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Bearcats Football coach Luke Fickell disappointed that his team didn’t give Ohio State a challenge in return to hometown


Luke Fickell said in his news conference that if his players had never had their butts whipped, then they did against Ohio State Saturday ( photo)

Luke Fickell UC Football coach News Conference after Ohio State game 9 7 2019

Ever since Luke Fickell took the head coaching job at the University of Cincinnati, he knew the game with Ohio State was down the road. Some fans of college football may not know, but games are scheduled years in advance, usually by coaches who have left a program. A new coach comes in and has the right to put his own schedule together after meeting with his athletic director.

Fickell, had thoughts of canceling the game with former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer because of everything that goes with a game like that: former player going against his alma mater, in his hometown and in this case, players he recruited and coached.

After all, the 46-year-old Fickell became a fan favorite because of his solid playing career at Ohio State (1993-96), assistant coach, interim head coach and defensive coordinator. He had been on the staff at Ohio State under John Cooper as a graduate assistant, Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer encompassing 15 years. He left to take the Cincinnati job, December 10, 2016 as that school’s 39th head coach replacing Tommy Tuberville.

Fickell in the end decided to keep the game on the schedule as the Bearcats had a chance to play a top-5 team on national television and they would receive a nice check to help out their football program and the athletic programs at UC.

In the end, the Bearcats, who are expected to be a challenger for the championship in the American Athletic Conference, did not look like they even belonged on the field with the Buckeyes, who are tough at home anyways. The Bearcats got shutout, 42-0; had a field goal blocked; had an obvious touchdown run end on a fumble out of the end zone for a touchback; committed 10 penalties for 78 yards; their vaunted rushing attack led by Michael Warren II, only accumulated 37 yards and they turned the ball over.

He told the media after the game that the game and loss was “humbling”; “had their absolute butts whipped”; “disappointed we couldn’t give the Buckeyes a real game”

Fickell said that he expects the team to rebound this week because that are playing one of their oldest rivals, the Miami University RedHawks for the 124th time at home on Saturday at 12 noon. The game will be on ESPNU.