Chelsea Castle / Managing editor for content
First-year Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell addressed Jaamal Berry’s status on the team, the Buckeyes’ bye-week progress and admitted that Michigan State’s 37-31 win against Wisconsin Saturday wasn’t exciting enough to capture his attention during a Tuesday press conference.
Fickell taking Jaamal Berry situation ‘very seriously’
Fickell said the situation regarding sophomore Jaamal Berry was ongoing and that he would let legal proceedings take their course.
Berry was named a suspect in an alleged assault that occurred Friday morning, according to a report report from the Columbus Police Department.
“We know that we represent, in everything we do, something much bigger than ourselves,” Fickell said. “Nothing goes unseen. Where ever we are, we represent a group much larger than ourselves. Don’t be mistaken that we’re looking into it and we take this very seriously.”
Fickell only reiterated that the team was looking into the situation, saying, “we take this very seriously,” when asked if Berry would play on Saturday against the Badgers.
Comings and goings of the OSU roster
Berry’s status for Saturday’s game may be in question, but Fickell said the sophomore defensive back Dominic Clarke has returned to the Buckeyes.
Clarke did not travel for the Buckeyes’ Oct. 15 game at Illinois after being arrested Oct. 9 and charged with disorderly conduct during an on-campus incident involving what a witness described as a “compressed air” gun.
“(Clarke) is back with us and is part of the program and part of the team,” Fickell said.
Simon, along with senior center Michael Brewster and senior linebacker Andrew Sweat will act as game captains for Saturday’s game against the Badgers. Brewster will walk to midfield for the pregame coin toss for a team-leading fifth time this season. The game-captain honor is also the fourth of the year for Sweat and the third for Simon.
Michigan State-Wisconsin a real snooze fest for Fickell, a Buckeyes’ player
College football fans across America were captivated by Michigan State’s Saturday upset against the then-No. 4 Badgers.
With the game tied, 31-31, Michigan State senior quarterback Kirk Cousins heaved a Hail Mary pass toward the end zone that was deflected and caught by wide receiver Keith Nichol who fought through several Wisconsin defenders attempting to cross the goal line. Instant replay revealed that the ball broke the plain of the end zone and the Spartans won, 37-31.
Fickell estimated that he had been asleep for no less than 45 minutes around the time celebrations were touched off in East Lansing, Mich.
“I did not stay up,” Fickell said. “I’ve probably seen it five, six, seven times now.”
Junior linebacker John Simon said he was half awake during the final seconds of the game, but managed to stay alert for the final play.
“The way it (the game) ended made it a classic game,” Simon said. “I was happy I stayed up.”
Business during the bye week
Fickell said throughout OSU’s bye week that he would prefer his team’s schedule not include a week off, but the team accomplished some valuable work last week.
“We got a lot of work done,” Fickell said. “Our guys did a heck of a job on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I think we did a very good job with the attitudes and getting the work done we needed to get done.”