Blake Haubeil will be Ohio State's starting kicker for the second straight week when the Buckeyes play at Purdue on Saturday, Urban Meyer said Thursday on his radio show on 97.1 The Fan.
"We do have a lot of confidence in Blake," Meyer said Thursday. "Blake’s a sophomore, and he’ll get the start Saturday. There’s a thump when he hits that thing, and a great kid too."
Meyer replaced Nuernberger as Ohio State's kicker for field goals and extra points last week, when the Buckeyes hosted Minnesota at Ohio Stadium, after Nuernberger suffered a groin strain during warmups. Meyer said the Buckeyes made the decision to go with Haubeil to avoid the risk of Nuernberger aggravating that injury.
"Those kind of injuries, if you push through it, you might be done for the year," Meyer said.
Meyer did not specify Thursday whether the decision to start Haubeil this week was related to Nuernberger's health or Haubeil's performance, but he did say earlier this week that the position was open for competition. Haubeil made all three of his field goal attempts in Ohio State's 30-14 win over Minnesota, including a 47-yard kick, and all three of his extra point attempts.
The only negative critique that Meyer had of Haubeil's debut: his celebration after making his 47-yard field goal.
"One thing we had to have a conference with Blake about, really in front of the team, was when he kicked that one field goal, I noticed – because I do watch that stuff – he looks up in the stands and says, ‘We’re No. 1,’ one of those deals. And I made it clear we don’t do that," Meyer said. "So we had a little chat with our kicker Blake; you don’t need to wave to the fans, you need to go hug a big guy, no different than K.J. Hill. So I think you’ll see him hug a big guy from now on."
As for Ohio State's other injuries, Meyer said Thursday that defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison are still expected back for Saturday's game after missing last week's game, while left tackle Thayer Munford and defensive tackle Robert Landers are both probable to play. Cornerback Damon Arnette remains questionable for Saturday's game. Meyer also said the Buckeyes are hoping to get offensive linemen Branden Bowen and Brady Taylor back from injuries "within the next week or so."