Ohio State Football Notebook: Coaches Can Get Creative at Quarterback

By Kyle Rowland on September 17, 2013 at 5:00p
33 Comments
Kenny Guiton: a good "problem" to have.

Kenny Guiton said he understands Braxton Miller is Ohio State’s starting quarterback. Guiton sees no issue. In his eyes, the job has always belonged to Miller. The past year for Guiton has always been about keeping Miller’s seat warm, awaiting his inevitable return.

Head coach Urban Meyer has a different school of thought. There’s no quarterback controversy; Miller is the Buckeyes’ starter. But that doesn’t mean Guiton’s responsibilities have ended.

It’s hard to sit a guy who’s completed 40-of-60 passes for 428 yards, six touchdowns and one interception the past two weeks. And don’t forget about the 175 rushing yards on 23 carries, an average of 7.6 yards per touch. Adrian Peterson is envious of those rushing totals. In his first career start, Guiton had the poise and moxie of a three-year starter.

The conundrum Meyer is facing becomes evident very quickly, which is why he’s admitted Guiton has earned playing time and will continue to be involved in the game plan.

“Man, that’s it right there,” Guiton said. “Coach Meyer saying that, it keeps me going. It keeps me going and I'll keep preparing.”

The next chapter in Guiton’s bestseller will be written Saturday against Florida A&M. Braxton Miller is probable, according to Meyer. He admitted he’d be surprised if Miller didn’t play. But Guiton, the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week, is due to receive first-team reps in practice, just like last week.

“We didn't have that dilemma a year ago – not dilemma, but luxury,” Meyer said. “If he’s one of the best 11, you have an obligation to get him on the field a little bit. I haven’t said he’s one of the best 11 yet, but that’s something we are in the process of as coaches to ID that. The good thing is, there are some choices now.”

One possibility is to put both quarterbacks on the field together, Guiton behind center and Miller in the backfield. Guiton’s passing has been superb and he’s displayed an ability to run the option to near perfection. A backfield with Miller and Jordan Hall with Guiton running the option could present great problems for defenses.

However, the more likely scenario is for Guiton to spell Miller for a few series each game.

“We know when the lights shine bright and we need to step up, we do,” Guiton said. “We’re ready.”

Hyde and Seek

There are 124 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and 123 of them would be just fine if they had the perceived problems the Ohio State offense has been saddled with. Too many quarterbacks. Too many running backs. A full arsenal of wide receivers.

When there aren’t enough footballs to go around, it’s the sign of an efficient offense, and that’s exactly how the Buckeyes have made it look so far. This week, against lowly Florida A&M, they welcome back a full stable in the backfield.

Carlos Hyde rushed for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns during Ohio State’s perfect 2012 season. But some off-the-field troubles over the summer led to a three-game suspension. He’ll make his debut Saturday, adding another playmaker to an already over populated list.

“It’s a good issue to have because Carlos did a lot for us a year ago – a lot,” Meyer said. “He’s a very talented running.”

Hyde joins Hall, Dontre Wilson, Devin Smith, Philly Brown and a host of others who have boosted an offense that was at best consistent while rattling off 12 wins last season. Through three games this season, the Buckeyes are averaging 44.7 points per game and 504 yards.

Hall has taken the reins at running back with Hyde sidelined. He’s already amassed more than 400 yards rushing and a Big Ten-leading six touchdowns. Thirty carries at Cal signaled Hall won’t be losing his starting spot any time soon. Many had questions about Hall’s size and durability when it came to being an every-down back. Those inquiries have been put to rest.

Hall touched the ball on 35 of Ohio State’s 87 offensive plays Saturday. Meyer has never been shy about complimenting the running back, and that trend has continued even with Hyde’s imminent return.

“Jordan Hall has certainly earned the right to touch the ball in a big way,” Meyer said.

Suddenly, a lack of depth is nonexistent. Instead, it’s one of the biggest strengths on the team.

“We’re anxious,” Meyer said.

Joey Bosa has made an instant impact on the D-line.The name says it all.

The Bos(s)a Man

Ohio State’s 2013 recruiting class was filled with top-tier talent, as evidenced by the No. 1 ranking. Wilson has flashed his much talked about talents already. Less flashy are defensive linemen. But don’t let that sway you. True freshman Joey Bosa has quickly made a statement about his game.  

“His development was much faster than I think a lot of people thought it would be,” defensive line coach Mike Vrabel said. “Certainly he’s a much smarter football player as a freshman than I had ever envisioned.”

Bosa completed the best game of his young career at Cal, finishing with seven tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage. He had 10 tackles and two tackles for loss on the season.

Bosa is firmly in the defensive line rotation for his production. But an increased role came about when Tommy Schutt suffered a foot injury the first week of the season. The coaches were concerned with how a young player might react with being thrust into the limelight, but Bosa has eased any and all apprehension.

No Movement

The Ohio State depth chart remains the same. Miller and Washington (groin) are listed as starters. Neither played last week due to injuries. Washington didn’t even travel to California.

Four running backs are mentioned – Hall, Rod Smith, Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn – Hyde is not one of them.

On the Big Ten Football Coaches Teleconference, Meyer said the running back depth chart would be set after a week of practice. Hyde will play. The amount remains in question.

33 Comments

Comments

andyb's picture

 Many had questions about Hall’s size and durability when it came to being an every-down back. Those inquiries have been put to rest.

 
I disagree with this...his size in an issue. There were 2 series on Saturday that had to be taken to 4th down starting at the 2 yard line. I personally think Carlos would have punched those in on the first try.
 
I love Jordan Hall because he brings the extra dimension of catching the ball out of the backfield and he's fast enough to take it the distance...but I don't like him in goal line situations.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I personally think Carlos would have punched those in on the first try.

Not necessarily. Remember in 2012 there was a similar situation against Miami(OH)? Hyde got stuffed before halftime.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

MN Buckeye's picture

Miller and Guiton on the field at the same time?
Guiton takes the snap, throws back to Miller who hits Guiton streaking for the end zone behind solid blocks by the WRs.

edr4225's picture

that would be sweet 

lets go bucks!!

bigbill992001's picture

OR...........vice versa..........Brax has blazing speed.

SilverState's picture

Guiton's story and character makes him one of my all-time favorite Buckeyes. It would be so easy, as a back-up, to rest on your laurels. So easy to lose hope behind the likes of Pryor and Miller. An incredible example of commitment to excellence.

dwcbuckeye's picture

First off, I am so happy for Kenny G.  He has performed at a high level when called upon and deserves the praise of the coaches and the admiration of his teammates and fans.  However, (you knew it was coming), I am a little concerned about how the talk of Kenny getting more playing time once Braxton is 100% is being perceived in the mind of Braxton (especially coming from the Coach).  This QB "controversy" could impact his confidence level at least at a subliminal level, negatively impacting his performance.  If he starts sensing he is one bad throw from being replaced (or one bad read-option) that is not a good thing mentally.  He is not a professional he is what 20, 21?  People handle these situations differently and I just don't know which way it will go with Braxton.  Bottom line, to win the NC we need a strong and confident Miller.
 
Anybody else feel this could be an issue?

OSU069's picture

Maybe. I'm not really for playing KG at QB once Miller comes back for some of the reasons you stated but I'll trust that Urban Meyer knows what he's doing.

Nick's picture

Even if you aren't / Meyer isn't for the long run I think he will use it a few times just so people have to spend time on it. Same reason we did those two point conversions but haven't done it since. 

andyb's picture

The only thing I'll say is this...we don't know what Urban is telling Braxton behind the scenes and in team meetings...same for Kenny G.
 
 

SoDakBuckeyeFan's picture

Did we all forget that Urbz was using 2 QB's when he took our beloved Buckeyes to the proverbial woodshed in the national title game. In Urban I trust. 

SoDakBuckeyeFan

Fugelere's picture

Brax=Tebow and Guiton=Leak?  

BuckeyeSouth's picture

Brax>Tebow and Guiton>Leak.
 
Fixed

Embrace it.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

When they win the national championship, you can say that.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

zbd's picture

If Bosa impressed Vrabel, that is saying something. I don't see any reason to have Kenny G and Braxton in the backfield at the same time. And one other point of where has Elliott gone?

Paulillo's picture

Guiton’s passing has been superb and he’s displayed an ability to run the option to bear perfection.

Cal slowly nods their heads.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Miller looks like he is going to become an excellent dual threat QB, but he is injury prone.  It would be great to have big leads in some of our games and bring Kenny G. in for the 4th quarter, and direct the team without a drop off as if a starting QB was in there, which we know he can do.  Miller might not get the stats he needs for a Heisman, but personally I don't give a rat's a** about individual awards, I know it's a cliche but it's about the team.  Last season he looked tired near the end of the season (for good reason).  Absolutely no need for that to happen this season.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Buckeyeneer's picture

Miller might not get the stats he needs for a Heisman, but personally I don't give a rat's a** about individual awards

Yeah, I think most of us would agree that we would have preferred a NC to Troy Smith's Heisman.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

INTLBUCK's picture

I'll second that, and vote unanimously. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

I think most would take both.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

bigbill992001's picture

Regrettably, Brax is NOT ginna win a Heisman this yr.   Have you seen Johnnie ball?

InHartWeTrust's picture

He's not winning one either.

airbuckeye's picture

After all the off season BS Johnnie pulled they will not give it to him again nor do i think we will ever see another freshman win it because of him. And frankly it would be a slap in the face of all the winners before to give him another one.
And it woud be a insult to Archie to let this spoiled argont ass whole who thinks he is above everyone and the NCAA to recive another one. I hope the liitle prick gets knocked on his ass bad enough to miss a few games.

Adambob's picture

Could we see a quadruple reverse with Braxton and Guiton on the field at the same time? Guiton takes the snap tosses it to Miller who hands it to Hall then pitches it to Brown who gives it to Wilson for a 50 yard touchdown!

dlb72osu's picture

Buckeyeneer - amen, brother!
I enjoyed Troy for everything he brought, especially the career individual 1000+ yards against ttun, but the NC would've added more to his legacy than the Heisman. Neither Krensel nor Kern won the HT but they are certainly revered for their accomplishment of winning an NC.
I do not think you could find very many OSU football fans that would disagree with you.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus

TheBadOwl's picture

Run an inverted veer, where Miller takes the handoff and has the option to pass it.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

Athens BuckCat's picture

Would enjoy seeing Brax line up with Kenny and have them run the option at some point

cal3713's picture

I absolutely love how many defensive linemen are in the solid rotation.  If everyone's healthy, what are we, playing 11??  Miller's been as good of a surprise to me as Bosa.

JozyMozy's picture

The absolute LAST thing I wanna see is Brax running any kind of routes on trick plays. He gets lit up enough as it is. We have actual receivers that are much better at that. 

ChillitownBuck30's picture

Joey "The Boss" Bosa....that nickname kicks a$$

“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”

ChazBuckeye's picture

Or "The Beast" works for me too.

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.

ChazBuckeye's picture

"The good thing is, there are some choices now.”

I smell a diamond formation with Kenny G, Braxton, Hyde and Hall in the backfield at one time. Or Wilson or hell whomever you want to mix and match but it will be one helluva nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.  

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.

gobucks96's picture

It's Urban Meyer's fault Kenny Guiton has a awesome mentality on playing time...