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Ohio State Football: Do the Buckeyes Need to Play for Wins and Style Points?

The Ohio State Buckeyes have made a habit of winning football games—they’ve posted 17 consecutive victories, including five this season—but they’ve lost ground in the AP Poll almost every week since beating Buffalo on opening weekend. It raises the question: Do the Buckeyes need to play for wins and style points to reach the BCS title game this year? After opening the season ranked No. 2 behind top-ranked Alabama, the Buckeyes fell one spot despite defeating the Bulls by 20 in Week 1. A week later, Ohio State dropped again after beating San Diego State by five touchdowns. Ohio State held serve following two convincing victories over Cal and Florida A&M. The argument could be made that the Buckeyes needed a quality win to not only hold their position, but gain ground on the three teams ranked ahead of them—Alabama, Oregon and Clemson. Did that happen when the Buckeyes notched a 31-24 victory over No. 23 Wisconsin last Saturday? According to Doug Lesmerises of the Plain Dealer, Ohio State didn’t improve its stock, and in fact lost points in the poll while staying pat at No. 4. The Buckeyes had a commanding 17-point lead over the Badgers, but abandoned the aggressive offense that produced those points and turned to a conservative approach to to kill the clock in the fourth quarter. It gave the Buckeyes coaching staff exactly what it was looking for—a victory—but with their tenuous poll position, it left many…

Ohio State’s Miller healthy, gaining in confidence

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…

Guiton ready for any role moving forward

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There are times when Kenny Guiton catches another game and admits the thought might pop into his mind. There are numbers now, too, that the Ohio State backup quarterback certainly could use to support a case that he could be a full-time starter elsewhere and really give another program a lift.

Not so Fast Everybody, Kenny Guiton Hasn’t Played a Real Defense Yet

Is there a hotter backup quarterback in all of college football than Ohio State’s Kenny Guiton? He has lit the college football world on fire over the past three games, even setting the Ohio State record for most touchdown passes in a single game with six this past weekend against Florida A&M. It has led some to wonder out loud if Ohio State would be better off with Guiton at quarterback and to leave Braxton Miller on the bench. After all, you are supposed to ride the hot hand, right? Guiton certainly has had a hot hand over the past two-plus games since Miller’s knee sprain against San Diego State. In fact, Gution has racked up 643 yards on 64-of-94 passing with 12 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 184 yards and one touchdown so far this season. Not bad numbers, to say the least. However, when you take a look behind the raw numbers perhaps things aren’t as impressive as they would lead you to believe. Why? Well, those numbers have come against two of the worst FBS defenses in San Diego State and Cal as well as a terrible FCS opponent in Florida A&M. It’s about as ugly as it can get when you look at the numbers for the Cal and San Diego State defenses on the season. In fact, here is exactly where those two defenses rank nationally in some of the most important statistical categories: Category Cal San Diego State Total Defense 121st (556.3yds) 103rd (451.7yds) Points Allowed 119th (42ppg) 114th…

Miller near return, but Guiton’s been terrific

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two weeks ago there were questions about how good Ohio State’s backup quarterback was. Now some are wondering if he shouldn’t be the starter for the fourth-ranked Buckeyes. When three-year first-teamer and Heisman Trophy finalist Braxton Miller went down with a sprained knee ligament against San Diego State on Sept. 7, Kenny Guiton was spectacular in relief. Two plays into last week’s game at California, he threw a school-record 90-yard touchdown pass and ended up winning national and Big Ten player of the week honors. Now, as Miller prepares to return from his injury, Guiton looks comfortable and confident as the starter. Having two quality players at a spot where there’s only room for one right now presents an interesting problem for coach Urban Meyer.

Braxton Miller: Latest Updates on QB’s Status vs. Cal

The 2013 season was supposed to be Braxton Miller’s chance to make a run at the Heisman Trophy after an epic 2012 campaign that saw Ohio State go undefeated. And Miller may yet reach Heisman heights, though it’s possible he’ll have to do so after missing two games early in the season. Ohio State’s star quarterback left last Saturday’s game against San Diego State with a left knee injury in the first quarter and remains a game-time decision for the contest against Cal. Head coach Urban Meyer reiterated Miller’s questionable status heading into the game on his radio show for 97.1 The Fan. From Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer: Meyer said QB Braxton Miller threw yesterday and had a “great workout” in the pool this morning. The team will try to work him out a little more later this afternoon, but he is a game-time decision for Ohio State’s game at California on Saturday. Meyer said that if Miller isn’t ready to play, then he won’t play. If Miller can play, Meyer still will decide whether he’ll start him or start Kenny Guiton and use Miller only if the Buckeyes absolutely need him. Meyer said he was happy to have that luxury, which happens when you trust your backup the way he does Guiton. At this point, it seems 50-50 that Miller will start, and if he doesn’t, it’s hard to imagine him playing a significant role in the contest. There’s no reason to rush him back with the Big Ten schedule still looming, especially considering Guiton…

Meyer ‘fairly optimistic’ Miller will play vs. Cal

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he is ”fairly optimistic” that injured quarterback Braxton Miller will be able to play when the fourth-ranked Buckeyes play at California on Saturday. ”Yeah, I’m fairly optimistic,” Meyer said on Tuesday. ”With everything I’ve been told, the improvement made between day 3 and day 4 (after a sprained knee) is very important and it’s usually substantial. I’m fairly optimistic.” Speaking on the Big Ten coaches teleconference, Meyer said that Miller has shown signs that he may be healthy enough to see action after spraining a medial-collateral ligament in his left knee in last weekend’s 42-7 win over San Diego State. After several minutes on the turf, Miller limped to the sideline and then was taken to the locker room by motorized cart. He returned to the sideline, but did not play again. Meyer said he saw Braxton throw a few passes and then would evaluate him after he had practiced. ”We’ll know more (Wednesday) on if he’ll be available for the Cal game,” Meyer said. Miller got treatment on the knee on Sunday and Monday. After watching the junior go through a ”limited-capacity” workout on Tuesday, Miller may be tested more in the last big practice before the Buckeyes’ third game of the season. ”It’s just, can he plant, can he move, and all of that,” Meyer said. — Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RustyMillerAP

San Diego State vs. Ohio State: Buckeyes Show Depth After Braxton Miller Injury

The Ohio State Buckeyes received quite a scare when star quarterback Braxton Miller left Saturday’s game with a sprained MCL, per ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. However, Ohio State still pounded the San Diego State Aztecs into submission thanks to a strong performance from backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. Coach Urban Meyer praised Guiton’s play, per Rusty Miller of the Associated Press: The old right-hander steps in again. He really did a nice job. He’s too slow, not strong-enough armed and all he does is lead, manage, distribute and has an incredible knowledge of the game. And incredible leadership skills. And our players respond. Miller, regarded as a prime contender to seize the Heisman Trophy, suffered a nasty hit while scrambling for a first down on Ohio State’s first offensive series. The injury forced the junior out of commission for the rest of the day. Despite Miller’s early departure, the Buckeyes had no trouble steamrolling the Aztecs by a score of 42-7, demonstrating how much talent stretches across the depth chart. Ohio State compiled 445 total yards, 402 coming after Miller’s injury, falling a mere 15 short of its output last week against Buffalo. Guiton proved he could handle the starting gig for most other schools. The senior completed 19 of his 28 passing attempts for 152 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Much like Miller, Guiton also made an impact in the ground game, recording 83 rushing yards and another score. Not bad for…


Buckeyes gear up for first road game of season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer began his remarks after Saturday’s 42-7 blowout of San Diego State by praising a scarlet-and-gray clad crowd of 104,984 at Ohio Stadium.

What we learned: Week 2

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.

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