COLUMBUS, Ohio — Kenny Guiton has made a strong impression in his two-game cameo as No. 3 Ohio State’s quarterback — so strong that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has said Guiton has made a case for playing time even after Braxton Miller returns to the lineup.
That’s coming soon, so stay tuned. This could be interesting.
On Monday, Meyer said Miller is probable for Saturday’s game vs. Florida A&M, Ohio State’s final tuneup before its prime-time Big Ten opener vs. Wisconsin.
“If he’s ready, he’ll play this week,” Meyer said.
The Buckeyes’ biggest challenge vs. Florida A&M will be remaining focused and continuing to fine-tune their offense. Miller sprained his left MCL on the first drive of Ohio State’s second game and hasn’t played since. Guiton has stepped in and produced 7 touchdowns in two games, 6 passing and 1 rushing and was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week for his work against Cal last Saturday.
Meyer said both after the San Diego State game and after the Cal game that mobility is the issue for Miller and that he will play it safe with such a gifted runner until he’s ready to go full speed and make the kind of plays he’s capable of making with his feet.
Guiton, who had thrown 25 passes in his career before Sept. 7, is the more accurate passer. On Monday, Meyer said for the second time that Guiton probably is the more natural option runner, and that’s a vital part of Ohio State’s offense. The Buckeyes are bringing freshman speedster Dontre Wilson along with a little more action each week, have seen Jordan Hall produce at a top level following a medical redshirt season and are also set to welcome back their top running back from last season, Carlos Hyde, this week after serving a three-game suspension.
“(Hyde) has done great work with the scout team,” Meyer said. “We are anxious to get Carlos back.”
Miller led Ohio State in rushing last season and was the 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and league MVP. It makes sense that he’d return to his job as soon as Meyer believes he can perform it at a high level, but as he’s said with other positions over the past two seasons, Meyer also said that if Guiton is one of Ohio State’s best 11, he deserves to be on the field.
“If you can buy stock, buy stock in Kenny Guiton,” Meyer said, adding that the possibility of playing both Miller and Guiton is “in conversation right now.”
That’s both a nod to future opponents to be prepared for anything — and a statement that surely makes this whole thing worth watching.