Fickell, Players Confident In Both QBs

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell said in his Tuesday press conference that he wasn't sure how the quarterback position will play out. However it does, both he and the players are confident it will work out for the best.

Luke Fickell had a preconceived notion of what the main theme of his Tuesday luncheon with the press was going to be. Like a pro that has been doing his job for 10 years, the first-year head coach came prepared with a plan.

When faced with the inevitable questions regarding the quarterback position, which happened to be the topic of the first question thrown at him, Fickell went with the go-to move — he pleaded ignorance.

Though Fickell said he didn't have answers on how the snaps would be divvied up between sixth-year senior Joe Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller, he did make one novice mistake.

He mentioned he had an idea of what the coaches wanted to do at the position.

"We don't know what the plan is just yet," Fickell said. "We have an idea what's going to happen… We're going to have these guys compete. Until we see them compete in practice, see how guys handle situations and roles and different things like that, we're not going to make a complete judgment."

Though Fickell wouldn't come out and admit that the freshman Miller could be in line for a bigger role, the head coach wouldn't say Bauserman is the clear-cut starter the way he had heading into Ohio State's first two games.

Instead of openly stating that Bauserman is the starter for this team Tuesday, Fickell said the decision would continue to be evaluated as the week progressed in practice, a direct indication of change.

"I don't have the crystal ball," Fickell said. "We know what we think. We're going to continue to see them battle and work at it. We're going to focus on day to day getting better."

After Ohio State suffered its first loss of the season at Miami, due in large part from mediocre quarterback play, the team is in search for answers. The Buckeyes, who dropped out of the polls for the first time in seven years, completed only four passes against the Hurricanes before eventually falling 24-6.

Bauserman started the first three games of the season, including Saturday night against Miami where he was incredibly ineffective. The senior completed only 2 of 14 pass attempts for 13 yards while guiding an Ohio State offense that struggled to move the chains.

Miller's statistics don't look much better, as he completed 2 of 4 passes for 22 yards. The freshman also threw an interception and fumbled the ball on a crucial drive in the fourth quarter which in effect ended any chance for Ohio State to complete a comeback.

Most fans argue that Miller's immense athleticism makes him the most viable option for the Buckeyes this year, even if he doesn't have a firm grasp of the playbook and is very limited on experience.

As if it was fall camp all over again, Fickell has to come to an addition decision regarding what to do with the quarterbacks. With everyone watching, Fickell faces additional pressure to win given his 1-year contract is in danger of not being extended if Ohio State doesn't perform the way the university administration expects.

The team, however, remains confident in both Bauserman and Miller. Even if specific members of the team have an opinion on who should be the starter, players have kept those feelings to themselves.

"It is brought up a couple times here and there, but it is a coaching decision so we don't have much say in it," junior fullback Zach Boren said. "We don't know much about it. It is just whoever comes out and competes this week during practice is going to get the job."

Senior center Mike Brewster, regarded widely as one of the leaders on this Ohio State team, said the teams have remained fully confident in both Bauserman and Miller even if a final decision is still in the works.

Even if varied opinions exist on who should be the quarterback, Brewster said there hasn't been an internal struggle to remain politically correct while preparing for the looming game against Colorado.

"At the end of the day we know the coaches are going to do their best to use their judgement and put us in a position to be successful," Brewster said. "As the season goes on and these guys get more comfortable and get more time that things will only work out for the best."

Regardless of whether it is Bauserman or Miller who trots out to take the first series against the Buffalos, Brewster said the team is only concerned with one thing.

"We just want to win," Brewster said. "We will figure it out."

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