The most eagerly awaited answer did not come from Luke Fickell's weekly press luncheon on Tuesday.
The Ohio State head coach said the playing time for quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller when the Buckeyes take on Colorado at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday at Ohio Stadium has not been determined at this point in the week.
“We don’t know what the plan is just yet,” Fickell said. “We’re going to have these guys compete. We’ve got an idea of what is going to happen. We’ve got to wait until we see them compete in practice and see how guys handle situations and roles and different things like that.”
The pair combined to post a putrid stat line as Ohio State lost 24-6 to Miami (Fla.) in their most recent outing. Bauserman completed 2 of 14 passes for 13 yards while Miller went 2 for 4 for 22 yards. Bauserman did not turn the ball over, but Miller threw an interception and lost a fumble.
As they have been all season, the two are listed as co-starters on the depth chart the school published Monday. Bauserman has started all three games with Miller playing in reserve in the season opener against Akron and last week at Miami.
Fickell also pointed out not all of the problems with the passing game were the fault of the quarterbacks.
“We dropped a couple balls which obviously doesn't get that rolling for you,” he said. ?"We always forget to look at that, if you put some of those stats in there, too, for the quarterbacks. There were some dropped balls. You got to give them some credit, too. They got up on the guys. They got some good DBs. Our guys didn't have opportunities to get loose and they weren't running free.
“Do we need to get better there? Yeah. We need to get better in a lot of areas. We need to get open when guys are up on us. That's just the nature of the game. That's no excuse that they're young. We're not going to give them that excuse. We're not going to have that excuse as a coaching staff or as a team.”
In other personnel news, the coach revealed reserve fullback Adam Homan, who plays on several special teams units and is part of one of Ohio State's preferred short-yardage offensive packages, had surgery this week. The coach did not go into further detail, but if Homan's injury proves to be season-ending, he would be eligible for a medical redshirt.
Moving into the No. 2 fullback role behind starter Zach Boren is David Durham, a redshirt freshman who moved to fullback toward the end of spring practice.
Fickell also identified starting linebacker Andrew Sweat as "dinged up" and said it is too early to tell if receiver Philly Brown will be able to play this week. Brown missed the contest against the Hurricanes with a sprained left ankle. He said he expects Sweat to play through his injury.
Boren and defensive lineman Johnny Simon will serve as captains for the Buckeyes this week.
Twice during his press conference, Fickell was asked about his use of timeouts at the end of the Miami game as the Hurricanes were driving. Many fans have questions why he kept all three rather than try to conserve time for a potential comeback.
“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,” Fickell said. “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.”