Is Luke Fickell in over his head?

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell watches his players prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

I’m rooting for Luke Fickell. While many Buckeye fans are holding their breath hoping for Urban Meyer in 2012, I’m hoping that Fickell shows Buckeye Nation that he deserves the job.

That said, last night’s loss to Miami was an embarrassment, and much of the blame has to be put on the young coach.

Like many fans, I was somewhat fooled by Joe Bauserman’s performance in the opener against Akron. But last week against Toledo we started to see some problems, and it became clear to even the casual observer that the Buckeyes would need to be more aggressive with Braxton Miller in order to beat the good teams.

Based on last night, it seems that Fickell has no clue as to how to manage quarterbacks or tight games in general. Buckeye quarterbacks completed just 4 of 17 passes for 36 yards. That’s just stunning incompetence. Fickell and the coaches did nothing to let the quarterbacks establish a rhythm. For Miller, they tightened up and panicked after he threw an INT and then turned him into a one-dimensional running quarterback. He made some nice plays, but the took away the pass and made it clear they had no confidence in him.

They need to develop Miller, because you can’t beat good teams with Bauserman. I would have been fine with a loss last night had they unleashed Miller and let him learn and make mistakes.

Fickell also seemed clueless at the end of the game, as he didn’t use any timeouts as Miami ran out the clock. Sure, the game was over, but it’s like he gave up.

Fickell needs to wake up and get Miller in there for good. If he doesn’t, this season will be a lost season, and we’ll have another head coach next season.

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