Video: Luke Fickell's Postgame Comments

By Jason Priestas on December 8, 2013 at 2:34a

Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell meets with reporters following the Buckeyes' 34-24 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game. 

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Zofinda's picture

Blame the scheme all you want, but when senior safeties still have Their eyes glued to the qb on play action, and not on their key, that's on the player.

k9junior2430's picture

Teaching & preparing are jobs of the coaches though... but i do agree with your safeties comment, cause watching the DBs with their eyes glued on the WRs trying to catch up and not having any idea where the ball was are on the players too. 

"Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team
- no one more important than the other." -  Coach Norman Dale

45has2's picture

Correct, it is the job of their position coach, Withers.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

mdoss2202's picture

Either way, it is not something you say as a coach to the media.

Canukbuck's picture

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink ..... A perfect summary of our defense.  The coaches put the players in situations to succeed, but if they are not going to follow through on their responsibilities, it's on them.  Plain and simple.
Dump on the coaches all you want, but it still boils down to the players executing and tonight, we had far too many players not putting in the effort or making simple mental mistakes (those PI calls in the first quarter were flat out bone head plays by Shazier and Grant (try and pin that on the coaching staff) ....

Actorjonnyb's picture

Coaches put players in situations to success? 
Lmfao- exactly the opposite.


buckeyejonross's picture

I'm puzzled as to why CJ was markedly better as a frosh than he is now. Seems more coaching.

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

FROMTHE18's picture

our pass coverage has been awful pretty much every game, but a lot of blame also needs to go to the scheme/strategy we employ. Also, why the hell was Pittsburgh Brown playing? He's been pretty poor all year.

bigbadbuck's picture

I'm pretty sure it's because of injuries, non the less the defensive problems have existed regardless of whos playing. I personally lay the blame at the feet of both coaches and players. No one is excluded!

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

I'd have rather had Vonn Bell as a true freshman in there over pitt last night


razrback16's picture

When it's one or two players consistently screwing up, it's sensible to say, well that player jus doesn't get it and needs more work. When it's the entire defense that struggles to tackle well, can't cover anybody, leaves WRs wide open constantly (even when it's 8 on 5), that's a scheming / coaching issue. Luke simply has no accountability, and he needs to be let go. This is Ohio State. Not Miami (OH).

mtrotb's picture

No personal against Luke, but the guy is getting paid $600,000 a freakin year.  Time to go.


Knarcisi's picture

" it is what it is" is a statement that I absolutely hate. It's an excuse. It's arrogant. 

onetwentyeight's picture

A polite way of saying, "it is not my fault, it is the fault of fate/luck/uncontrollable circumstances". 

bigbadbuck's picture

It's lazy and to me says something about work ethic, ability to do your job, or both

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

Calgarybuck's picture

It is what it is, is not valid after 13 games..15 summer and 15 spring practices...You had 2 years to fix this and it's gotten worse with the same personnel! Don't forget to shut the door on the way out.

ChazBuckeye's picture

If Clemson embarrasses our D's secondary, then it will be time to go. Not a hater. Just a realist that understands our D needs coached better. It's kind of obvious at this point.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

k9junior2430's picture

Well said!   We've made average WRs all year look like Jerry Rice, i can only imagine how bad Sammy Watkins would make us look. 

"Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team
- no one more important than the other." -  Coach Norman Dale

lax20's picture

You are exactly correct.  Taj Boyd and Sammy Watkins are probably one of the best tandems in college football.  This will be a high scoring affair, but when it is all said and done, Buckeyes lose 49-35.  Meyer's better wake up and and man up because I will be calling for his firing. 

johnblairgobucks's picture

If your job title is Defensive Coordinator, you Co-ordinate the defense.
If you hired a guy who's job title was Lawn Care Specialist, and you you developed a shoddy looking lawn, you would find a new Lawn Care Specialist, and not really think twice.

bukyze's picture

By saying "his firing", you meant Fickell, not Meyer.  Correct?

Beat Meatchicken's picture

Meyer's? Come on man!

Poison nuts's picture

Yes - what is a Meyer's & why should this person or thing be fired?

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Meyer's better wake up and and man up because I will be calling for his firing.

Oof. You'd better wear a slicker, buddy. Looks like rain.

Cavluv23's picture

Lmao !

World travel is my passion spreading the word and grace of Ohio in every corner of the world . 

ChazBuckeye's picture

Wow dude....he lost one game in 25 games!  I'd say Urban's safe...the entire Defensive staff should be worried with the exception of Vrabel.  Coombs is OK and should be doing only the Special Teams.  We need new defensive coaches, not a new HC LAX20....simmer the jets man.  Deescalate a little bit;-)

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

Alex Boones Liver's picture

..."It is what it is." That statement is simply avoiding the details and pressing the conversation onward and deflecting it in another direction.  I realize some coaches do this to protect players, but for crying out loud Luke, sack up and take the blame for the defense.  All year we have watched our linebackers(when not on a blitz) get blocked, and stay blocked for the most part.  Shazier is a great athlete, but definitely has issues getting free from blockers using his speed to make up for it.  I just don't think Coach Fickell is our man to lead the defense into the future.  He is a good man, a loyal Buckeye, but as he says "it is what it is" and it IS time to make a change.

Doc's picture

It is what it is, and Luke it IS time for you to go.  Please take Withers and Coombs with you. 

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Boxley's picture

Last time I checked IIRC, Meyer hired Withers and Coombs, not LF. Meyer also hired LF as his D=coord. So who carries the most responsibility for the D coaching issues?

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

Doc's picture

Boxley, I understand what you are saying.  Withers and Coombs I think are the root of the problem.  Fickell is the face of the defense, so he tends to get the brunt of the criticism.  My problem with him as been his flippant responses to questions.  Urban gives us a response straight from the shoulder and Luke dances around it.  Maybe we fire the guys responsible for the poor secondary play and let Luke be the sole coordinator and see how he does.  Luke looks lost on the sidelines, so to me that translates to being incompetent.  I know Tress regarded him very highly, and he has won assistant coach of the year honors before.  It just seems like he is very rattled right now.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Sean N's picture

Maybe in a few years when Scheelhasse and Gardner and Connor Cook are all playing in the pro bowl, Fickell will be vindicated. But if I have to see another mediocre QB have a career day against the Buckeyes, well I just don't think I can take it. The D has been dragging down the team all year.  All the "not dominant enough" talk was due to the struggles on that side of the ball. Time for a change.

KingsRite's picture

I don't know if Fickell should take the entire blame but I'm really not in love with his "Whatever will be...will be" attitude. That seems to be exactly how the pass defense played the last two years.

“I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” -Urban Meyer-

Knarcisi's picture

Does Fickell come off as arrogant to anyone else?

KingsRite's picture

^ Yes. Meyer does too but he isn't defensive like Luke and Urban can back it up.

“I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” -Urban Meyer-

njclebuckeye5's picture

Did we win? Did we win?
.. no? oh...

Lobs it to the endzone... Touchdown Devin Smith!!

wpitt41's picture

This is what stuck out for me: He didn't acknowledge the poor tackling in areas to improve, as Spielman would say "Wrap Up!". He also didn't call out a group. I think that is what makes Urban great, he doesn't BS with the media.  Fickell should have said, "We looked over 12 weeks of their plays, also knew our weaknesses and what they would most likely try to exploit, so we prepared for that". Instead his answer came off as, "We had way too much to prepare for". Lastly, why is it always a half-time adjustment?
It is hard to answer on the spot like that, but it isn't like he is new to answering questions.


Bucks43201's picture

Luke, Thank you for your dedication, but, to put it simple: we won in spite  of your defense most of the time, not because of your defense.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Hovenaut's picture

I've withheld comment on LF all season.

At this moment, at the very least, I haven't been too impressed with his take on things the past couple weeks.

Just seems weird to hear a coach speak in such a cavalier manner about the on-field product.

buckeyedude's picture

Maybe Luke just doesn't know how to correct the problem? He cannot openly say so. I kind of feel bad for him because I think being thrown into the situation with the "interim HC" may have messed him up, coaching-wise.



Hovenaut's picture

Yeah, I think he's reached a crossroads here.

He'll always be a Buckeye, but I think he may need a change of scenery.

lamplighter's picture

well, a coach would never throw individual players under the bus -

Actorjonnyb's picture

Omg!!! He had a lotto prepare for? Like narduzzi didn't ? A lot to prepare for? This is a team that could only score 14 PTs to Purdue with a mediocre soph qb and zero big threat playmakers! Please- give me a break.
last week it was a Michigan team that could barely muster 100 yds a game for 5 games.


FloridaBuck's picture

Excellent points

FloridaBuck's picture

His comments are disgraceful, to put it kindly. 
At least the fickell defenders can't fall back on "we won didn't we" anymore. 

Knarcisi's picture

I think he's arrogant. I'd fire his ass for his interview comments alone. 

Nkohl13's picture

How much is MSU paying Pat Narduzzi (DC), Harlon Barnett (Secondary), and Mike Tressel (LB's)? They have done more with less at Michigan State. Our D-line is amazing but our pass coverage is horrible. MSU seems to have it all figured out so why not pay them more and bring them here.

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

Double Narduzzi's pay and get him in Columbus!


Poe McKnoe's picture

My personal favorite was blitzing Roby.  Typically fine with this, but he blitzed from 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.  It gave MSU an extra 10 yards to pick up the blitz, which they successfully did.  It makes no sense.

BuckeyeStrong2's picture

There is the problem right there. For the past 2-3 YEARS we have been doing that 10 yard cushion crap, and look at how our D has started slipping ever since. Man up!


sivaDavis's picture

Fickell was forced upon Meyer. Let's all just be real. I'm content with the loss but I hated watching LF these past few weeks with his answers to questions in the interviews. Praying he gets a HC job elsewhere. Let Meyer bring in somebody else.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

Toilrt Paper's picture

I AGREE 100% with Fickell. I don't care who the coach is. You can only coach the exact same basic principles and fundamentals so long. Players MUST eventually take the fundamentals and make plays instead of the same mistakes. You can not fix stupid.
BTW, if you are truthful with yourself, it was the fault of the offensive play calling or philosophy that cost the game. After Ohio Stae took the 2nd half kickoff and drove right down the field running Hyde and scored a TD, at that point Ohio State had scored 24 straight points on THE best defense in the country. Ohio State got the ball back for the offense. If Ohio State had done the same thing as they did on their first drive of the 2nd half, run Hyde in the A gaps and scored another TD, making it 31 points in a row against THE best defense in the country. THE number one defense in the country would have quit. The offense would have seen "no mas in their eyes", as Carlos says. The game would have been over. Ohio State could have scored points at will, regardless of what the OSU defense did.

Buckeytrips's picture

I agree with the play calling on offense. Not sure what Herman was thinking at times but you can not give up 34 points to msu, 41 to scum 35 to Ill. unacceptable. LF needs to find another employer.

acBuckeye's picture

I disagree with your comments on Fickell. His schemes and Wither's schemes don't mesh. It's clear as day. They need to pick one guy and let the other guy go. Or get rid of them both and take Coombs with them.
However, I do agree with you on the offensive play-calling. Herman took the game out of Hyde's hands. Sparty had NO ANSWER for Hyde, and the consecutive calls on 3rd and 4th down were the worst. The surprising thing was that it was so unlike Herman to telegraph two straight plays like that. It's like he went full-on Bollman for a minute, meanwhile we couldn't stop a Bollman-led offense on the other side. Excruciating to watch.
I love Herman, but i never understood that as soon as Hyde would get rolling, Herman would dial up a pass on 1st down. If it wasn't completed, we were immediately behind schedule. I think our offensive coaches were over-thinking MSU's defense. If we had run straight at them all game, I have a feeling we'd have been fine.

brglr14's picture

its his 2nd year and all his pieces are not in place yet and still we were big 10 runner up and a win from a possible naty title shot. thinking future is pretty bright at this point think i will sit back root for a bowl W watch the recruits roll in and get ready for more fun in 14

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


Doc's picture

This isn't directed at you BRGLR, but to more of your line of thought. It is this type of thinking that has sabotaged the B1G. Not wanting to rock the boat and change things up when they are going "pretty well". I'm beginning to think we are a paper tiger and the conference isn't any good too. We beat up on weaklings but sharted ourselves when we had a real team to play. Something needs to be done on D, and we need a game changer at wide receiver.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

brglr14's picture

only thing im really trying to say is that this is just the start of big things for OSU. its only urbs 2nd season here. has for the rest of the big 10 its on them. as far play making wr i go back to it being yr 2 and all his recruits not in place same on d. we were thin in many areas but not wanting the ball in wide outs hands are on the coaches. think there were chances there last nite on those 3rd and 4s or less were he took hyde out and just ran miller. msu sold out to get em have to think there were plays to be made on the edge or down field and coaches denied them of that chance. browns td perfect example. miller faked run threw over top only time we tried it.

I dont know karate but i do know crazy and i'm not afraid to use it.


andretolstoy's picture

So the statement was not just "it is what it is" but, "it is what it is. You know, guys got to make plays, and we have to put them in position to make the plays. You know, there is no finger pointing..."
It's one thing to ask for accountability, it's another to take what he said out of context, which has happened the last two interviews on this blog, and then ask for his head.
Luke Fickell is CO-Defensive Coordinator, Everett Withers is Co-Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach. Withers is also the one coaching the DBs. Fickell Coaches the LBs.
Now, let's look at this with, at least, an ounce of brain power. I know you guys can do it. Follow me ... Our LB corps is depleted. Our DBs are five star recruits. Which group has been playing better and has shown some improvement? It certainly hasn't been the DBs. Hmmm.. fire Fickell? You guys are going to get on him for not playing Bell, while our DBs are running around like a fire drill gone bad?? That's rich!  
Why is Fickell the only one coming out to be interviewed and taking the heat for the entire group? Withers is also Assistant Head Coach. Seems to me he should be held to a little bit of a higher standard? I guess not. I guess Withers gets an effing pass because our fan-media-base has a hate-crush on Fickell. Perhaps this attitude towards the guy is just the normal cultural occurrence from the over consumption of Natural Light?? Heck, it's no wonder ESPN has such a hay day with our program. It's not so hard to pound on the defeatist bunch. We do it to ourselves really ...
I said it before and I'll said it again. I wish Fickell would have told Meyer to buzz off when Meyer offered him the job (that he was forced to offer, or whatever) with the nice eloquent story he then put out there about having dinner with the Fickell's and how Luke is such a great family man. Shit, if Meyer was making this crap up, then screw Meyer as well. He should have just manned up.
If all this hubbub and narrative creating is all in the name of removing the last Tressel remnant from this program, then so be it. But be honest about. Don't run a darn good coach who put his family and career in peril and made it possible for Meyer to walk in here with a pretty stable ship and win games in the mud.
Totally slimy man...

BuckeyeStrong1993's picture

Your only as good as your players. Our D cant play zone to save there life. Bring the corners up play man to man .


Bucki78's picture

Is there a chance he has already seen the writing on the wall?  I mean this totally sounds out of character for someone that has been there before.  I just have a feeling he may have been told what's going to happen and has grown into a "I don't care" attitude.  It truly sucks if you ask me though. I really like him as a Buckeye but something has to change with this defense though.

"But I don't have to rely on a lot of people to tell me about the traditions of Ohio State. I lived it, I breathed it, I know it and I love it." - Urban Meyer