For the first time in three weeks, Urban Meyer’s weekly Wednesday update with the media provided a positive prognosis for Ohio State starting quarterback Braxton Miller, who the Buckeyes head coach said is likely to return to action in his team’s upcoming Big Ten opener against Wisconsin.
"I think Braxton will probably start,” Meyer said on Wednesday. “He had a good day today and it looks like he's pretty close to 100 percent."
Miller has missed all but one series of Ohio State’s past three games after suffering a sprained MCL on the opening drive of the Buckeyes’ Sept. 7 win over San Diego State. Meyer declared him both questionable and probable in each of the following two weeks, but Miller never found himself ready to take on either California or Florida A&M.
Starting in place of Miller has been Buckeyes backup Kenny Guiton. After finishing off the Aztecs with a 19-of-28, 152-yard, two-touchdown passing performance to go along with 83 rushing yards and a score, Guiton won national offensive player of the week honors for his 368 yards of total offense and four-touchdown outing against the Golden Bears, before setting a school record with six passing touchdowns against the Rattlers.
Meyer has said repeatedly that despite Miller’s availability, Guiton has earned playing time, although he’s not currently set on how that will play out.
"We're still working through exactly how we're going to use them, to manage the game," Meyer said. "But they both look good."
While Guiton’s recent play as of late has made the Buckeyes’ quarterback situation an interesting one, Meyer’s aware of the conundrums that a two-quarterback situation can create. The two-time national champion head coach won his first at Florida in 2006 while utilizing both Chris Leak and Tim Tebow behind center for the Gators, and knows from that experience that it can be hard to follow a set script for his signal callers.
"That's tough. That's tough. I've had experience playing two in 2006 and it's hard," he said. "When a guy gets a hot hand, or if he doesn't get the hot hand, then when does he go back in? That's a decision I can only make by myself. So we'll see."
Through his limited playing time this season, Miller has completed 17 of his 24 pass attempts for 208 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, while adding 82 yards on the ground. The junior quarterback set Ohio State’s single-season record for total offense in 2012, accumulating 3,310 yards while leading the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record.
In other injury news, Meyer said that Adolphus Washington will also be returning to the Ohio State lineup for the first time in three weeks on Saturday. The sophomore defensive end suffered a groin injury in the Buckeyes’ win over San Diego State and has spent the past two weeks on the sideline while freshman Joey Bosa started in his place.
Meyer also confirmed reports that Ohio State will be wearing its Nike “rivalry” uniforms that it wore in last season’s win over Michigan on Saturday. With the battle with the Badgers being a primetime contest and more than 50 recruits expected to be in attendance, Meyer is pulling out all of the stops to make his team look as impressive as it can be.
“The feedback from the rivalry game last year was incredible,” Meyer said. “Not just from our players and recruits but from Buckeye greats of old. So it's a good chance we'll be wearing the rivalry uniforms.”