a few years ago where our front 7 couldn't get off blocks and we would continuously get carved up in the middle of the field.

Buckeyejason's picture

I agree with that..he adapts. Just look at The Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, etc. I think our D-Line not getting gashed by Wisky's O-line like it did last year has to do with Wisky's O-line not being as good, and our D-line just being that much Bigger

10'D-line

Heyward-295
Simon- 275
Larimore-310
Williams- 260

11-D-line

Simon-275
Goebel- 290-295
Hankins-330
Bellamy-295-300

BUCKEYES BABY!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Some of that was by necessity more than by design, with N Williams going down. Heacock would still like to have a real LEO, if available.  

Plus, this year's LB corps is bigger, although not yet as good as last year's.

On the other hand, Heacock has done a brilliant job reconstructing the defense, after Williams went down, around its strengths - going "big," etc. Heacock is underappreciated. I have mad respect for the guy. 

Btw, one benefit of Heacock's reconstructed big DL is that it matched up very well against Wisky and also will against PSU, but the question is how will they match up against TTUN? Actually, I expect this team to be good enough by The Game that it won't make a difference, but this DL might be a shade less adept at chasing DRob than last year's crew.

O-H Kee Pa's picture

I don't see why we would have any more issues with DRob than we did last year. Yes, losing Cam and Rolle doesn't help. But, I'd like to see Michigan's O-line create lanes against Goebel, Hankins, and Bellamy. I'm more than confident in our D's ability to hem in DRob.

OldColumbusTown's picture

This.

If anything, having a much larger D-line that can push around Michigan's O-line will cause Robinson to need to go East/West instead of North/South.  I'd prefer that all day long with the way OSU's defense can contain and string plays out toward the sideline.

Maestro's picture

Bollman is certainly never going to be confused with Bill Walsh, but you know what.......he gets a bad rap IMHO.  Doesn't adapt?  How many I-formations did you see in the Wisky game vs the pistol set with Miller in shotgun-Boom behind-Boren next to Miller?  That is an adaptation.

We saw speed option, slant passes, bootlegs, 4-WR sets, Hall and Herron on the field together, Wildcat just to name a few of the different looks from the Wisky game.

Don't just fall in lock step with the common complaints.  The offense has adapted and is still adapting as the season progresses.

vacuuming sucks

O-H Kee Pa's picture

You're right; we did give them a lot of looks. But (especially with a young QB), shouldn't we have been running bootlegs all along? If anything, Bollman strikes me as being reactive rather than proactive.

onetwentyeight's picture

I don't know if anyone's brought it up yet, but has nobody seen This yet? : 

 

http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2011/11/02/offense-winged-it-...

“We were scrambling … and they didn’t give us a play or nothing,” Brown said. “So we’re out there just running playground routes. "

Now pause for a second. I may be reading this wrong, but are we to believe that "they", as in the esteemed Walrus, didn't even call down a PLAY on that possession???? From what I understand, if we were running a 2 minute offense there's a real possibility that they werent callign in plays from the sideline and Braxton would've just had a couple of plays to choose from situationally. BUT THERE WOULD STILL BE PLAYS ready, maybe even scripted, am i correct? 

This article makes it seem like Walrus just threw the guys out there and told Braxton, HURR RUN WHATEVER. The fact that we somehow still won just makes me even more impressed by Braxton. But Holy hell does that quote make Bollman seem utterly useless and incompetant. 

jenks's picture

The rest of his comments make it seem like there was a play called but nobody was paying attention to the sidelines to get it:

“I just think we were so, like, into the moment our emotions kind of took over and we weren’t really listening to anybody,” Brown said. “We were just trying to hustle. I think there was only one wideout, which was Devin, who got the real play.”

Obviously, the quote you posted makes it sound like there was no play at all, so Philly is kinda contradicting himself here. My guess is there was probably a minor breakdown in signaling in the play but with a young offense, they didn't know how to deal with that in the faster-paced 2 minute drill.

onetwentyeight's picture

I agree with you that the quotes seem confusing and contradictory, and i certainly HOPE it wasn't just a blatant coaching meltdown in the final seconds, but ask yourself, even if it was, Brown's not gonna come out and reveal that to the media. He's gonna say, things got hectic and  there was a mixup. Hence the 

"He didn’t blame the coaches for the mix-up in those final frenzied seconds."

 

But however, if that was really the case, why would he have initally said explicitly that "They" didnt give "Us" a play? "They" cant be braxton because in his next breath he describes how Braxton was directing everyone where to go. So "They" must be the coaches.

And even if your hypothesis is true and there Was a play called and in the confusion of the moment no one received it, then he couldve said any number of things that seem more natural: we didnt hear the play, we didnt get the play, even just a simple there was a mixup, or there was confusion, or even no one knew what play to run. But instead we get the most "unlikely" quote, of 'they didnt give us a play', explicitly pointing out how one party (coaches) did not take a certain action (call plays) towards another party (the players).

 

I hope for all our sake's that i'm just reading too much into this. But if we're ever in another hairy situation like this with Fick and the Walrus, I'm gonna be a nervous wreck. 

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Makes you wonder how much of an impact Vrabel has had. Now if we can just get Spielman as a LB coach.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

jfrank373's picture

Absolutely. And it's not to say Heacock isn't great. But I think a whole new arrangement for Fickell would do him well. Don't forget, Fickell has been the assistant D Coordinator for a while and he has just as much to do with the D as Heacock. He's very capable of calling the shots on D, delegating the offensive duties (literally anyone is better than Bollman) and begin to groom Vrabel as the D coordinator. We need a strong Defensive mind to help our linebacking corp. Other than Shazier, who's the future?

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Well, we have Grant, and we'll get another year out of Klein and Sabino. If Whiting can get his head screwed on straight we should get something out of him. A D-line next year Simon, Williams, Hankins, Bellamy, and Bennett will make life much easier for a relatively green LB corps.

Buckeyejason's picture

Don't forget about Goebel either. He'll be back next year at Nose Guard. I knows he's not a flashy, put up big stats kind of player but he's hard to move on the D-line and will most likely be starter again next year.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Doc's picture

I would keep Heacock for a few years while he grooms Vrab's.  Completely clean house on the offensive side, but I think I would keep Doc Tressel.  The ST play this year is much improved.

"Say my name."

William's picture

Have to keep Stan Drayton as well. He's a first year coach, and he's a known force on the recruiting trail.

TallTom's picture

Pepper Johnson for DC when Heacock retires.  Heacock and Tressell this year with ST earned right to retire gracefully. Vrabs needs more years of coaching experience.

http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?columnist=reiss_mike&id=4855484

 

Buckeyejason's picture

The linebacking corp for the future is very questionable at this point. It looks like Shazier will be a stud, but you're right..who else is there.Klein and Sabino should be ok next year, but 2013 and beyond?

Whiting-might never be a starter here..13' mike?

Grant- will he ever "get it"..13' Sam?

Crowell- could be good Mike or Will in a few years hopefully.

Roberts and Perry look like good ones but will probably have to develop big time.

BUCKEYES BABY!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Damn you Ejuan Price.

BuddhaBuck's picture

and Jordan Hicks.... and Trey DePriest....

Don't text while driving.

Buckeyejason's picture

Holy shit we wrote the exact samething at about the same time WTH lol

BUCKEYES BABY!

William's picture

The fact that both Hicks and DePriest are already getting significant playing time with Texas and 'Bama is really disheartening that we couldn't get either of them.

Buckeyejason's picture

..And Jordan Hicks..And Trey Depriest....

BUCKEYES BABY!

crazykg's picture

"Grant- will he ever "get it"..13' Sam?"

 

Since hes only a true freshmen, isnt it kind of early to make a statement like that?

 

Buckeyejason's picture

I wrote that thinking of the Sabino situation. Sounds very similar.

BUCKEYES BABY!

jfrank373's picture

Am I the only one who thinks Shazier should be playing over Sabino? Watching him on special teams Saturday, the dude just goes out and looks for people to demolish. Then he blocks the punt, possibly the 2nd biggest play of the day behind the game winning TD. He has earned time on the defensive side of the ball if you ask me.

Maestro's picture

I think Klein and Sabino have both shown steady improvement.  I think they deserve to be the starters now.

vacuuming sucks

William's picture

I agree, earlier this season Sabino seemed lost at times, and Klein would often get caught out of position. They've vastly improved since then. 

teakwood's picture

I love Shazier so far, what i've seen out of him makes excited for next year cause i see him getting time.  But he's a little small right, and no Bino was in on a ton of big time plays against Wisconsin.  I'm actually not yet that big on Klein, but they way the coaches are playing freshmen.  I'll defer to them on that those guys just may be the right ones in the game.  But check again Sabino was in on almost every signficant play on the ground making the play or hold his ground allowing the team to make the play.  I ThinkRyanWill be great

 

buckeyedude's picture

Agree completely.  It's amazing to me a statement like that could even be made. TRUE FRESHMEN.  The most improvement generally goes from the freshmen to sophomore years.

 

 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The LB corps is thin right now, but the top 4 guys figure to be very solid going into next year: Klein, Sabino, Shazier, C Grant.

In addition, one of the guys who has had recurring injuries and/or slower development up to this point might all of a sudden take a few big strides forward and provide depth: Crowell, Whiting, maybe somebody like Chad Hagan or David Durham (if switched back to LB). I'm intrigued by the possibility of Rod Smith at LB, which could be a temporary weigh-station before he transfers to play RB someplace else, but it might also turn out to be a brilliant move for all concerned.

Also, the 2012 class might yield one or two LBs who can provide depth right away.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I'd love to see this presser. Is it available anywhere online? BTN.com maybe?

Particularly interested in this:

Note: Fickell's swagger level was about 324% higher than the first time he did this.

jfrank373's picture

Can you say SWAG??? No more freshman mistakes? Luke Fickell is off the charts right now.

Sgt. Elias's picture

^^This.

 Also really liked Braxton's "We got this" comment with 20-odd seconds left.   I  feel like they may have turned the corner, that was a cathartic win. A win those outside of Buckeye country won't quite understand.  You can tell it meant the world to the players.

How wonderful would it be if we now just blew through the rest of the schedule like green shite through the proverbial turducken; sacking all villages/monasteries/liveries in our path and beheading St. King Hokemania in front of his wailing, key-jingling subjects.  

/imagosmellsomedaisies 

 

 

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

BED's picture

beheading St. King Hokemania in front of his wailing, key-jingling subjects. 

*SPITS COFFEE EVERYWHERE*

Thanks for the lulz.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Well put sir.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Indy playing a lot of frosh might pay dividends for them in the next few years, but it's also likely to put them in a shock-and-awe situation in the 'Shoe this Saturday. I realize that noon games in the 'Shoe, especially against teams like Indy, tend to be quiter crowds dominated by blue-hairs, etc., but the atmosphere will still be awe-inspiring to Indy's frosh.

Predictions:

  • Miller throws over 20 passes
  • Hyde gets at least 8 touches
  • D Smith catches another TD
  • TY Williams gets his first catch in, what, the last three games or so?
Buckeyejason's picture

Does T.Y. Williams even have more than 1 catch this entire season? I only remember one..I think Defense gets a few t.d.s this game as well.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Maestro's picture

Yes, he is actually one of Bauseman's favorite targets..........because he is so tall.  He caught a pass late in the CU game (and dropped one too), and I am pretty sure he caught a couple more in the OOC games.  3 catches tops if memory serves.

vacuuming sucks

nick_ferguson58's picture

Where are all the Fickell haters?  It just makes me sick how fickle(no pun intended) some of you are.  I have been on the Fickell bandwagon all along.  At times, my confidence did waiver and I have certainly been open to the idea of another coach if that is what was needed but I have said from the beginning(I don't post much on here but just in conversations) that it would be best if Fickell kept the job and that most of the trials in the beginning of the season were a result of growing pains and Fickell being a victim of the circumstances.

 

So my question again is where are all the haters?  If you guys were so sure he needed fired for Meyer(no thankyou) or Gruden 4 days ago, how does 1 victory change your mind.  He was the same coach last Tuesday as he is today... I'm just saying...

 

At least no one is screaming about the sky falling anymore

Nick

btalbert25's picture

I guess some would've labelled me a hater, although I never said I didn't like the guy.  I still maintain there should be a coaching search after the season which Fickell is a part of.  It would be an error in my opinion to not at least interview candidates.  A job like Ohio State's opens up and you never know who you could land as a coach. 

Of course I never said anything about firing Fickell either.  I knew he would be the headcoach all season long.  Apparently, though, some have thought that meant I was cheering for the Buckeyes and Fickell to fail so a better coach could come in, because clearly if you though a coaching search should be conducted you wanted Fickell to fail.  That belief is and has been incorrect of course, but I still feel that after the season there should be an interview process.  Everyone always says this is Freakin Ohio State, we're special, we've got the best talent, best fans, best band, why not hire the best coach?  If it ends up when the dust settles that's Fickell than Ohio State is better off for it.

Chris Lauderback's picture

With all due respect, you don't have to be a "hater" to think there could possibly be better candidates. I'm as thrilled that we won as anyone but I'm not going to knee-jerk say that Fickell is now the best candidate for the job just because we beat Illy and Wisconsin.

As for him being the same coach as he was last week, I think you are right. That means we could easily lose a few games and the Fickell "questioners", I'll call them, will be back out in force.

The bottom line is that Ohio State is one of the top 5 jobs in America. It doesn't come open often. When it does, you have to make sure you hire the right guy. Maybe it is Fickell and his very limited head coaching experience and unproven track record but maybe it's someone else. I'm not against Fickell per se, just saying there have definitely been times when he appeared in way over his head with decisions / clock mgmt. As such, Ohio State would be foolish not to "test the open market". Ohio State can afford to be, and should be selective because it's Ohio State.

Denny's picture

This comment, so so much.

Taquitos.

Menexenus's picture

I'm anti-this comment so much.  When you "test the open market" for the best available candidate, you end up with a Rich Rodriguez.  Ask Michigan how that worked out for them.  When they decided to go for one of their "Michigan men" (from Ohio) instead, they did much better.

Similarly, I prefer hiring someone loyal to the program through-and-through to hiring a mercenary.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

faux_maestro's picture

Nearly ALL of the great "Michigan Men" have been from Ohio. FACT.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

Ethan's picture

While I definitely agree with all of your points, I think one thing that does deserve mentioning is that Fickell seems to improve every week. He, like many of our young talents, seems to gain confidence in his skills with every game. All you can ask of him is that he keeps improving, and he absolutely seems to be doing that. 

I love the idea of Luke Fickell being the best, most qualified option to lead the Buckeyes. However, my loving the idea doesn't automatically make him the best, most qualified option.

There absolutely needs to be a thorough search for the next HC, and while if he wins out this season, Fickell will have earned the right to be considered, that doesn't, and shouldn't automatically make him the favorite. The best, most qualified candidate should get the job, be it Fickell, Urban Meyer, or somebody else. 

costinjr's picture

Tricky, tricky situation if Fickell wins out. I want to see Fickell succeed and giving what he's had to work with I think he's done great. What worries me is that I think he has tremendous potential for a head coach, and if we do let him go and someone picks him up, and he develops, I don't want to play against that kind of machine. He recruits well, this is just as much his defense as it is Heacocks, and I don't think he's naive either. You have to think if his best man was Vrabel, then he knows just as well as the fans that Bollman's got to go, and that he needs a legitimate quarterbacks coach that will develop raw talent, unlike what happened with Pryor (I don't care how bad your throwing motion is, if you start 3 years at Ohio State, with that kind of size and athletic ability, you should develop into a quarterback who isn't on the bench in favor for Carson Palmer, and Kyle "I should've been a" Boller). Throw in the fact of how tight this unit has become and how attached some of them are to Fickell (Curtis Grant), I would be worried about that sort of repurcussion that might set this program back even further. However I don't know if I am ready to let my Fickell flag fly, because I don't know if I want our program to develop and mature as Fickell does. For example, next year when Shugarts, Adams, and Brewster are all gone, and you're starting 3 juniors along with whoever else pops in the mix, how will he handle that? And, will he have enough connections to hire an OL coach/OC who can get that job done? I think seeing what happened to Michigan and how hiring RichRod really set their program back scares me more than it should, but holy tornado it has me worried. Especially if these sanctions come down and all those coaching candidates that we think would jump at this opportunity would say no. I think at this point I'd be fine with a coaching search, but for me it'd be Urban in a hell of a contract, and preferably one that didn't let him up and leave at the first sign of health problems (If Kill can suffer seizures on the sideline and still coach, then I want someone with that kind of dedication) or John Gruden, and if we don't get one of those two, then I want Fickell. I don't want Stoops, he has more "Purdue-harbor" moments then Tress ever did (see last weekend), and can't win the big one (see Jason White era, and the Fiesta Bowl) and my God, I don't want to be stuck with Tim Beckman...I am in Fickell's corner, and this team has been on the steady uphill sense the MSU debacle, fixing one thing at a time, if they can continue that then I would have no problem calling him our new Head Coach.

Sgt. Elias's picture

I think everyone saw a different man out there, he had presence, he didn't "whiff" on anything in-game (that I noticed), he obviously  did a great job during the buy week. All of these things are apt to make some folks change their mind wouldn't you think?  He took a big leap forward. Love the large coin-purse he showed on the 4th down call.  Killer instinct, we needs it. 

Tressel had anointed him heir for a reason, a lot of us just thought he wasn't ready yet, and he wasn't those first few weeks, else we never would have seen all those bauserbortions: he would have told Bollman to stick that noise in his blow-hole.  We still need to see how he handles the November stretch (I would guess quite well).

 You're sick people are seeing things "your" way now? I don't understand why this is a thing. I think most people were hoping this would happen, yet retained their right to gripe when DERP  occurred.  

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

I know (and agree with) what you're saying Nick but let's not dwell on the past at this point. There was some pretty ugly comments that made it onto 11W on Sunday and I don't want a repeat of that.

BTAlbert and Chris, re interviewing ALL candidates, Fickell included. Sure. Whatever floats your boat. If the man wins the next four games plus a bowl game... and maybe the inaugural B1G CCG as well (should Penn State drop another game) -- it's pretty much a fait accompli that the job will be his.

Look at it this way. What company is going to hire outside when they already have a well-regarded, loyal, internal candidate that has proven he/she can do the job? The employer that would do that has its collective head up its ass and doesn't deserve your services anyway.

Also another perspective, who would want the outside candidate who wants to come in and disrupt the achievements of the internal candidate? Since the coaching fraternity is so small, I'm guessing if Fick were able to do the above then the list of coaches interested would shrink to only two, maybe three. And the ones still interested would be of questionable character.

So yeah, interview away.

William's picture

The one reason that I agree with the interviewing of other candidates is that OSU needs to avoid a Bill Stewart-WVU situation.

NC_Buckeye's picture

WVU made that decision based on the outcome of one game - the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.

The AD or search committee will have an entire season to use in Fickell's evaluation. One of the qualities, probably the most important quality, by which to judge an HC is this -- how do they handle adversity?

If Fickell wins out from here, he should get the job based on that criteria alone.

William's picture

You're right, and so far many OSU fans are hopping on the keep Fickell bandwagon after one game, the Wisconsin game. I do agree with you tht IF OSU wins out, makes and wins the B1G Championship and makes a BCS bowl, that OSU should keep him. That is still a huge if. I would still be fine with OSU conducting a national search for a head coach. OSU does not need to play Musical Chairs Head Coach edition like Notre Dame has for the past decade.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

How many jumped on the fire Fickell bandwagon after Toledo or Miami?  This stuff will happen and continue to happen.  And regardless of who is coaching next year, the same type of hype will surround the coaching job.  

Bristol24's picture

We want Fickell to succeed, but more over we want the Buckeyes to win...with or without Fickell.

I am hoping with Fickell.

Baroclinicity's picture

I have a source that tells me that Fickell has this team's confidence and respect, and there's no question about it.  This past Saturday, the players knew they were going to win this game. 

Food for thought. 

But I think if Fickell beats UM, the job is his as far as I'm concerned (not saying I wouldn't keep him with a loss, but it would depend on the nature of the loss).

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

biggy84's picture

I am not a huge Urban Meyer fan, but, how do you NOT interview the guy? He has had tremendous success everywhere he has been, and has worked his way up through the ranks. He is also a Buckeye, born and bred, with strong ties to tOSU. I am not saying that he should be hired, just that his resume' deserves a chat. I like Fickell as much as the next guy, but he doesn't exactly have the experience that some others do.

faux_maestro's picture

True it was a decision based on one game with the entire team intact. Also, hiring Fickell would be different in another way. Bill Stewart was a career assistant for about 30 years. There is a reason that guys like Bill Stewart stay assistant coaches for that long. Also, Fickell has been considered a top coaching prospect for a few years now.

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

btalbert25's picture

That's a lot of IFs that still have to pan out.  If all of that happens, he'll have a much stronger case, at this point though, I still say interview other people.  You can feel this way and not hate Fickell ya know.  It's not a your either with him or against him kind of deal here. 

We really don't know what's going to happen going forward, hopefully this team wins out goes to a BCS bowl and wins it too.  I'm still saying at this point in time I'm not going to be high off of 2 wins in a row and ready to hand a guy a job.  Yes, if they win the Big 10, and go to a bowl, and win a bowl, perhaps I'll be much more supportive of not interviewing, but we've got a long way to go yet, we still don't even know if the team will be allowed to play in the B1G title game or a bowl game. 

I don't think a guy who would apply for the job would have questionable character, he would be interviewing for a job that an interim coach has, lots of guys do that. 

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

If Fickell win the rest of our games, beats Michigan, and gets us into a conference title game, I would want him as our coach. Look at the hand he was dealt. Playing Bauserman was his only mistake, but at the time it seemed to be the right move. Braxton has made huge steps, and we improve every week. I wouldn't want Urban Meyer as our coach, not just because I'm bitter from 06', I don't like what I've read about the quality of character he recruits.  Look at how many guys for arrested while he has at Florida. I'm not ready to go the SEC route, and ignore the quality of person we recruit.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

William's picture

We had more guys in 2010 that were charged with criminal offenses than Urban Meyer's Florida team, we had just as many "crime and character issues" under Tressel as Florida did under Meyer.

Buckeye in Athens's picture

This, so much.

You can't judge Urban based upon his recruits - he didn't cause them to make bad decisions, and rotten recruits turn up at every school. Head coaches have limited amounts of time they can spend with recruits. Sure, they can get a feel for their character, but really a lot of that is determined by their grades. 

btalbert25's picture

Coming into the season though, didn't people still see Ohio State losing only 3 or 4 games.  More than a couple experts still thought they'd be the class of their division in the B1G and would make it to the title game.  Granted, after Nebraska it was looking like a 5 or 6 loss season was coming, but isn't the team pretty much right on par with what a lot of people were predicting coming into the season anyway?  

It's not to knock Fickell or his chances at getting the coaching job, but when he was interim, not so interim, then interim without the tag, etc, this team was considered a 3-4 loss team.  If they were going to conduct a coaching search after this season with those expectations anyway, why does that change if he wins out and they meet some of those expectations that people here and experts had for him. 

Doc's picture

IF Coach Fickell can win the next 4 games and get us to the B1G CCG then the job should be his.  He would have done the improbable against all odds and succeeded.  I still think he needs to cut his teeth at another school, but would be one of his biggest supporters if he was the HC.

"Say my name."

onetwentyeight's picture

THIS: http://www.buckeyextra.com/content/stories/2011/11/02/offense-winged-it-receiver-says.html

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the man's late - game coaching acumen. 

Playground routes? NOT GIVEN A PLAY?? winging it? no one knew WTF they were doing? 

Do we even HAVE a 2 minute offense? EVEN IF you decide to do the very irresponsible thing of letting your freshman QB call his own plays in the 2 minute offense, he should still be choosing from a Predetermined SET of plays that you've practiced before, hopefully. NOT JUST WING IT PLAYGROUND STYLE.

Does walrus just trot braxton out there and tell him to WING IT? Does fick care? Did braxton wink at Fick and tell him we got this b/c Fick was utterly terrified (hence his frozen emotionless-face all game?) JEsus christ this is THE Ohio state and in the most important PLAY of the whole year we're somehow pulling stunts like THIS. 

Thank God Braxton is wise beyond his years, and apparently uber-clutch. It's an indictment on the WHOLE coaching staff when you have a situation like this, and your freshman 18 year old QB is BY FAR the guy who has his shit together the most. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

Ugh. Guess we're back to tearing down.

jenks's picture

Philly went on to credit Devin for being the only one to run the correct route suggesting there was a play called but because this is a young offense, some of the freshman receivers didn't get it due to the intensity, pace, whatever. It doesn't forgive all, but I don't think there's any reason to be totally up in arms.

BoFuquel's picture

Look at the history, Coach Cooper was the only big name they have ever hired in the last 100 years.They can get Coach fick for a song , and you don't hire anyone unless he gonna make TOSU money,within one year. That's just the way bussiness woks, and it's all about the money.

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

Menexenus's picture

Look at the history, Coach Cooper was the only big name they have ever hired in the last 100 years.

Point made.  (See my post above re: "testing the open market.")

 

Real fans stay for Carmen.

gwalther's picture

Slamm3d.

 

Fickell, Urban, or Tressel. That's pretty much the list.

 

It would make no sense to bring Dantonio in to boot Fickell out (older, with health problems, Tressel disciple without Tressel), I have reservations about hiring an NFLer as a coach (cf Jon Gruden), meaning the only other guy I'd really consider is Bob Stoops, if available.

 

So basically, what guys do these other people want to consider when they say they want to "open it up" to see what other coaches are interested. Wtf. You could fire Fickell, Tressel coming back might not make sense, and Stoops and Meyer might both say no. So then where are we? I know: F*CKED.

Class of 2008

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

I have a mission for any Buckeyes fans who are bored, and tired of the biased sports media. 

Go to collegefootballtalk.com  Ask John Taylor why he won't post a positve story about Ohio State?  He's reported every kind of dirt you can think of about Ohio State this past year. I was recently blocked from the website by him because I asked him why he wouldn't post a story on the biggest game next to the Stanford-USC game last week? He basically told me to piss off and read the rankings story. Another OSU fan explained to me that this guy won't report positive buckeyes stories.  So if you have time and want to call out a biased member of the sports media, Go to collegefootballtalk.com and ask John Taylor why he booted paulbrownsrevenge for asking for an OSU story. Thanks.

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

going to the website and giving them tons of hits helps him much more than just typing annoying things at him -- I would suggest avoiding it

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

I frequently post there (as AngelHeartsBuckeyes) and John Taylor and I have had more than one disagreement.  What is most alarming about him is that he IS a Buckeye.  I also found it strange that no story about the tOSU-Wisconsin game was on the site....

He reallly hates it when I call him Herbie 2.0.

I've seen you are (under paulbrownsrevenge) and had no idea he had blocked you.  Maybe cause I'm a girl and he finds me amusing, but we have had some very heated public discussions and he hasnt blocked me (surprising as that it, even more surprising he calls me one of his favorite post-ers).

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

Can you ask JT why he blocked me? I seriously dont get why he did. I asked why no OSU-wisky story? he responded with "go here and whine paul" and posted a link of scores. I responded by telling him I thought next to the Stanford OT game, ours was as exciting and warranted a headline. I never attacked him or used vulgar language, so I dont understand it. Maybe you can help me out?

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

gwalther's picture

Just one question: is this site as unbiased as Fox News is??

Lolololz.

Class of 2008

Buckeyejason's picture

I'm not any Fickell bandwagon..the guy got the team two nice victories in a row..not the prettiest wins but never the less. I don't think beating Wisky by a hang nail warrants him any future contract by any means.

BUCKEYES BABY!

AngelHeartsBuckeyes's picture

Not exactly, but we BEAT Wisconsin for the majority of the game.  We only WON by a hang-nail. Small, but significant difference :)

Buckeye born and bred. Buckeye til I'm dead.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

Why doesn't our prevent defense prevent?  It allows.  It should be renamed the holy sh*t they're going to score two touchdowns in microseconds and I'll be stressed out again defense.  I haven't watched the replay, but HOW DID THEY GET SO OPEN?  Did Ray Charles and Rick Allen step in and provide that sweet lack of defense?  (I kinda feel bad about the Rick Allen thing now)

BED's picture

The Prevent Defense.  It Prevents you from winning.

I've always hated it.  You switch what has been successful all game to soft coverage, only rushing 3 guys.  One blown assignment, boom TD.  Just stick to the base defense or nickle/dime.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

gwalther's picture

bad grammar probably doesn't warrant a future contract from 11W. #sonned

Class of 2008

OHIOinME's picture

What is the latest status on Nathan Williams?  Has it been 6 weeks yet?

blazers34's picture

hes done for the years.  medical redshirt.

William's picture

Yeah he's taking a medical redshirt, so we will possibly have the dirtiest D-line in the nation with Simon, Williams, Hankins, Goebel, Bellamy, Bennett, Miller, Hayes, Moore, Hale, and Farris.

Denny's picture

9 linemen, 2 corners.

Taquitos.

William's picture

Are you responding to me? Because all the guys I listed are D-linemen.

Mike413's picture

Best solution..........

Hire Fickell as HC and Urban as OC (less stress--health reasons)

BED's picture

As a Meyer hater, I would even take this.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

NC_Buckeye's picture

I think between being an OC vs being an ESPiN analyst, Meyer chooses the analyst position. Too big of an ego to take a step back.