COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A week ago, no one was even certain Braxton Miller was healthy enough to play in a game. Now, he thinks he’s still in the Heisman Trophy race. ”The way we keep playing as a team, as a whole, I feel like there’s all type of awards guys can get,” the junior quarterback said after Wednesday night’s practice. ”So if (the Heisman) comes upon (me), I’m really grateful for what it is. But I’m just going to keep playing my game, me and the guys. Hopefully I’ll be looking forward to it after the season.” Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) has the nation’s longest winning streak at 17 in a row. Miller missed more than half of the Buckeyes’ season with a sprained knee ligament sustained in the opening minutes of a Week 2 win over San Diego State. He didn’t play in the victories at California and back home against Florida A&M while backup Kenny Guiton racked up huge numbers. Guiton had a school-record six touchdown passes, all in the first half, of a 76-0 rout of overmatched FAMU. It wasn’t until last Thursday that Miller was tapped as the starting quarterback two days later against Wisconsin. Coach Urban Meyer was looking for the shiftiness and change-of-direction that is Miller’s hallmark. When Meyer saw that, he stamped Miller as the starter. Miller then played as if he had never left, tossing four touchdown passes in a 31-24 victory. ”I didn’t miss a beat,” he said. He even threw a crunching block when an Ohio State running back changed direction. ”He was chirping about that all day,” Meyer said with a chuckle. ”He did a good job. That was a great block.” Miller had crumpled to the ground in pain on Sept. 7 after being sandwiched between two San Diego State tacklers. Before he was carted off the field, a doctor manipulated his knee and he cried out in pain. Needless to say, there were a lot of concerns about the three-year starter. ”I was certainly worried,” quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Tom Herman said. ”I don’t know that (the injury set him back). Maybe a little bit mentally just seeing the game over and over again and seeing coverages live and all those things. From a physical standpoint, it didn’t and from a preparation standpoint, it didn’t, but there’s only so much you can do in drills and in the film room. (Facing) live bullets is necessary to gain that experience.” Herman and Meyer both said Miller made a couple of throws against Wisconsin that he wouldn’t have even attempted earlier in his career. Miller might actually benefit later on from having been hit less so far this season…
September, 8, 2013 Sep 8 10:00 AM ET COLUMBUS, Ohio — Taking a look at the lessons coming out of Ohio State’s 42-7 romp over San Diego State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Dontre Wilson is ready for more: The package is already starting to expand for the touted freshman, and the Buckeyes are only going to keep adding to Wilson’s plate as he gets more comfortable in the offense. Wilson put his speed on full display as a rusher, turning five touches into 51 yards and a touchdown as he worked the perimeter in the option game. His 3 catches didn’t yield much, accounting for just 6 yards, but he’s displayed some sure hands that should allow coach Urban Meyer to throw his way more often and put him in position to explode down the field. Wilson has only scratched the surface, but he’s already starting to live up to the hype.
The defensive line is going to be fine: Adolphus Washington was hampered with a groin injury, but even without the sophomore available to lead the pass rush as the Buckeyes have planned, the unit up front appears to be ahead of schedule in the rebuilding effort. Noah Spence showed up in the backfield to harass the quarterback for the second straight week, Steve Miller came off the bench to chip in an athletic sack and Michael Bennett is finally becoming the force in the trenches he has long been expected to be for the Buckeyes. In all, the unit tallied 3 sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered them both during a performance that should ease some concerns about the lack of experience going into the season.
Corners opposite Bradley Roby will be busy: Technically, Roby didn’t get the starting nod as he returned from his one-game suspension. But he was only on the bench for two plays before getting plugged back in the rotation, and once he was there, San Diego State seemed to have little interest in throwing his way. On the rare occasion the Aztecs looked at his side of the field, Roby was blitzing and still was able to break up the pass by leaping up to get a hand on it with his incredible athleticism. Most teams are likely to take the same approach to avoiding one of the nation’s best cover guys, which will leave plenty of opportunities for Doran Grant or Armani Reeves to make plays in the secondary — and both came up with interceptions as the defensive backs held the Aztecs to 216 yards while completing 22 of their 41 attempts.
The Ohio State Buckeyes took the next step toward their ultimate goal of winning the national championship on Saturday with a dominant 42-7 win over the San Diego State Aztecs in Ohio Stadium. Beating the Aztecs was expected. After all, they opened their season with a 40-19 loss to Eastern Illinois in Week 1. There won’t be a parade in the streets of Columbus for drubbing a subpar Mountain West team anytime soon. That doesn’t mean we didn’t learn anything about this Ohio State team in its win, though. The college football season presents teams with 12 opportunities to get better or worse, and the Buckeyes made the most of this opportunity. Here were the biggest takeaways as the Big 10 favorites continue to progress through the season. The Buckeyes Are More Than Braxton Miller When it comes to Ohio State, Braxton Miller gets all the headlines. That’s to be expected when you have a quarterback who threw for over 2,000 yards while rushing for 1,000 more. However, this game showed that Ohio State is a dangerous squad even without its star signal-caller. Miller was forced out of the game early in the first quarter as he strained his MCL, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN. Although ESPN (via CBS Sports) reported that Miller could have returned to the game, Urban Meyer wisely chose to turn over the reins to senior Kenny Guiton. He didn’t disappoint. Guiton, whose late-game heroics against Purdue in 2012 allowed the Buckeyes to…
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There may be no replacing the real thing. But Kenny Guiton does more than a passable impression of Braxton Miller, and now it looks like he can even do it for an extended period of time when Ohio State needs a stand-in at quarterback.
There’s never been any question about how seamlessly Guiton can transition to the lineup in a pinch for a handful of plays or perhaps a couple drives, and the Buckeyes have consistently expressed their confidence in having the best backup in the country. Finally needing to prove it for a complete game on Saturday against San Diego State at Ohio Stadium, Guiton provided some evidence that he could handle the stage for more than a cameo and Ohio State turned in yet another prolific scoring performance at less than full strength in a 42-7 romp without its leading man.
+ EnlargeAP Photo/Jay LaPreteIn place of Braxton Miller, senior signal-caller Kenny Guiton finished 19 of 28 passing for 152 yards in the Buckeyes’ win over San Diego State.“He played a full game today, you saw it,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. “The old right-hander steps in again and does a nice job. “He’s too slow, not enough arm strength, but all he does is lead and manage and distribute and has an incredible knowledge of the game.”
Meyer’s scouting report might not have been entirely truthful, but by comparison it’s obvious that Miller brings far more to the table with his electrifying rushing ability, a vastly improved arm and an ability to keep defenses guessing thanks to the combination of the two.
But Guiton can do all of the same things Miller does, and after the Heisman Trophy candidate left on the opening drive of the game with an injury to his left knee that required evaluation in the locker room and kept him from ever returning, at times it was if nothing on offense changed.
Guiton was accurate in the passing game, twice dropping in long-range strikes to Philly Brown for touchdowns on the way to an efficient outing with 19 completions in 28 attempts with 152 yards and an interception.
The senior managed the tempo and the option rushing attack without any issues of significance, helping Jordan Hall and Dontre Wilson combine for 126 yards and a pair of scores.
Guiton even channeled Miller as a runner, dashing up the middle on a draw for a 44-yard touchdown on the way to a team-high 83 yards on the ground as he put together the kind of all-around performance that the starter has produced with regularity since Meyer took over last season.
“When he comes in, we don’t miss a beat,” left guard Andrew Norwell said. “It means a lot to us, because we can always count on Kenny, everybody loves him in the locker room.
“When he comes in, we’re still playing. Nothing negative really crosses our mind when he comes in.” Given his importance in the hunt for a national title, Miller was certainly still on the minds of the coaching staff after he was carted to the locker room and fitted for a knee brace. Had the game been more competitive, they might have also given more serious thought about putting the junior back behind center.
Instead, Miller left his scarlet baseball cap on for the duration of the second half, watching the offense operate without him from a spot just a couple feet off the field. The Buckeyes kept on moving the first-down chains and racking up points without him, and there was no need to rush Miller back against a defense that was probably overmatched no matter who was taking the snaps.
Meyer didn’t speculate too much on Miller’s status for next week’s trip to take on Cal, only going as far as indicating “there’s a chance he’ll be ready.” It appears to be a safe bet that Miller will be healthy and available given the resiliency he has shown throughout his career with the program.
But if he’s not, the same old security blanket is still there for the Buckeyes.
“Guiton does have a strong enough arm, he is fast enough,” Meyer said. “He’s just got to come in with more confidence, because when he does, it’s fun to watch.”
Maybe it’s not exactly the same as watching Miller. But once more, there were no complaints about the entertainment value with the next best thing.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — San Diego State received $1.2 million to appear on national television and take a 42-7 beating at the hands of No. 3 Ohio State. Coach Rocky Long said it wasn’t worth it. ”It’s only great for exposure if you play well; it’s not worth a darn if you play bad,” Long said after his team fell behind 21-0 after a quarter and 35-0 at the half in a lopsided matchup. ”You look bad on TV, so what good does it do for you?” The Aztecs (0-2) had another disappointing game. On the heels of a humiliating 40-19 home loss to Football Championship Subdivision Eastern Illinois last week, they mustered just 280 yards and the Buckeyes (2-0) did just about everything they wanted. ”They’re regular students like we’re regular student-athletes,” SDSU wide receiver Colin Lockett said. ”I don’t understand why we wouldn’t want to play a good team. This is where you figure out what type of player, what type of team, you are on a big stage like this.” Defensive back Nate Berhe was disgusted. ”We’ve got to come ready to work,” he said. ”It’s unacceptable.” San Diego State, which went 9-4 a year ago and played in a bowl game for the third consecutive season, didn’t get on the board until late in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Quinn Kaehler flipped a 2-yard scoring pass to Chad Young to make it 42-7. Kaehler, who completed 22 of 36 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown with one interception, took over for starter Adam Dingwell after he was intercepted by Doran Grant on the Aztecs’ second possession. ”We all want to play against the best in the country,” Kaehler said. ”That’s how you find out how good you are.” The Aztecs wanted to get off on the right foot but their offense didn’t let them. They didn’t run more than three plays in a series in the first quarter, by which time they were already down by three touchdowns. Dingwell finished 0 for 5 passing with the pick. A ground game that was 20th in the nation last year at 221 yards a game mustered was non-existent early and finished with only 64 yards on 27 attempts. ”I thought we were absolutely horrible in the first half,” Long said of his offense. The only hope was that the Buckeyes might get knocked off course somehow. That possibility arose – but then evaporated. …
Braxton Miller was injured on the seventh offensive play of the game, but even with its leader sitting on the sideline, Ohio State coasted to a 42-7 victory over San Diego State on Saturday. Miller injured his MCL after taking a big hit and was forced to miss the rest of the game. Though his absence was deemed a precautionary measure, it should be interesting to monitor his health and practice workload during the week. He was replaced by longtime backup Kenny Guiton, who ran the offense with self-assurance and helped prevent the outcome from ever being in doubt. But what else did the Buckeyes teach us on Saturday? Begin Slideshow
The Ohio State Buckeyes and San Diego State Aztecs will take the field in this afternoon’s Week 2 matchup (3:30pm ET, ABC/ESPN2). Ohio State, playing at home, is coming off of a 40-20 win over Buffalo in Week 1, while the Aztecs are coming off of a 40-19 home loss to Eastern Illinois. The Buckeyes are the favorite (-28) to win on Saturday, according to Yahoo! Sports’ football odds, which will be no surprise to college football fans across the country. Cornerback Bradley Roby and safety C.J. Barnett are both expected to play after missing Week 1. Barnett, coming off of an ankle sprain, is expected to start. Whether Roby, who’s coming off of a one-game suspension, will start remains to be seen. Keep it right here on Bleacher Report for complete game updates, halftime and final grades, and in-depth analysis of your Buckeyes! Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com
The No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes and the San Diego State Aztecs will take the field in Columbus at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, and both will be looking to bounce back from uneven opening-week performances. The Buckeyes (1-0) looked sloppy in a 40-20 victory over the Buffalo Bulls. Ohio State started fast, racing out to a 23-0 first-quarter lead, but Buffalo settled in and outscored the Buckeyes 20-17 in the final three quarters. The Aztecs (0-1), meanwhile, fell in a surprising 40-19 loss to FCS opponent Eastern Illinois. San Diego State struggled defensively, giving up 553 yards of total offense to the Panthers. We’ll be watching the action, providing live, in-game analysis all afternoon. Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rust hardly seemed like a problem. The Ohio State offense couldn’t have been operating any more smoothly during its first quarter of action since last November, with the layoff and a long offseason unable to slow it down.
But after the engine started up just fine, the Buckeyes themselves might have been responsible for the sputtering, inconsistent attack that was the on the field after an explosive opening 15 minutes in their opening win last weekend. The No. 3 team in the nation hasn’t run from that blame, either, and the Buckeyes aim to make a point by keeping the hammer down today as it welcomes San Diego State to Ohio Stadium (3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2).
“We started off pretty fast, but then we kind of let our foot off the gas pedal,” right guard Marcus Hall said. “We talked about that as a whole offensive unit, so this week we’re really focusing on starting off fast, like we did, but keep maintaining it all the way through the game. I mean, I hate to admit it, but it’s just the first game and it’s hard keeping it going throughout the whole game.
“That was the wake-up call that we needed. Good thing is it was a first game.”
The second one could look much different for the Buckeyes thanks to the return of a handful of key contributors. The difference might be most obvious on defense, with cornerback Bradley Roby coming off his one-game suspension and safety C.J. Barnett back in the lineup after sitting with an ankle injury in the 40-20 win over Buffalo. But there was a notable absence on offense that coincided with a few sloppy drives after the promising start.
Center Corey Linsley played the first 17 snaps and the Buckeyes turned those into 23 points and an easy, comfortable lead before the coaching staff pulled him as a precautionary measure to protect his surgically-repaired foot. Without the senior anchor in the middle in the final three quarters, Ohio State scored just 17 more points — and while victory was never really in jeopardy, the margin perhaps wasn’t as wide as anticipated following the fast start.
“Linsley is a little bit ahead of schedule even,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said. “I wanted to put him back in against Buffalo, but we made the decision on the sideline to just keep going as is.
“He’ll play more, and so he’ll just keep gradually getting better and better.”
That figures to apply to the offense as a whole as well. The Buckeyes will have a chance to prove it against the Aztecs.
Austin Ward previews San Diego State at Ohio State.