“Every game is special, especially here at Ohio State, but night games are special,” Fickell said Thursday. “It doesn’t matter what station it’s on. Night games are special. Our young men love ‘em. I’m not saying the coaches do, but there is an extra buzz when you play a night game. It still comes down to the two teams that are playing each other that make it an interesting matchup.”
Whether or not fourth-string running back Jaamal Berry is allowed to take part on the field remains to be seen.
Berry, a sophomore from Miami, is the subject of a civil suit related to an alleged assault that occurred in downtown Columbus involving him early last Friday morning, but he has not been charged with a criminal offense.
“The legal process is going to take it’s time, and we’ll go from that,” Fickell said. “That’s all we can do as a team and as a program right now. Legal issues-wise, we’ve got nothing from the prosecutor, so that’s where we are.”
“We take everything we do seriously, whether it’s on the field or off the field. Nothing goes unnoticed. Ultimately we’re looking at what is best for this program and for this team, whether it’s a coach or a player. It’s a situation we take very seriously.”
Asked directly if Berry, whose primary role this season has been as a kick returner, will play against the Badgers, Fickell replied, “We’ll see. There are still things going on, but there is no change right now” in his playing status.
Fickell further confirmed Ohio State will take the field with a new backup quarterback: sophomore Kenny Guiton. The move was first revealed Wednesday night by offensive coordinator Jim Bollman.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Fickell said when asked why the staff chose to elevate Guiton above senior Joe Bauserman. The elder player started the first three games but played progressively worse after a sterling performance in the season opener against Akron.
“It’s not a default by any means,” Fickell said. “Kenny’s done a great job. His ability to have some energy and continue to fight throughout everything to get better, his ability to jump in on special teams, this game is a game of emotions. You want people out there who have emotion and can give you something. There’s still a plan for both of those guys. Both have a role, and I think whatever is needed they are all willing to do.”
The head coach said the staff is comfortable with what Guiton can do if he is needed in the case of an injury to starter Braxton Miller.
“If that’s what it comes to, we’ll be comfortable with Kenny going in there,” Fickell said. “If it happened to be Joe, we’ll be comfortable with Joe going in there. The key is knowing what they can do.”