Ohio State football’s quarterback conundrum
Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 01:06
With three games in the books for Ohio State football (2-1), the team's quarterback situation isn't any clearer than it was when former Buckeyes' signal caller Terrelle Pryor departed the university on June 7.
While he wouldn't name a starter or say how snaps would be split between quarterbacks, coach Luke Fickell said at a Tuesday press conference that he would allow the quarterbacks, including redshirt freshman Taylor Graham and redshirt sophomore Ken Guiton, to continue to compete against one another in practice.
Both senior Joe Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller are currently listed as the starters on the team's weekly depth chart.
"We don't know what the plan is just yet," Fickell said. "We're going to have these guys compete. We know we need to get better. We had a hard time throwing the football."
On Saturday, Bauserman and Miller combined for 4-of-18 passing for 35 yards in OSU's 24-6 loss against Miami. Miller, who threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game, also fumbled to halt a Buckeyes drive in the fourth quarter.
"I think that's always something you worry about with a young guy," Fickell said. "I think we had two fumbles all last year. I think it's almost two times or three times as many (this season)."
The team has lost three fumbles on the season.
Fickell said he considered Millers' turnovers a cause for concern.
"We turned the ball over, that's the obvious," Fickell said. "We missed some shots, that's obvious as well."
To say that the team missed some shots might be an understatement — Bauserman and Miller couldn't connect with a single Buckeyes' wide receiver in the contest.
All four of the completed passes in Saturday's loss were caught by running backs.
Fickell said he didn't consider using Graham or Guiton during the Miami game, adding that he didn't see anything Graham or Guiton could have done differently from the Buckeyes' quarterbacking tandem of Bauserman and Miller.
Fickell said all four quarterbacks would get a chance to compete for playing time in this week's practice.
"We'll probably give a lot more reps to all those guys (the quarterbacks)," he said. "I don't know how it will work out exactly."
Fickell said he doesn't place the blame for the offense's lack of production on a single player and that the quarterbacks are receiving an undue amount of criticism.
"We (have) to find a way to get our best 11 on the field," Fickell said. "You focus on the quarterback. We focus on the tailback as well. We focus on the middle linebacker as well."
Fickell said that who plays at Ohio Stadium on Saturday will be determined by performance on the practice field throughout the week.
"I don't have the crystal ball," Fickell said. "We know what we think. We're going to see a battle (in practice) and we're going to work at it."