By Rob Ogden
Photo by Dan Harker
Despite coach Urban Meyer saying his quarterback's knee is 100 percent healthy, Braxton Miller admitted on Wednesday that the MCL sprain he suffered Sept. 7 still has lingering affects on his running ability.
"I would say it affects me a little bit on my cutting," Miller said. "I'm just not my old self running yet, but I'm still working on it."
Meyer insisted on Monday that the healing process was over, and that there was no need to go lightly on the knee during practice.
But in the Buckeyes' 40-30 win over Northwestern on Oct. 5, Miller didn't look like the same player that entered the season as a Heisman Trophy favorite.
Miller rushed for 68 yards on 17 carries, but also had two fumbles. In the two games since returning from the injury, Miller has averaged fewer than four yards per carry. He averaged nearly six yards per carry in 2012.
"I wasn't fully myself throughout the whole game," Miller said. "Playing on grass, my running just wasn't my old self. Just gotta get healthy. Gotta keep getting treatment and get back to my old ways."
This isn't the first time Meyer and Miller have appeared to be on different pages regarding the knee injury. Following Ohio State's Sept. 21 win over Florida A&M, Meyer said he had hoped Miller would play, but that his quarterback said he wasn't ready.
Buckeyes not taking Hawkeyes lightly
With only one ranked opponent remaining on Ohio State's schedule, some wondered if the Buckeyes would begin to take the competition lightly.
Meyer assured that they will not.
"No, he said. "It's one of the best defenses, they're in the top ten in American and our kids know that."
With wins against Wisconsin and Northwestern in the past, the Buckeyes are through the meat of their schedule.
But center Corey Linsley said they have learned their lesson about taking weeks off.
"Everybody dogs the Big Ten about not having a bunch of ranked teams, but the weeks that we have taken off, those are the weeks that we've gotten beat," he said Wednesday. "The weeks that we've treated those teams as what the AP treats them as and what the rest of the country treats them as, as non-ranked, blowoff opponents, those are the weeks that we get beat. We've learned from history. We're not gonna take this week lightly and we're not gonna take the next seven weeks we've got left lightly."
Iowa will be looking for just its second win against Ohio State in the past 20 years.
Hyde says he's back
Carlos Hyde's 168-yard, three touchdown performance against Northwestern was reminiscent of what Buckeye fans became accustomed to seeing from the running back in 2012.
After serving a three-game suspension to begin the season and gradually working back into form, Hyde said he finally feels like himself again.
"I definitely feel like I'm back, and I'm happy to be back, and I'm enjoying it," he said.
Not only is Hyde back, he's better than ever. The senior said he's added muscle and dropped weight from where he was last year.
All throughout camp and for the first three weeks of the season, Hyde spent his time practicing with the scout team.
Once he returned to the lineup, Hyde said it took some time to get back into the groove, but added that his time on the scout team was beneficial.
"Being on the scout team helped me out with getting in the open field and making moves on guys because that's the only thing you can do out there," he said. "I'm not trying to run my teammates over. I'm trying to make a move, make a guy miss and get up the field."
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