Before we even get started…
To the football…
The Buckeyes wrapped up another win on Saturday at Ohio Stadium against San Diego State to run their nations best streak to 14 games and 2-0 on the 2013 season. However, despite the relative ease on the scoreboard it was not without some tense moments and left plenty for us to talk about. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble!
With complete certainty I can say that the most talked about thing to happen in the San Diego State game was when Braxton Miller went down early in the first quarter with a knee injury. Urban Meyer said that Miller is day to day in evaluation as to if he will play out in Berkeley this weekend against California. The dept chart released on Tuesday lists Miller as the starter.
In total honesty, that was a scary injury. It didn’t look as brutal as the slam to the turf against Purdue last year, but on replay it looked as though he could have sustained any of a multitude of injuries from knee problems to neck or head injuries.We all love that Braxton Miller plays the game fearless, but is it time for him to start thinking of the greater good and maybe trying to stay out of these particularly tight situations? Of course, the player is going to react and do what comes naturally. Is it imperative that the coaching staff, at least in these next two weeks leading into the Big Ten opener at home against Wisconsin, take it upon themselves to keep their star out of harms way?
I want to know what you think. In the comments section below, tell me if you think Urban and company should limit Braxton Miller’s potential for contact or if they should keep things as they are and let the kid play how he plays?
Where do I stand?
This situation really worries me. While I like what Kenny Guiton brings to the table and feel he is an adequate backup, that is exactly what he is, a backup. More on Guiton later… Braxton Miller is the star, the playmaker. As number 5 goes, so goes the Buckeye offense and to an extent the Silver Bullet defense.
If it’s me, I want to be sure that Miller is 100%. Anything less and he wears a baseball hat and watches this one from the sidelines. I realize California is a PAC-12 opponent and this thing is on the road. I realize it, I just don’t care. If you’re not 100% sure Miller is 100% capable, you can’t risk the Big Ten championship by playing him injured and possibly causing more damage that may force him to Wisconsin, Northwestern or who knows how long.
I don’t think it’s a national championship death sentence to start Kenny Guiton at California on Saturday night. While nothing has show us yet that he can handle the starting reigns, he isn’t Joe Bausermann either. It’s not a stretch to say that Guiton has the ability to go on the road and beat up a mediocre (at best) California defense. He certainly has enough skill to rip into a Florida A&M defense at the The Shoe a week later.
Co-offensive coordinator Ed Warriner on Guiton handling the playbook and his presence as a leader, “There are certain plays you might stay away from, but 90 percent of that game plan is still in play when Kenny is in the game. I just think that Kenny is so charismatic; he has leadership skills and guys like him, they are ecstatic to go out and block their butt off for him.”
You will also have the natural want from everyone else to step up their game in Miller’s absence. Warriner mentioned that as well as a reason not to expect a drop-off offensively should Guiton get the call in California, saying “When one of your marquis players goes down, the mentality of every guy that’s on the field is, ‘I’ve got to play just a little bit better. I’ve got to be a little bit more locked in, do a better job to help pick up any slack that may be there.’” And he’s absolutely right.
I think the staff is saying the right things and making sure the team and Kenny know they that they have confidence in him. That all being said, I think some people are taking the Kenny Guiton talk a little too far and, quite honestly, are making themselves sound like fools.
For example: If you heard someone say “They should start Guiton and move Braxton Miller to the ‘Percy Harvin’ role, or use him in the slot” as I did on Common Man and Company on 97.1 in Columbus on Monday, that person is an idiot and is proudly wearing a badge on his shirt to make everyone aware in the form of that comment. He may even have “born to lose” tattooed on his chest underneath that shirt.
I hope you’re not getting mixed signals from me. To summarize my position: Guiton is solid. He’s proven that and I’ll give that to him. And don’t start the “Jason hates Kenny Guiton” stuff either, it simply isn’t accurate… kind of like Kenny on deep throws. Or like Kenny on wide open out routes. Possibly a little like Kenny when trying to hit receivers in stride.
Again, I like Kenny Guiton. Maybe I’m weird and grounded in reality, but he’s a serviceable backup and more than capable of stepping in during a game for a series or two and not losing it. He’s capable of coming into a home game against a garbage defense like San Diego State’s and proverbially pick up the ball and run with it. Literally too. We may find out if he’s also capable of starting on the road against a defense the caliber of California and possibly at home against Florida A&M. His ability, while it certainly looks positive, to accomplish these things is still to be determined.And if Braxton Miller isn’t 100%, he should be given that opportunity. But make no mistake about it: Braxton Miller is the quarterback of this team and its star player. And he isn’t going anywhere other than in the shotgun to do that little hand slap thing to signal to Corey Linsley to snap him the ball.
Some quick hitter things I think that I think
I think Dontre Wilson started his Big Ten freshman of the year campaign on Saturday. He looks like everything we heard he would be and more through the first two games.
It could have been the beers, but I think I confused Rod Smith and Jordan Hall about ten times last week. Especially when they were on the field together.
Speaking of Rod Smith, I thought he looked pretty good. I think these guys are just keeping the seat warm for Carlos Hyde, but it is awesome seeing the depth of the running back position and the possibilities that come with that depth. Zeke Elliot looks a future thoroughbred too.
Apparently nobody in the athletic department reads WNR, because I’m pretty sure I said last week that this football program should never kickoff at 12:00 again and yet Monday came the announcement that next weeks game with Florida A&M will be a noon kickoff. What are these people thinking? Ohio Stadium will be a sleepy shell of what it could be considering the start time and opponent. Hope nobody on the sideline is looking for an electric atmosphere.
While I’m still not sold on Armani Reeves, I think Doran Grant is going to have a good season opposite Bradley Roby. He played well on Saturday and I expect that to continue.
I think they could use the tight ends a little more. I know, everyone says that every year.
I have no support for this opinion, I don’t “know” anything from an insider or what have you, but I really think they already know who will take the snaps on Saturday and are preparing accordingly. That doesn’t mean the players know and certainly not the media. But inside the coaches meetings and planning, they know who it will be. Just a hunch. Of course we’ll never know.
California and the PAC-12 means Fox
The Buckeyes now travel across the country to take on the California Golden Bears in their first road trip of 2013 and first prime time national television appearance on Fox Sports 1. Make sure and note that the game kicks at 7:00 eastern. FS1 does things a little differently, their pregame show starts at 6:30 and kickoffs are at 7. This is clearly an attempt to try and get you engaged in their game and not want to turn to ESPN/ABC for their 8:00 game. You’ve been warned, so I don’t want to hear how you missed the first quarter.
Just another note: The Buckeyes are 0-3 on Fox. The debacle with Florida after the 06 season, the subsequent debacle with LSU the following season and the Fiesta Bowl loss to Texas were all broadcast on Fox nationally when they had the BCS television contract.
Oh, one other thing about FS1: The game will be called by Gus Johnson and Charles Davis. I can almost hear Gus flipping out over Dontre Wilson or Braxton Miller already.
Wrap it up
I don’t believe in curses or jinx or any of that stuff. That’s why I brought up the Fox thing, so hopefully we can rid ourselves of the Fox curse and the Buckeyes will get their first win on Fox this weekend. Wait, I thought I said… Until next week, Go Bucks!
Metallica track of the week
I really liked the feel of going a little old school last week by turning the clock back ten years. So this week I decided to turn the clock back 24 years! Let’s go to Seattle in 1989 for a crushing performance of The Thing That Should Not Be!!!
(Mali note: I can’t believe that, in a game where OSU heads to the Bay Area, you didn’t feature a track from the S&M album that had Metallica accompanied by some of San Francisco’s finest musicians. Heck, that’s an album even my wife is familiar with.)