It’s a bye week for the Ohio State football team, but coach Luke Fickell still met with reporters on Tuesday. He discussed the team’s extra week to prepare before the Oct. 29 matchup with Wisconsin, the quarterback situation and the team’s lack of passing in OSU’s 17-7 victory over Illinois.
New backup quarterback?
Senior Joe Bauserman may have lost his job as OSU’s backup quarterback. Fickell hinted that redshirt sophomore Kenny Guiton may have passed Bauserman and would enter a game if anything happens to freshman starter Braxton Miller.
“It just depends on what the situation is, but you know, I think Kenny (Guiton) probably has taken a few more reps last week than Joe (Bauserman),” Fickell said.
Travis Howard appeared to have injured his ankle during the Illinois game on Saturday, but Fickell said he doesn’t expect him to miss any time.
“Travis ran around out there today,” Fickell said. “He looked all right. I think he was just, you know, a little bit of a twisted ankle at the moment.”
Fickell also said Miller doesn’t appear to be slowed by the ankle injury he suffered during OSU’s 34-27 loss at Nebraska.
The Buckeyes don’t have a game this week, but are still practicing and preparing for the undefeated Wisconsin Badgers, who come to Columbus on Oct. 29 for a game that is scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. Fickell said the extra week to prepare is a definite advantage for his coaching staff, but even with the extra time, only so much can be done.
“You can’t overdo it,” Fickell said. “You can’t be, you know, thinking you can reinvent the wheel in an extra week, but you got to get better at what you do. Yes, we know there’s a lot of things we can get better at.”
OSU only completed one pass Saturday against Illinois, a 17-yard touchdown strike from Miller to senior tight end Jake Stoneburner. The lack of passing is something Fickell hopes to improve.
“You got to attempt some more and you got to throw some more to get better at it,” Fickell said. “That’s not the only thing we have to work on, but we see ourselves getting better at it.”
A reporter also asked about Miller seeming to struggle to throw a spiral at times, but Fickell said he has confidence in his quarterback.
“He throws a good football,” Fickell said. “He really does and I think it comes down to patience and being relaxed and you know, getting more used to what you do.
“He’s getting better and he’s going to continue to get better.”