Fickell Presser Notes: Penn State Week

By DJ Byrnes on November 15, 2011 at 12:50p
ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHPenn State's Army of Sadness comes to OSU this weekend.

His team coming off a 26-23 overtime loss to Purdue, Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell took to the podium in the Alumni Lounge of the Fawcett Center today to answer the assembled media's questions about the loss in West Lafayette and this weekend's game against the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

Ohio State no longer controls its destiny in the Leaders division race. In order for the Buckeyes to be playing in Indianapolis on December 3rd, they will first need to beat Penn State and Michigan. Then they will need a little bit of luck: Wisconsin must lose to Illinois on Saturday and then the Badgers must beat Penn State in the regular season's final week. 

The Buckeyes will be given a boost in the form of the return of senior wideout DeVier Posey, who is one of the twenty-four seniors Ohio State will be honoring on Saturday. According to its media release, Ohio State is 15-2 in the month of November since 2005, though this season has been much different than years past. Vegas has also listed the Buckeyes as 6.5 point favorites. (I have my doubts of six total points being scored.)


... Gene Smith started the presser with a cameo. He asked all of the Buckeye fans who are coming to the game this weekend to show sportsmanship and class to the visiting fans. "We ask that all of our fans continue to demonstrate the great respect that we know represents Ohio State." 

[Enter Luke Fickell]

... Will DeVier Posey start immediately after returning from suspension as Boom Herron and Mike Adams did? "We'll see how it goes and give you an answer closer to game time."

... Andrew Sweat "got hit" and Fickell doesn't know how long it will be until he's ready.

... John Hankins' situation "doesn't look real good." They're awaiting MRI results, but they're hoping it isn't a season-ending injury or a "six month injury."

... When asked about what his offense is trying to do from the perspective of a defensive coach, Fickell said "they're trying to control the ball." He admitted the situation was tough and some things compounded.

... When asked about the potential of a Purdue enduced hangover: "The young guys are more resiliant than you think." Fickell admitted they were disappointed and hurt, but they have a "passion to play." 

... Fickell says a lot of things have gone into the lack of production from the tight end slot. "It comes down to the ability to make plays when they come about." Fickell mentioned how Purdue's offense put the ball on the ground 3 times in the first half and Ohio State failed to come up with any of them.

... Fickell hopes DeVier can provide a spark to the offense.

... "I can't control that," Fickell said when asked about the fans' reception of the previously suspended seniors. "To me, they should praise them." Fickell said the fans didn't get to clearly see how well Mike Adams, Boom Herron, and DeVier Posey handled their situations.

... Ryan Shazier "did a good job" in his first chunk of real playing time.

... "Young people are very resilient," Fickell said after stammering around a request to pontificate on how hard it must be for the Penn State players to play through the turmoil. "They have a tendency to move on and focus at the task at hand." 

... On the senior class: "It's going to be about them as a whole. It's their body of work. We all know wer're remembered by how you play during your senior year... We can't worry about what our legacy is going to be until it's all said and done... To me, these guys have battled a lot. I have the utmost respect for them... I couldn't have asked for more from them."

... On the turmoil: "It's about this group of young men... it's about the coaches... it's about the Program... Life isn't fair.. You have to continue to attack opportunities and move forward."

... When asked about how different the PSU-OSU game will be without Joe Paterno or Jim Tressel, Fickell said PSU will bring about 75 people and Ohio State will have about 106, so they're going to focus on the people who will be there, not the ones who won't be.

... "We have jobs because of [the young players], I always tell them: this isn't about me, it's about you... We get evaluated on the wins and losses, but that's not what we're about."

... Fickell was 3-1 against Penn State as a player. "Don't ask about that one... [smile]... I wasn't there."

... The PSU-OSU game could be a "short game if people are going to run the ball and pound it." Fickell said while people might focus on the negative similarities between the programs, there are a lot of positive ones as well.

... "[Penn State] is going to pressure you... their front seven is going to be very sound in what they do; they're not going to confuse you; you're going to know what you're going to get"

... When asked about the 3rd down defensive woes: "We look at 3rd down, but 1st and 2nd downs have a lot to do with it too. Obviously, you have to get off the field... We're focused on that."

... On missed tackling and not wanting to beat his players up in practice: "We always say, the best eleven tacklers will be on the field... It becomes a lot more obvious in the open field... When you don't have 3-4 guys flying there, that's been the biggest problem we have." Fickell also admitted it's tough to coach since they don't do a lot of tackling in practice.

... "We have to do a better job of putting them into position to be successful."

... On the difficulty of a coach being thrown into a situation (not being able to hire their own staff, etc) and how it relates to Tom Bradley: "Not the exact time frame or exact situation, but you have to go with what you've got... Like we've said, life isn't fair... It's not about me or putting my stamp on the team. He's going to do what he feels is best fr his team."


Comments Show All Comments

AltaBuck's picture

Bummer that Hankins looks doubtful, especially against an offense like PSU.  Any word on Shugarts?  I'll take a couple of false starts versus what I saw last week against Purdue.

I am Groot - Groot

RBuck's picture

I listened to the presser. Ficks implied that Shugarts is questionable at best.

Long live the southend.

Kyle's picture

This season has been a total bummer.  Suspensions, injuries, frustrating lack of offense, shit show in Miami, the collapse of a once-great and proud defense at Nebraska, more suspensions, some more injuries, Purdue, realizing for the first time in a long time we won't be favored to beat Michigan, picturing how much it would suck to not beat Michigan, hating Michigan, hating Brady Hoke, wishing for a respectable finish, hoping for good news from the NCAA, expecting bad news from the NCAA.


But the silver lining in all of is that we can say with almost certainty that Jim Bollman, his piss poor schemes and playcalling and his lack of player development (come in as a 4 star lineman, leave as a 2 star lineman) will be no longer coaching at our beloved university.  That friends will be a sweet day.

JLP36's picture

It is easy to forget about the injuries with all of the other crap going on, but I cannot remember a season with so many front line guys lost to injury - throw Miller's in at N and the impact has added up.  Hate to see Big Hank out.  He brings it.


timdogdad's picture

we need that team that played against wisc to be back for the last two weeks. not the team playing an intramural game vs ind and purdue. all the guys have to do is look in the mirror.   if you dog it against psu and mich then you belong in the intramural league. 

BuckeyeSaab's picture

Was PSU's Army of Sadness built at the Factory of Sadness?

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

DJ Byrnes's picture

No, only inspired it. Hahahaha.

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

Buckeyejason's picture

"We have to do a better job of putting them into position to be successful."

That could be said all year about this coaching staff. Putting players in bad situations has become the norm around here.

For instance, last Saturday vs Purdue. Why are we putting in a true freshman who is basically a Guard to replace Shugarts at RT? You can't come up with a better solution than that???!?!?

How about moving Norwell to RT and letting Linsley and Mewhort be the Guards. How about a former 4-5 star tackle who played the position quite well as a freshman in 09' Marcus Hall play Right Tackle?
I mean the personell decisions that this staff makes on a weekly basis is downright BAD!


JLP36's picture

How about Marcus Hall blocking someone on the extra point? 


Buckeyejason's picture

How about Underwood blocking anyone at all Saturday?


jfrank373's picture

How about anyone on D (especially *cough* Tyler *cough* *cough* Moeller) tackling somebody, anybody. Fickell says they don't tackle in practice so it's hard. It shouldn't even need to be practiced. 

Wrap people up, dive at their knees, hold onto their jersey, their cleats. I wasn't a big dude in high school so I kenw that I had to be an ankle biter and tackle low. Too many small DB's on the team trying to lay people out and go for the football. Just freakin wrap them up. It's like they're all trying to make "He got jacked up" on Sportscenter. That can be fixed.

AltaBuck's picture

In the open field....Breakdown and keep your leverage.  I was taught that shit in HS.

I am Groot - Groot

741's picture

Close eyes, dive at ball carriers feet, hope for the best... DERP.

joel121270's picture

I feel there is a lot of arm tackling this year than in years past....the more the season moves on the more I can't help but notice it. Hopefully, this is all sinking in for them and next year they will be beasts.


ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

A couple of times it felt like our guys thought this was two hand touch. 

Class of 2010.

btalbert25's picture

They don't tackle in practice?????

RBuck's picture

Hardly any team does once the season gets under least from what I read. It's an injury thing.

What they need to do is follow Spielman's creed, "Run through them, not to them".

Long live the southend.

chitown buckeye's picture

"Bring your feet!! Your feet are your friends!"- Spielman

"I'm having a heart attack!"

Ethan's picture

I must be out of the loop. What happened to Hankins? This is the first I've heard anything about him being injured

Menexenus's picture

He got knocked out of the Purdue game in the second half.  That was after we lost Sweat in the first half.

Real fans stay for Carmen.

Bucksfan's picture

He went out in the 2nd half against Purdue.  Looked like a knee injury, but that's the last I heard of it.

This season sucks...and it might get worse.

Peter Pete Peterson's picture

Spielman said it best "Run thru the ball carrier not to him."
Piss poor tackling all year! Simon may be the exception, maybe.
Win out and a lot is forgiven...considering all that has happened this year, 8-4 would be tolerable. We should be 9-1 right now, but...


Peter "Pete" Peterson

"Recruiting is like shaving, if you don't do it everyday, you look like a bum!"  -Jim Tressel


prg's picture

As big as the Wisconsin game was for recreting the Purdue game was worse. With the injures adding up and are line numbers down we need a good class coming in. I'm worried the fall out of this season is going to be felt for multiple years to come. These young men have been embarrassed and need to stand united to show the sports world OSU will not go into the dark quietly. This is why these kids came here, all eyes from the fans to the sinics are watching, time to step it up. Brady Joke will lose his last two games this season mark my words!


biggy84's picture

Fickell says the same crappy cliche's every week. He offers zero solutions other than "take advantage of opportunities and execute." What about the game plans and the coaching? What about a total lack of progress for the whole team? He has no clue how to fix anything or even acknowledge it.

Bucksfan's picture

We could have said this even after the wins.  I'm sure he's well-aware of the problems the team faces.  Getting down about it or dwelling on what is not working in detail also doesn't help the team move forward, especially because it can be taken as outing certain individuals.  Tressel was the same way.  Most coaches are.

Doesn't matter to me in the slightest that Fickell is cryptic.  You think we're going to get honesty from a guy like Urban Meyer?  Ha!  This is big time football.  A press conference doesn't win games.

BuckeyeSaab's picture

And Tress had interesting new things to say each week?

I'm sorry for not being sorry.

biggy84's picture

He is not Tress! He is not even close to having enough equity to inspire confidence.His emotionless answers are very reflective of the team he fields. He never accepts responsibility for the schemes, team coming out flat, lack of progress, etc. How many times have you heard coaches acknowledge a problem and make a commitment to make it right? He doesn't acknowledge, or address the problem.

faux_maestro's picture

I wouldn't judge a coach basede on what they say in pressers. Nothing of real substance is ever said in these things, to the point that I don't even know why the hell they have them.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Bucks's picture


If this is indeed correct & McQ did go to the police as he claims in the email, just wow.

"McQueary, who was placed on administrative leave last week, said in the e-mail he "did have discussions with police and with the official at the university in charge of police." McQueary also wrote that he "is getting hammered for handling this the right way or what I thought at the time was right.""


JLP36's picture

I missed the presser.  Did Fickell say anything about abandoning the West Lafayette tradition of using Nyquil instead of Gatorade?


Jugdish's picture

Best Fans in the Land! Check this out... OSU put an ad on Youtube about the upcoming game with PSU.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

onetwentyeight's picture

Your Daily drip-drip-drip of Sketch Penn St. Dealings :


Methinks he's known about certain things for a while now ... who knows how deep all of this goes. At this point nothing would surprise me: 

- AD who prosecuted the earlier allegations and mysteriously decided to not go forth with them dissapears after convinently erasing his harddrive, declared legally dead 

- Judge who cuts Sandusky's bail and lets him go volunteers for his charity ... 

- Sandusky's lawyer knocked up a 17 year old ... when he was 47. 

.. and now this. JoePa selling his home to his wife for $1 four months before this all broke ... but 3 months after the initial reports in March/April (that Sandusky was under investigation). 



What's next in Happy Valley? Can't wait for the Feds to come in and blow the lid off all this ...


BucksfanXC's picture

I think this is an estate tax move. With an on going investigation he had to know this was coming down the pipe, but still, maybe never thought he'd be fired/sued over it at the time. Maybe he did though.

“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