As of right now, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer expects Braxton Miller to take some snaps when the fourth-ranked Buckeyes host Florida A&M this Saturday. But as has been the case since the star signal caller sprained his MCL on Sept. 7, the situation is fluid.
Two days after listing Miller as “probable” for OSU’s upcoming matchup with the Rattlers, Meyer admitted that the Buckeyes’ first-string quarterback is still not at full health after injuring himself on an opening series scramble against San Diego State two weeks ago. That doesn’t mean that Miller will necessarily be missing his second consecutive game this Saturday, but how much he’ll be available to play against Florida A&M is yet to be determined.
“He’s still not at full speed, but he practiced today,” Meyer said following the Buckeyes’ Wednesday practice session. “A somewhat limited role, that’s kind of what I’m counting on right now.”
It remains to be seen whether Miller will get the start for the Buckeyes this week or if it will be Kenneth Guiton starting the second game of his career, after leading OSU to a 52-34 win over California last weekend. Left tackle Jack Mewhort indicated that it was the latter who has been taking the majority of the snaps in the Buckeyes’ practices this week, while Miller has been limited to mostly “mental reps.”
Meyer also said on Wednesday that it’s not lost on him that his team is just a little more than a week away from its Big Ten season opener against Wisconsin. With Miller having already missed the better part of the Buckeyes’ last two games, he knows that it wouldn’t be ideal for the battle with the Badgers to be the first game action that he sees in a three-week span.
“It’s concerning,” Meyer said of Miller. “I know he’s experienced, but he’s certainly not a finished product yet. (I’d like to get) him as many reps as he can get. The good thing is that there’s confidence in (Guiton).
“We show up at work every day to compete for the Big Ten conference. You look around here, that’s why this building’s here, that’s why we compete: to compete for championships in November. It’s still our goal and a target. The No. 1 objective is to win this game. No. 2 is to make sure everybody’s ready to go as we enter Big Ten play.”
While it remains to be seen who it will be handing off to him, Meyer also confirmed that Carlos Hyde will make his return for Ohio State after serving a three-game suspension to start the season. The second-year Buckeyes head coach said that Jordan Hall will remain OSU’s No. 1 running back, but that Hyde has earned some playing time.
“He’s not on top of the list, that’s not fair to the other guys,” Meyer said of Hyde. “He’ll play. He’s done everything and above that I’ve asked him to do.”
As for Adolphus Washington, who missed the Buckeyes’ game against Cal with a groin injury, Meyer ruled out the possibility of the sophomore defensive end playing against the Rattlers, but said that he expects him to be probable for next week’s matchup with the Badgers.