Fickell Updates Injury Status for Braxton, Shugarts
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the Buckeyes nursing a 27-20 lead over Indiana in the fourth quarter, Braxton Miller was trying to keep the drive alive.
There were only six minutes on the clock and another first down would have all but sealed the victory for Ohio State, who showed a complete lack of enthusiasm coming off the big win over Wisconsin a week earlier.
The OSU medical staff assists Braxton Miller
after he took a big hit against Indiana.
Photo by Jim Davidson
The Buckeyes needed 16 yards on third down to move the chains, but Miller ended up on the Turf instead. He got up slowly but not before delivering the ball to wideout Corey Brown.
“You're going to have those as quarterbacks,” OSU Head Coach Luke Fickell said Tuesday.
“He didn't flinch. Threw the ball, delivered the thing perfect, on target.”
Brown didn’t hang on to the ball and the Buckeyes were forced to punt, but Miller wasn’t about to stay on the sideline when Ohio State got the ball back two minutes later on the interception by Travis Howard.
“I was concerned about him,” Offensive Coordinator Jim Bollman said after the game.
“It was very encouraging that he wanted no part of coming out.”
Miller had to get his midsection wrapped on the sideline after taking a big hit, and backup quarterback Kenny Guiton was starting to warm-up just in case Miller couldn’t go back in the game.
“You have to cringe every time they run it,” Fickell said.
“You have to roll with some punches and kicks. He's got that knack. He's going to take some shots, just like everybody on the field. We want to try to limit them, but I think he's feeling all right.”
Hall’s Return in Question
Miller will make the seventh-straight start of his young career Saturday against Purdue, but the Buckeyes don’t yet know if they will have Jordan Hall available for the trip to West Lafayette.
Photo by Jim Davidsion
“Jordan we're still kind of curious on. Hopefully he'll be able to go,” Fickell said Tuesday.
“He'll be a little bit hesitant. We'll hold him out a little bit today. But we're hoping. We obviously have to wait till later in the week to find out for sure.”
Hall missed the game against Indiana this past Saturday after injuring his ankle on the 42-yard kick return that set up the game-winning touchdown against Wisconsin. He is fourth on the team in rushing with 330 yards and two touchdowns on 85 carries since returning from his two-game suspension.
He is also leading the team in all-purpose yards a 143.5 per game, but Carlos Hyde did an excellent job running the ball in his stead.
“If Jordan is fine, we'll get him back into the situation,” Fickell said.
“I am sure he will get some touches whether it is kickoff or punt. We'll find a way to move that thing around, put him in positions that they can have opportunities to touch the football.”
Boom Feeling Better
Hyde ran for 105 yards on 15 carries against Indiana, despite being the No. 2 tailback behind Boom Herron. The fifth-year senior led the team with 141 yards on 14 carries, but did leave the game after injuring his ankle in the fourth quarter.
Photo by Dan Harker
“Boom was sore Sunday,” Fickell said of Herron who returned to the field on Ohio State’s final drive.
“(He was) able to move around. Felt better than the week before. I would believe he'll be all right today to move around some.”
Herron has been dealing with a minor ankle injury for some time, but it hasn’t hindered his performance on the field—outside of that fourth quarter fumble. In three game since returning from his suspensions, Herron has run for 415 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 70 carries.
He is averaging 138.3 yards per game.
The biggest question mark for Saturday’s game at Purdue will be the status of starting right tackle J.B. Shugarts.
“Don't know just yet today,” Fickell said.
“J.B. had a little bit of a knee. We'll have to evaluate as the week goes along. I don't think he'll be available today to do a lot of different things.”
Shugarts left the Indiana game with a knee injury midway through the third quarter and had to be replaced by freshman Antonio Underwood.
At first, it looked like the injury could be the season-ending type, especially being around the knee, but the brace he was wearing may have very well saved Shugarts’ season.
“J.B. is a tough guy, he's pretty strong and a competitor,” Fickell said.
“If there's any chance of him being out there, he'll be out there.”
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