The Week that Was in Buckeye Football
By Rob Ogden
Photo by Dan Harker
It looks like this thing is going to go all the way up until Saturday night. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the decision regarding whether or not to play quarterback Braxton Miller Saturday against California will likely come down to a game-time decision.
Meyer did say that Miller had a good workout in the pool Thursday morning and is feeling good. The concerning factor is that Miller hasn't shown enough to this point to be cleared.
Each day this week, Meyer has said they would know more tomorrow. "Tomorrow" has come and gone three times now, and yet still no decision.
Meyer has made one thing clear, however. Miller won't play unless he's fully ready to do so. And even if he is, he might be subbed in and out with backup Kenny Guiton, Meyer said.
Miller is recovering from a sprained left knee he suffered during the Buckeyes' 42-7 win against San Diego State on Saturday.
As a measure of precaution, freshmen quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett will both make the trip to Cal. Neither have any collegiate experience.
Players accustomed to sounds of Kenny G
Photo by Jim Davidson
If Miller can't make the start on Saturday, it will be Guiton in his place. Ohio State coaches and players said Guiton can run the Buckeye offense nearly as efficiently as Miller can, but does it with an attitude.
Guiton is known as one of the team's biggest trash-talkers, so much so that what he says can't even be repeated.
"I can't say the word verbatim," receiver Corey Brown said about Guiton's talk. "It's rated R."
Brown said the confidence Guiton has in himself on the field is what allows him to talk so much trash.
It's just his personality, Brown said. "Kenny's crazy. When he comes into the huddle he's loud, obnoxious … When he comes into the game he kind of hypes everybody up."
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett can attest to it first-hand.
"Every now and then I'll be talking trash to the offensive line and he'll stick up for them and be pretty vocal about it," Bennett said.
"He's just a funny guy. He can joke around and then completely lock in for the play. He's not trying to cut deep. He's not trying to make me question myself but he's just messing around in practice and making things more fun."
Buckeye defense prepares for "Bear raid"
Led by first-year coach Sonny Dykes, Cal's "Bear raid" offense is unlike anything Meyer or his players have ever faced, Meyer said.
The Bears average 103 plays per game and will throw the ball sometimes 60-70 times per game.
True freshman quarterback Jared Goff leads the nation with 935 passing yards and 114 attempts.
Ohio State safety Christian Bryant called a game like this one "a defensive back's dream."
"They get the ball out and take shots down the field," he said. "We've been working all week on going and getting the ball and making big plays. I feel like that's what we're gonna do on Saturday."
The Buckeyes didn't face more than 80 plays in any 60-minute game last season. Linebacker Ryan Shazier said if the defense does its job, Cal won't reach 100 plays on Saturday.
No decision on Washington
Whether or not defensive end Adolphus Washington plays Saturday might also come down to a game-time decision.
Washington suffered a groin injury during the first half of the San Diego State game. He hadn't yet returned to practice as of Wednesday, and Meyer said it was questionable as to whether he would even make the trip.
If Washington can't play, freshman Joey Bosa will get the start instead. On Thursday, Meyer called Bosa one of the team's top four defensive linemen.
The sophomore, Washington, has recorded 2 tackles and .5 tackles for loss in limited action this season.
Brown picks the Buckeyes
Running back/wide receiver Noah Brown gave his oral commitment to the Buckeyes on Monday.
The six-foot-two, 215 pound Brown became the 18th commitment to the Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class.
The New Jersey native recorded nearly 1,500 yards of total offense and had 20 touchdowns as a junior last season. Brown chose the Buckeyes over nearly two dozen other offers, including home state Rutgers.
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