Depth Chart Commentary
By Rob Ogden
For the first time in weeks, some significant changes were made to Ohio State's depth chart, starting at quarterback.
Even as he battled through a knee injury and missed nearly all of three games, Braxton Miller remained listed as the lone starter at quarterback.
That's not the case this week as the Buckeyes prepare to face Wisconsin. For the first time all season, the starting quarterback is listed as Braxton Miller or Kenny Guiton.
The timing of the move is a little puzzling, considering that Miller presumably is healthier now than he has been the past two weeks.
However the change does go along with what coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.
"I think if (Miller) has a great week of practice he'll start, but I don't want to name him the starter yet because I don't know," Meyer said. "And I want to make sure I'm doing right by Kenny Guiton. That decision will be made later in the week."
Miller hasn't played a snap since spraining his knee on the first series of the Buckeyes' Sept. 7 win over San Diego State.
Meyer said that even if Miller is healthy, he wants to keep Guiton involved, but probably not at the same time Miller's on the field.
"We've had hours of discussion the past few days," he said. "As of now we don't have a package where they're both on the field, however I'd like to them both in the game. We're gonna see how they practice this week. It's a blessing to have two quarterbacks you're very confident in."
The changes don't stop at quarterback. Running back, wide receiver and H-back all look different than they did a week ago.
At running back, Jordan Hall remains the first guy listed, but he's now followed by Carlos Hyde, who returned from suspension last weekend. Junior Rod Smith is listed with Hyde behind Hall, and sophomore Bri'onte Dunn, who hasn't played a snap yet this season, was bumped from the list, as was redshirt freshman Warren Ball.
Freshman Ezekiel Elliott's name doesn't appear despite a 162-yard, two-touchdown performance out of Elliott against Florida A&M.
Meyer said he hasn't yet decided how the carries will be divided on Saturday.
"It's good when you have competition for spots," he said. "Today and Wednesday are big evaluation days about who's gonna play, and special teams are a big part of who's gonna play too. We'll see how they do on special teams and in practice, and then by Thursday or Friday I'll make the final decisions."
Meyer added that he's as comfortable now with his running backs as he has been with any group of runners in many years.
As receiver, senior Corey Brown was moved from the X position, which he previously shared with Devin Smith, to the H-back spot, where he replaces Chris Fields.
Fields was moved to the second spot at Z, behind Evan Spencer.
Also of note, freshman Jalin Marshall is no longer listed as an option at H.
Receiver Corey Smith and linebacker Mike Mitchell are no longer listed at their respective positions, either. Meyer said Saturday that those guys are "on call" and will only be used if absolutely needed.
Freshman receiver James Clark was also removed from the two-deep. He's out for the season after suffering an ankle injury on Saturday.
"I don't think it's tough on them because they see it as a positive for their future," receivers coach Zach Smith said about the possibility of redshirting. "We would hate to just put them in in mop up duty on a game that we wanted to get the starters out and then they waste a whole year kind of not being a contributing factor to the offense."
Complete Depth Chart
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.