Fickell Won’t Have Braxton on Short Leash
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — We know now that Braxton Miller is going to start Saturday’s game against Colorado. What we don’t know is exactly how that will effect his overall playing time in week four.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The idea of throwing this ultra-talented kid out there to see what he can do might sound like a great idea, but the Buckeyes also have a game to win Saturday. Luke Fickell’s own future might be on the line, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to have a quick hook with the young freshman out of Wayne High School.
“We’re not going to put Braxton on a leash,” Fickell said Thursday on the Bull & Fox show on 92.3 FM in Cleveland.
“We want him to know we have confidence in him.”
If everything goes according to play, that confidence will result in Miller’s emergence as not only the future, but also the present. He will take care of the football and lead the Buckeyes to the first of many victories.
But things seldom go exactly according to plan, especially in the game of football. That’s why the Buckeyes want to make sure Joe Bauserman is still ready to jump back in there when his name is called.
“We don’t want Joe not to be ready to go in because you never know what is going to happen,” Fickell told former OSU cornerback Dustin Fox and his co-host, Adam ‘the Bull.’
In his only real action against Division I caliber opponents this season—we’re not going to count Akron—Miller turned the ball over twice and barely avoided coughing it up on two other occasions.
It wasn’t exactly a confidence booster for Miller or the Buckeyes, especially after Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman decided to yank Miller on second down after he lost the handle on first down.
But Fickell seems to have taken charge of the quarterback situation, or at least of the decision to start Miller against Colorado.
During his weekly Thursday press conference, Fickell made it sound like the plan still included playing both quarterbacks Saturday. He was less committal during his appearance on the radio show.
“We don’t know for sure yet,” he said.
“We’re going with Braxton and we’re going to continue moving forward.”
That’s what this move is ultimately about. The Buckeyes know they will need to prepare for the future. Without seniors DeVier Posey, Boom Herron and Mike Adams, much of the offense around Miller will also be young.
“Whether they're young or not, they're what we've got,” said Fickell, who has offered very few excuses since taking over as the head coach back in May.
He won’t have much use for them anyway if Miller turns out not to be the answer they’re looking for.
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