Fickell Answers Tough Questions

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Last updated: 09/20/2011 2:44 PM

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Fickell Answers Tough Questions about Timeouts
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell doesn’t strike you as a man who reads a lot of Shakespeare in his free time, but he has undoubtedly come across that line from Henry The Fourth, Part 2 somewhere along the way.

It probably makes a lot more sense now.

In just his third game since being promoted to head coach, Fickell watched his beloved Buckeyes take a nosedive in Miami over the weekend. Tuesday, the 38-year old had to answer questions about his own role in the team’s 24-6 loss to the Hurricanes.

Q. Why didn't you call any of your timeouts when you were on defense late in the game?

COACH FICKELL: We were going to call a timeout on the third-down play they converted. There was still a minute and a half to go. They actually ended up calling the timeout for us.

We got together, said, ‘You know what, we need two scores, whether they kick a field goal or what happens. The only way we probably best fit is to make sure we've got as many opportunities to call timeouts as possible.’

Probably if I went back and looked at it, the one they called with 8, 10 seconds left, maybe should have saved ourselves 25 seconds right there. Once they called the timeout on the third down before the last four plays, we decided, Hey, we're going to need to save these unless we get in a situation because we're going to need two scores.

Q. You didn't consider it earlier in the drive?

COACH FICKELL: No, we didn't. We still knew we were going to need two scores. Our thought was if we're going to need two scores, we're going to need to have the ability to stop the clock offensively. They were running it out.

If we look back in hindsight, the very last one, maybe it would have saved us 30 seconds in our minds and maybe we could have got a little bit of a breather is something that I always look back at. Our thought was, Hey, we're going to best we can try to make sure we have a couple to score twice.

Q. Do you regret you ended up with three timeouts in your pocket at the end of that game?

COACH FICKELL: Well, if we were within striking distance, I would have liked to have them. Do I regret anything? Maybe the very last one that could have saved us an extra 20 seconds before they went for it on fourth down. Other than that, that was our plan when we talked about it.

Q. Did you feel 17-6 was striking distance?

COACH FICKELL: We felt like we needed those timeouts, if we were going to get the ball back, to be able to have a chance to score twice.

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