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The Suburbanite
  • Perhaps OSU’s Miller, Guiton on field together?

  • Urban Meyer has an interesting little “problem” on his hands. Quarterback Braxton Miller is likely to return from a knee sprain this week and he was, before the season, thought to be a Heisman candidate. Having missed the Cal game and nearly all of the San Diego State game, backup Kenny Guiton hasn’t just...
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  •  When a top-five major college football program brings in a struggling FCS opponent, the week is never about the opponent. Such is the case this week for Ohio State.
    The Buckeyes play Florida A&M, which is struggling against FCS (formerly Division I-AA) schools right now. Head coach Urban Meyer makes no bones about the mismatch. This week is, he and every Buckeye interviewed Monday believes, about Ohio State.
    And maybe Wisconsin and Northwestern and every team that follows on the schedule.
    Meyer has an interesting little “problem” on his hands. Quarterback Braxton Miller is likely to return from a knee sprain this week and he was, before the season, thought to be a Heisman candidate. Having missed the Cal game and nearly all of the San Diego State game, backup Kenny Guiton hasn’t just filled in admirably. Guiton’s superb play — he was named the national Walter Camp offensive player of the week — is making Meyer come up with a way to get him on the field.
    It might be with Miller on the field at the same time. If so, that would give future opponents something to prepare for, and Meyer enjoys driving opposing coaching staffs nuts with preparation of specific offensive and special teams packages. Meyer said he is talking to his coaching staff about how to make a Miller-Guiton combination work.
    “We didn’t have that dilemma a year ago — not dilemma, but luxury,” Meyer said. “We’re in conversation about that right now. If (Guiton’s) one of the best 11, you have an obligation to get him on the field a little bit. I haven’t said he’s one of the best 11 yet, but that’s something we are in the process as coaches to ID that.
    “The good thing is, there are some choices now.”
    Holding Miller out another week, if he is healthy, will not happen.
    “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Meyer said. “If he’s ready, he’ll play this week”
    Getting Miller back — Meyer upgraded him to probable for this game — isn’t the only offensive weapon returning to the huddle. Senior running back Carlos Hyde returns from a three-game suspension. He led the running backs with 970 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
    The offense is coming off a 332-yard rushing performance against Cal. Throw Miller and Hyde into the mix with dynamic freshman Dontre Wilson and big-play receiver Devin Smith, and there may not be enough footballs.
    In Hyde’s place, senior Jordan Hall has rushed for 432 yards and is averaging 134 a game. Where is Hall’s place in the offense now?
    “Been thinking about that,” Meyer said. “It’s a good issue to have because Carlos did a lot for us a year ago, a lot. He’s a very talented running ... I’ll answer that later in the week.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Meyer didn’t have any information on Florida A&M. However, Ohio State’s pregame notes point out the Rattlers are led by junior quarterback Damien Fleming. His numbers through three games are less than staggering. Flemming has completed 31 of 64 passes for 383 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. Running back Omari Albert has 85 yards rushing on 22 carries.
    It’s easy to see why FAMU is 1-2 after losing to Samford and Tennessee State.
    There does not seem to be any consternation about overlooking an overmatched opponent, though.
    “I’ve coached in a few games where I was a 21-point underdog, and those are not real fun to go coaching, either. It’s been a while since I had one of those,” Meyer said. “Right now, I think there’s a good culture in this program to earn playing time, to earn touches, to earn catches, to earn throws and to earn anything that you have to perform very well in practice and that’s all I care about. I don’t want to say they’re faceless opponents, because of course they are not.
    “This time last year, we had a real problem ... there was a culture offensively that I couldn’t stomach. It was one — you saw it. This time, I’m seeing guys fighting for the football.”
    Reach Todd at 330-580-8340
    or todd.porter@cantonrep.com.
    On Twitter: @tporterREP