Buckeyes continue preseason with lineup in flux

Head coach of the Buckeyes laments lack of consistency created by some nagging injuries on both sides of the ball.

Ohio State preseason football practice rolled on this weekend with a scrimmage at the Ackerman Road fields. It was closed to the media, but head coach Urban Meyer said afterward standouts included running backs Rod Smith and Bri'onte Dunn.

Meyer also had good things to say about offensive lineman Taylor Decker, who has moved from right tackle to left tackle this year, and Darryl Baldwin, a senior set to take Decker's old spot.

"Darryl Baldwin is one of the most improved players on the team," Meyer said.

The topic most on the minds of reporters and fans alike, though, continues to be senior quarterback Braxton Miller. A two-time Big Ten MVP, Miller has been limited for much of the offseason because of right shoulder surgery.

Meyer said Miller participated in the scrimmage on a limited basis but remains on schedule for the Aug. 30 season opener against Navy in Baltimore.

"Limited throws right now is where we're at," Meyer said. "We're expecting Monday for him to take a big, big step. From what they tell me, he's right on schedule."

Smith and Dunn reportedly have taken advantage of available reps with projected starter Ezekiel Elliott limited by hand surgery. Like Miller, Elliott is expected to be ready to go before the Buckeyes take on the Midshipmen.

Baldwin claiming one of the open spots on an offensive line that lost four players to graduation is noteworthy. Meyer previously declared sophomore Pat Elflein the new starter at right guard, leaving left guard and center open two weeks before the season begins.

He identified Jacoby Boren, Joel Hale, Chase Farris, Billy Price, Antonio Underwood and Chad Lindsay as the players still vying for the open spots at left guard and center. 

Overall, the Buckeyes are progressing as they look to put behind them a two-game losing streak that concluded last season. 

"We're two weeks out," Meyer said. "We're on schedule. We're going through the camp blues. It's a hard time, the dog days or whatever you want to call it. That's what's going on now. The good thing is we've had minimal ending injuries. The negative is there's no consistency because of nagging injuries. That's the only dilemma I face right now."

Follow on Twitter @marcushartman

Send feedback on our
new story page