First-year Ohio State football head coach Luke Fickell held a press conference Tuesday and discussed everything from his strategy for calling timeouts to redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman’s smile, as well as the Buckeyes’ Saturday game against Colorado at Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
Timeout indecision against Miami
Trailing by 11 points with 9:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, Fickell elected not to use a timeout during Miami’s 14-play drive, which lasted 8:48 seconds and ended with a touchdown that increased the Hurricanes’ lead to 24-6.
The Buckeyes finished the game with all three timeouts remaining.
“We were going to call a timeout right there, I think, on (Miami’s) third-down play that they converted,” Fickell said. “I think there was still a minute and a half left to go. They actually ended up calling the timeout.”
Fickell, who was asked five questions during the press conference about the late-game timeout situation, said he planned to save the timeouts for OSU’s next drive.
“We decided, ‘Hey, we’re going to need to save these unless we get in a situation because we’re going to need two scores,'” he said. “It ultimately didn’t end up hurting us.”
Players Gotta Play
Numerous freshmen, including Miller, freshmen wide receivers Devin Smith, Verlon Reed and freshman defensive back Bradley Roby, among others, have received significant playing time through the Buckeyes’ first three games.
Despite their occasional struggles, Fickell said he’ll continue to field a team that features young, first-year players.
“You got to get out there and do it to do it,” Fickell said. “That’s no excuse that they’re young. We’re not going to give them that excuse.”
Smile, you’re on camera
During ESPN’s national telecast of the Buckeyes’ loss to Miami, redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman was captured on camera smiling toward the end of the game.
Fickell said that he received an email about the incident after the game.
“I didn’t see it,” Fickell said. “I haven’t talked to (Bauserman) and I know that Joe hurts every bit as I do. But, no, that’s not something you want to see.
“We try to tell (the players) that nothing goes unnoticed.”
Junior defensive lineman John Simon and junior fullback Zach Boren will act as team captains for OSU’s Saturday game against Colorado at Ohio Stadium.
Boren, who is roommates with Simon, said that “John and I have a great relationship. It gets competitive (between us) with video games.”
Nay-saying the boo birds
Bauserman threw the ball away in several instances during OSU’s Sept. 10 win against Toledo, and members of Buckeye Nation sometimes greeted his tosses into the stands with boos.
Boren said that if he were in the crowd watching the Buckeyes, he wouldn’t boo.
“I know what this team goes through on a yearly basis and I know what we’ve done in fall camp,” Boren said. “I would never boo our team.”
Fickell acknowledged the passion of the Buckeyes’ fans, but said that he doesn’t give a whole lot of thought to the crowd’s reaction during game.
“They pay their money to get in,” Fickell said. “They love Ohio State, Ohio State football. If they don’t like something, they let you know.
“That’s not what we’re going to focus on. Hopefully, that doesn’t affect us mentally in any way.”