Ohio State is 4-0 and one of the top contenders to play for the national championship. However, do the Buckeyes have a quarterback battle on their hands?
Braxton Miller began 2013 as one of the frontrunners to win the Heisman, but he suffered a MCL injury against San Diego State and did not start against California and Florida A&M.
Prior to his injury, Miller threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, along with rushing for 82 yards on 18 attempts.
When Miller went out, Kenny Guiton assumed the starting role and has played two nearly perfect games. Guiton has thrown for 664 yards and 13 touchdowns and two interceptions through the first four contests of 2013.
Even though Miller was the starter, has Guiton deserved an extended look?
Should Ohio State Start Kenny Guiton or Braxton Miller?
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Even though Guiton has played well over the last two weeks, Ohio State has to go back to Miller. After all, Miller was one of the top quarterbacks in the nation last season and was off to a good start before his injury. The junior was completing 70.8 percent of his throws and was averaging a healthy 4.6 yards per carry through the first two weeks. Miller also has experience going through a full year of Big Ten action and should be better now that he had another offseason to work with coach Urban Meyer and coordinator Tom Herman. If anything, Guiton’s emergence has allowed Ohio State to be more aggressive with Miller. Surrounding the quarterback with a better, more explosive supporting cast was a priority for Meyer this offseason, and there’s no question the Buckeyes have a deeper group of weapons. Miller is one of the nation’s best quarterbacks when healthy, but Guiton has proved he is more than capable of leading this team if injury strikes again.
Who knew that Ohio State's deepest position would end up being quarterback? That's what happens when Braxton Miller goes down early to injury and Kenny Guiton steps in and sets records. Guiton has thrown 13 touchdown passes with just two interceptions and is averaging better than seven yards per carry as the Buckeyes' offense hasn't missed a beat since he replaced Miller as the starter. While no one can certainly fault Urban Meyer for going back to Miller, believed by many to be the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy entering this season, at the same you can't help but ask if it isn't broke why fix it? Wisconsin is Ohio State's first true test of the season, so perhaps the better question would be this: if Miller struggles early against the Badgers will Meyer pull him and put Guiton back in? With expectations as high as they are in Columbus, it's not out of the question that the Buckeyes will have to deal with a budding quarterback controversy in addition to the rest of their Big Ten slate.
Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
If Braxton Miller is healthy, he should be the starter at Ohio State. Period, end of discussion. Kenny Guiton is a really nice player who has performed extremely well in his place but Miller is the star. He is more talented, more explosive and more dynamic. In fact, Guiton's play actually should give Urban Meyer more confidence in starting Miller. Should anything happen to No. 5, he knows he has an extremely productive and proven backup plan already in pace. The game with Wisconsin might be the biggest game of the year for Ohio State not named Michigan, and all hands will need to be on deck for the Buckeyes to win.
David Fox (@DavidFox615)
Braxton Miller should remain the starter at Ohio State. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Kenny Guiton has been fantastic, and there’s little reason yet to believe that Ohio State’s record could be any worse with him at quarterback. But we’ve only seen Guiton against Buffalo, Cal and Florida A&M. His only crunch time experience was against Purdue last season. That said, Urban Meyer surely recognizes what he has in both of them. Although he’s said there aren’t any plans to get both on the field, I can’t believe that’s true. This is the same guy who won a national championship with Tim Tebow spelling Chris Leak in 2006. Imagine putting both out there for a double pass or some other trick play? Or just a decoy? Meyer loves his trick plays, and he’ll use them. Just a question of when.
Stephen Schindler (@SteveSchindler)
If Braxton Miller is healthy, then he should be the starter. This isn’t exactly the no-brainer most people claim it to be, however, as Guiton has proven his superior pocket passing skills. Granted, Guiton played against very weak competition, yet the Ohio State passing game hasn’t looked this dangerous since the Heisman year of Troy Smith. Coach Urban Meyer must make sure he uses the fact that he has two reliable quarterbacks as an advantage and not a potential problem. We could see some of both signal callers during games throughout the season, but Miller finished fifth in the Heisman voting just a season ago and is still one of the most dynamic players in the entire country. He will be and should be the clear starter moving forward.
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