Ohio State freshman kicker Jake Seibert had a good debut, Ryan Day says
Jake Seibert was unlikely to see the field when Ohio State’s football season began last month.
The Buckeyes had a veteran in Blake Haubeil, who had handled place-kicking duties since 2018.
But when Haubeil suffered a groin injury at Penn State and was not ready for the following week’s game, at home against Rutgers, it put Seibert in position to make his college debut.
A freshman from Cincinnati, Seibert passed his first test in a 49-27 win over Rutgers last Saturday, hitting all of his seven extra-point tries. He did not attempt a field goal.
“I thought Jake was good,” coach Ryan Day said this week. “I thought the ball came up, which was good to see. Any time a kicker gets a lot of height on the ball, that really helps. And he's very accurate. The timing was good. He really wasn't challenged. They were just extra points. But it was a good start. I thought he looked confident out there.”
Haubeil has remained day-to-day with nagging pain, so Seibert could handle extra points and field goals when the Buckeyes return to the field against unbeaten Indiana on Nov. 21.
Saturday’s game at Maryland was canceled because of coronavirus cases among the Terrapins.
One reason Day expressed confidence in Seibert was due to his overall athleticism. He also played wide receiver in high school at La Salle.
“So he’s a good athlete,” Day said.
The biggest uncertainty surrounding Seibert would come when he is asked to attempt a field goal.
Day said he is uncertain how long the range is for Seibert, though he made some field goals longer than 40 yards in warm-ups against Rutgers, as well as a 43-yard field goal in the OHSAA Division II state championship game last year.
A fuller picture will be formed only under game conditions.
“Practice is a little different than a game,” Day said. “We’ll see how accurate he is. It's one thing to make one of them, but you got to be able to make them consistently in order to take a shot at it.”
The Buckeyes first called on Dominic DiMaccio to replace Haubeil at Penn State, but he was inconsistent. After making a 22-yard field goal, he later missed a 23-yard attempt.
Hausmann out for week
Senior tight end Jake Hausmann could remain out for at least another week with an undisclosed injury, Day said on his radio show this week.
Hausmann was unavailable against Rutgers last week after appearing in the first two games. He caught a 13-yard pass in a win at Penn State.
Once healthy, Hausmann is expected to be back "in the mix," Day said.
The Buckeyes have enjoyed production from their tight ends this season. Thirteen of quarterback Justin Fields’ 72 completions have gone to tight ends, including three touchdowns caught by junior Jeremy Ruckert.