Banged Up Buckeyes Prepare for Cal

By Kyle Rowland on September 9, 2013 at 5:00p
Braxton Miller is classified as day-to-day with a sprained knee ligament.

Braxton Miller is yet to play a complete game in 2013. The injury-prone quarterback’s problems date to high school. He hasn’t played a full season since his freshman year at Huber Heights Wayne. Whether he gets the start Saturday at Cal remains up in the air.

A sprained MCL Miller suffered against San Diego State sidelined him for almost the entirety of the game. Miller went down on Ohio State’s seventh offensive play.

“Braxton Miller will be a day to day decision,” head coach Urban Meyer said Monday. “I just met with him today. He’s feeling much better.  He was a little stiff. The first 48 hours after that injury is very tough.”

Meyer said the training staff should have a better idea of the severity of Miller’s injury on Tuesday, which should shed more light on his availability for Saturday. He was fitted for a brace after he was carted to the locker room. Miller jogged back on the field and appeared willing and able to go back in the game. With a big lead, though, Meyer nixed that.

“Oh, God, he wanted back in the game. He feels strongly about playing,” Meyer said. “He wants to play this weekend.”

If Miller can’t go, the Buckeyes will field a backup that’s led them to two victories the past two seasons in Kenny Guiton. He’s become a folk hero in Columbus, and another win would only bolster his already burgeoning legend.

Guiton, Ohio State’s offensive player of the game against San Diego State, finished with 152 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. He was also the leading rusher with 83 yards, including a 44-yard run for a score. The play Guiton found paydirt was drawn up for Miller, providing more evidence that the offense operates efficiently even with a Heisman contender on the sideline.

“The way he handles his business and where he’s come from,” Meyer said, “he’d be an incredible case study for what he’s done for this program.”

Still, there is no quarterback controversy at Ohio State.

"If [Braxton] is healthy enough to play, and to play like Braxton Miller, he’ll play,” Meyer said. “He’ll certainly go. We’re not saving anything.”

Behind Guiton are two quarterbacks of the future. But Meyer would like to avoid playing them, especially true freshman J.T. Barrett. Cardale Jones and Barrett are scheduled to travel to Cal, though.

“Plan C and Plan D are real close to each other right now,” Meyer said. “We practiced them both yesterday. As of right now, Cardale is the first one in.”

The Buckeyes dealt with another first-quarter injury on Saturday that went under the radar due to Miller’s ailment. Defensive end Adolphus Washington left the game and did not return because of a groin injury.

Following the game, Meyer deemed Washington day-to-day, and that status did not change Monday. Washington’s presence on the field is important with Cal running 100 plays. Ohio State will need to rotate linemen throughout the game and apply pressure to true freshman quarterback Jared Goff, who leads the nation in passing yards.

“I think he has a good grasp of the offense,” co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers said. “Obviously, this is one of those offenses you just call plays and you go, so he’s getting it in and calling it. It’s not a whole lot that’s on his plate right now, but he seems to have managed it. He doesn't seem overwhelmed at all with running what they do.”

Dontre Wilson did his best to introduce himself to fans on Saturday. So, too, did Philly Brown. He’s a known commodity but got off to a slow start against Buffalo. Meyer wanted to get him more involved. It resulted in a  six-catch, 73-yard, two-touchdown performance.

“I’ve been very critical of the wide receivers, but he’s a wide receiver now,” Meyer said. “He’s starting to box out defenders and he’s starting to do things you ask wide receivers to do, not just go out there and run fast once in a while. He’s getting better and better.

“I’m a big Philly Brown guy right now, and I was not at all [last season].”

Meyer’s also a fan of a healthy football team.

“We need all able bodies to be ready to go,” he said.


Comments Show All Comments

holtzy's picture

Prediction - Braxton plays the ENTIRE first three quarters, then is relieved by the Old Right Hander because we are up by 30.

Gulfstreambuckeye's picture

Wow. Bold prediction. I dont see Braxton playing. He wont get reps in practice this week. If he is in a brace I dont want him out there. Kenny is a better passer Braxtons legs is why he starts.

Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust...but life goes on.

DaiTheFlu's picture

With all due respect, I don't think we have seen NEARLY enough of Kenny G to conclude with any certainty that he is a better passer than Braxton. He certainly can make some of the shorter and mid-range throws (the two perfectly thrown passes to Philly, for example), but his long downfield passes are pretty much terrible.

Braxton has always thrown a pretty good long ball; it seems the he struggled with the shorter throws, at least until the opener against Buffalo. That game was obviously a very small sample size, but Braxton appears to have improved noticeably.

Either way, I think we win this game, but I'll feel a whole hell of a lot better with Braxton at the helm, provided that he is at 100%.

We can't stop here; this is bat country...

ohst8buxCP's picture

I would bet the farm that Braxton plays and looks good doing it.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Not quite sure why you got downvoted for sharing your opinion. I don't agree with all of it necessarily, but your opinion is your opinion.

Buckeye80's picture

I don't agree with you except the part where if he's in a brace. If he's not able to play without possibly causing further injury, he should sit. That said, I say we see him play on Saturday. Up vote for ya to help out with some of the crazy down votes. 

timhbomb's picture

Braxton won't see the field until Wisconsin

PHATBUCK13's picture

You crazy brah...

ChazBuckeye's picture

I'm not so sure about his response being crazy.  
If you read what Urban's saying, it sounds like they'll try to have Braxton go if he's 100%.  I'm not sure why a HC with the QBs at his disposal that Meyer has, would play their star QB who's not 100%?  It's Cal folks...not USC of 2008.  It would be slightly crazy to start Kenny G against a team of that quality.  Cal nor USC of today are worth worrying about starting Braxton over Kenny.  I tend to agree that Brax360 shouldn't see the field until Wiscy.  It's not worth it...just look at the SDST game.  Why in the world would you want him playing against a team or teams like that?  Kenny G did just fine...

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

DefendYoungstown's picture

Anybody know when the Bucks head back to Ohio after the Cal game?

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

labuck's picture

Probably immediately.  Most teams do not stay longer than they have to.  Once the game is over they head straight to the plane and its liftoff.

OSU069's picture

Can we stop saying Guiton is better than or close to as good as Miller. He's not. He might have the advantage in short and medium throws but his long throws are terrible. He's a solid runner but Braxton is the most dynamic running QB in the country. Guiton is a solid player and a great backup but Miller is a very good to great player and a dynamic playmaker. 

Jurmah12's picture

I would totally upvote you if I could.

"Where the no fly zone at!?"

Mike Thomas - 11/8/2014

Buckeye80's picture

Guiton is the best backup in the country. He is not he best QB on this team. Thankful to have him, but Braxton is the starter for a reason. 

DefendYoungstown's picture

As much as I want for Brax to be the most dynamic mobile QB in the country, I think he's a half step behind Marcus Mariota of Oregon. 

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

OSU069's picture

Nope. Braxton is a better runner. Mariotta has  had some nice runs to start off this year but ill take what happened all of last year where Miller proved he was the best.

ohst8buxCP's picture

Straight line speed Mariotta, laterally side to side it's Miller

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

I think what people react to is KG's ability to make decisions. Ross Fulton has said a number of times that Miller seems to pre-determine his reads. This lets the defense off the hook when he guesses wrong.
There were games last season where he always kept the ball and the defense keyed on him, essentially nullifying OSU's best runner (at Wisconsin). Against Buffalo he almost always gave the ball. Luckily Buffalo figured he'd keep it a lot, so it ended up the right read on many plays. But Ross noted that there were several times where the correct read was to keep the ball, and Braxton didn't do that.
On Saturday, I don't recalll one misread by KG on option reads. That stands out from Braxton, who is by far the more explosive player - both with his legs and his arm. For that reason, Braxton is the starting QB and should be the starting QB. But his back-up excels in an area - decision-making -  where Braxton Miller clearly has some room to grow.

45has2's picture

Braxton has more raw talent than Kenny, yes. However, Kenny operates the system much more smoothly than Brax does. Both the speed and read option plays were run more cerebrally. If Jump Back Shugartts hadn't suited up as Marcus Hall, Kenny may have broken off more than a half century on the Aztecs. He pump fakes, he sucks in the defender on the option and pitches at the last minute and he was aware that SDSU had 12 men on the field and called for a quick snap even though the zebras missed it. I don't see a downside to either QB. They just have different strengths and styles. If Kenny had to go the rest of the season my only worry would be, who is backing him up?

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

Yep, pretty tired of the "Kenny G is better" talk. Braxton Miller got us to this point. I feel ashamed of our fan base to throw him out like old gum already. Respect to Kenny G and his smooth jazz, but Action Braxton is the real deal.

CJDPHoS Board of Directors

Go get your shine box, Gumar!

unholy bucknut's picture

Kenny G is the man i'm glad we have him when  things like this rears it's ugly head. But I say my prayers at night for Braxton's health. With Miller we are a national championship caliber team. Guiton were a rose bowl caliber team. Not one man makes too much difference it is a team sport. But i'll take miller everytime.

DefendYoungstown's picture

As long as they are playing in Pasadena in January...

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

Harold's picture

Thank you OSU069. Thank you.

Ahhh, the smell of Chris Spielman's Dirty Socks...

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Here is to hoping the Bucks get healthy for the game against CAL!  We need all of the injured players back and fully healthy ASAP.

Buckeye.383's picture

I think Braxton's will/desire to play means we'll see him in the game. He might not go the whole game, but if he was "able to go if necessary" against SDSU then I would believe he at least sees the field this week. If he plays I think the play calling really limits designed runs for him. Either way the important thing is that he gets healthy, no reason to make an injury worse and risk being out long term or for the start of our B1G schedule. 
Braxton is definitely better then Kenny G. but I'm still confident Guiton can get the job done if Braxton doesn't play. That's when having a stable of athletic running backs and a more experienced WR unit will really be a benefit. 

Born, raised, educated, and will die a Buckeye ~ BuckeyeNation

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Both Brax and Kenny have their strengths. I thought Kenny did one hell of a job in making the correct decision in the option read, and he executed it at the last possible moment to maximum effect - I dare say even better than we have seen from Braxton to date. But Brax makes things happen with his elusiveness and quickness - the x factor if you will.
Not really sure who the better thrower is, need more data from Kenny G to figure that out. We are damn fortunate to have Kenny since Brax has been injury prone in his HS years and he has taken some hard hits in the last two years. I thought he was having a concussion in the play he hurt his meniscus. His head snapped pretty violently from the double hit. He's was up and ready to go in fairly quickly after that though - what a warrior.

will0327's picture

HAHAHAHAHA its actually kind of sad we are having a debate about who is better Braxton or Kenny. All respect to Kenny but good job doing your job but im sorry hes not in the same universe as Braxton. Man that pass Braxton made that throw doing the gun to the TE on first drive is evidence enough .... like im sorry but can we stop this 
this is like saying "The Chicago Bulls are better without Drose"
wait....people did say that ....


southbay's picture

I really want to see Braxton play against Cal, in part because I will be at the game, and I won't have too many other opportunities to see him play in person.  Although, if the Buckeyes make it to the NCG this year or at least the Rose Bowl game, Pasadena is within driving distance...
If not, the Buckeyes can win with Kenny.  I think they can run on Cal, all day.  Portland State seems to have done that reasonably well.

pjtobin's picture

I like that Dontre is making a splash early. By the time we get into conference play our offense will be hard to stop. I really want Xbrax to stay healthy. He is a special player. I think Guiton is too. If we could get Braxton to read the d like Kenny can, that would be awesome. Can you imagine that!? 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

OSU069's picture

Hope Braxton plays and dominates next week so we can quit this ridiculous topic.

DudeNick4's picture

I'm all for a kid playing if he's able, but with the big picture in mind I think these next two weeks are a perfect time for the kid to get healthy.
Start Kenny against Cal and if Braxton can play and is needed then he can come in, but we surely wouldn't need Braxton risking injury against Florida A&M.

rhutchjr's picture

All this wonderful conversation about QB's. No QB contravercy! Right! I wonder what would be said if the #3 QB got a little play time (and did well)? I'm enjoying it and would go to football heaven if we had 3 good ones. I love a great debate.

Toledo, a good place to be FROM

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Hopefully Diesel is back next week.

JasonOSU_UNI's picture

Just put them both on the field for the first series.  Just think of how many hours of overtime that would create for the Defensive Coordinators on the remainder of the schedule.

harleymanjax's picture

Kenny G is TBDBUITL!
The Best Damn Back Up In The Land

"Because I couldn't go for 3"