Meyer more confident Miller plays this week for Buckeyes

BY foxsports • September 23, 2013

The stakes are higher this week, but the quarterback story is the same at Ohio State.

Urban Meyer said Monday that Braxton Miller is getting better and is in line to play Saturday night when No. 3 Ohio State hosts Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener for both teams. That's similar to what Meyer has said the last two weeks, but Miller has watched from the sideline as super sub Kenny Guiton has kept the Ohio State offense rolling.

Miller suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee seven plays into Ohio State's Sept. 7 game vs. San Diego State. Guiton has thrown 12 touchdown passes since then, including a school-record six touchdown passes in last weekend's 76-0 romp over Florida A&M. 

After the Florida A&M game, Meyer said Miller is Ohio State's starting quarterback and will be as soon as he's healthy enough to play. Last week, he said Guiton had earned the right to play at least a little once Miller returns. 

"I know that Braxton, if he has a good week of practice, will start," Meyer said, adding that Miller is "90 percent healthy" and that he's "much more confident" this week that Miller will be ready to return. 

Meyer has said that Miller probably could have played in the last two games, but Miller needs to be mobile and confident in his mobility to be at his best. That's why Meyer wants to see Miller at 100 percent and not just 90. 

"I hoped all week (last week) that we could get him in there, even if it was for a few series," Meyer said. "But (Miller's injured knee) wasn't stable and it wasn't right."

Having Guiton is a pretty good insurance policy. Ohio State has not trailed this season, and Meyer has said there are aspects of the offense -- like the option game -- that Guiton operates better than Miller does. But Miller is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and MVP who entered the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and having him healthy would have Ohio State's offense at full strength for the first time this season. 

The timing for that would be good with 3-1 Wisconsin on tap and a game at 4-0 Northwestern, which is off this week, after that. Meyer said Wisconsin "in my opinion, (is) the king of the Big Ten right now." 

Ohio State won at Wisconsin in overtime last season, but the bowl-banned Buckeyes had to watch on television as the Badgers won their third-straight Big Ten title. 

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