The wide-ranging topics that were discussed at first-year OSU head coach Luke Fickell’s Tuesday press conference included a season-ending injury for one defensive player, the role of a previously suspended player in Saturday’s game at Illinois and the battle among quarterbacks for the backup job. After the press conference, a former Buckeyes coach spoke to The Lantern about the NCAA violations committed by OSU players.
“Coop” isn’t content
Former OSU head coach John Cooper, who led the Buckeyes to a 100-34-4 record from 1988-1999, sat among members of the media during Fickell’s remarks.
Afterward, Cooper had some pointed remarks about the state of OSU football, saying he was troubled by the program’s recent run-ins with the NCAA.
“It’s unfortunate,” Cooper said. “That doesn’t have to happen. It shouldn’t happen at Ohio State. This is too good of a school. It is too good of a program to have that happen to us.
“It’s embarrassing, to be honest with you.”
Senior defensive lineman Nate Williams, who has missed the Buckeyes’ last five games after sustaining an injury to his left knee on Sept. 3 against Akron, is likely done for the season.
“Nate probably won’t be with us for the rest of the year,” Fickell said. “I think he’ll probably have another surgery. It’s a part of the game.”
Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller is listed as the No. 1 quarterback on the latest OSU depth chart. Fickell said the most important thing is how Miller practices this week.
“I think (Miller) is going to be OK,” Fickell said. “We’ll see how he feels when he runs around today.”
The battle among Ohio State’s quarterbacks is still on, but now they’re competing to be the No. 2 option behind freshman Braxton Miller.
Fickell said that sophomore quarterback Ken Guiton will get more reps in practice and have a shot at being the backup.
“Kenny will get some more reps (this week),” Fickell said. “He showed the team and everyone how much it means to him. He’ll get more and more opportunities in the weeks to come.”
“Boom” is back“
After being suspended for the first six games of the 2011 season due to two separate NCAA violations, Dan “Boom” Herron will dress and play for Buckeyes at Illinois this weekend.
“Dan will get some touches,” Fickell said. “You might see Dan initially on special teams. Dan is a big part of who we are.”
Captaincy carousel slowing down
Senior center Mike Brewster will make his fourth appearance as an OSU game captain at Illinois this Saturday. Senior linebacker Andrew Sweat will make his third appearance as a game captain as well.
Junior tight end Jake Stoneburner, who caught his fifth touchdown pass of the year last Saturday at Nebraska, is first-time captain and will join Brewster and Sweat at midfield Saturday for the pregame coin toss at the Fighting Illini’s Memorial Stadium.