Fickell Addresses Several Open Week Topics

Ohio State head football coach Luke Fickell met with the media Tuesday night at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and touched on several subjects. Click here for the latest on the Buckeyes as they continue to work during their open week.

There will not be a game for the Ohio State football team this weekend, but head coach Luke Fickell took time to address issues surrounding his team when he met with the media Tuesday evening at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Fickell touched on several topics during his 12-minute press conference that came following a 40-45 minute practice, including his players' use of Twitter, what his team will work on during the open week, the Buckeye passing game and the latest on OSU's backup quarterback situation.

The Twitter subject came up because of recent tweets from sophomore tailback Carlos Hyde and redshirt freshman wide receiver T.Y. Williams. Both Buckeyes took to the social network to complain about their playing time – or lack thereof. Hyde did not see the field until the fourth quarter last weekend at Illinois a week after rushing for more than 100 yards at Nebraska. Williams has seen limited time and has not caught a pass since the Sept. 24 game vs. Colorado.

"We ask those guys to be smart about what they do," Fickell said of his team's policy on Twitter use. "They represent this program, this team and this university. It's all about this team and not about individual things. We make sure we communicate with them about what we like and what we don't like."

When asked whether he had to recently remind players about that policy, Fickell said the coaching staff talks about it every day.

"Nothing goes unseen," Fickell said. "It's a pretty constant thing that we talk about."

Fickell added that understands the frustrations, however.

"These guys are competitors, and when you're a competitor and you want to be out there, that's a part of it," he said. "If you didn't want to be out there you'd be more worried about the guy. But how you handle situations and how you react … is every bit as important as the situation itself."

Turning to on-field matters, Fickell said the Buckeyes will spend the open week working on improving themselves. While the players will look inward, Fickell said the coaching staff will "get a jump on some things" in terms of the Oct. 29 game vs. Wisconsin.

With that extra time, don't expect Ohio State to drastically change things on offense or defense. Instead the Buckeyes will work on improving what they do.

"You can't overdo it," Fickell said. "You can't think you're going to reinvent the wheel in an extra week. You have to get better at what you do.

"Yes, we know there are a lot of things we can get better at. The sign of a good program, and a good team, is they keep building on what they got. They're not going to scrap something and come up with something new every other week. That's the way we feel. We're going to get better at what we do."

The passing game will be one of the main things Ohio State will try to improve. The Buckeyes are coming off a win at Illinois during which they completed only one pass.

"You've got to attempt some more and you've got to throw some more to get better at it," Fickell said. "Those are all things we know we've got to work on. That's why we were out there today. That's why we'll be out there tomorrow. That's why we'll be out there Thursday.

"But that's not the only thing we have to work on."

Fickell was also asked about the occasional non-spirals thrown by freshman quarterback Braxton Miller. His touchdown pass to junior tight end Jake Stoneburner at Illinois was picture-perfect, but several other times during the season Miller's passes have fluttered in the air.

"He throws a good football, he really does," Fickell said. "I think that comes down to patience and being relaxed and getting more used to what you do. You can throw on the film, whether it's high school or whether it's (with Ohio State). He throws a good football … He's getting better and he's going to continue to get better."

The battle between fifth-year senior Joe Bauserman and sophomore Kenny Guiton to be the No.1 backup to Miller was also addressed. Fickell said Guiton has "probably taken a few more reps last week" than Bauserman.

Finally, Fickell updated OSU's injury situation. The coach stated that junior cornerback Travis Howard was fine after twisting an ankle at Illinois. Miller was no worse for the wear during Tuesday's practice as he continues to work his way back to 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury at Nebraska.

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