Ohio State appeared to get some good news when it learned that quarterback Braxton Miller was available to return against San Diego State. Miller was knocked out of the game early in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. Buckeye trainers examined Miller’s left knee and then fitted it with a brace before he returned to the sideline in the second quarter.
Not that Ohio State needed him against the Aztecs in the first half.
That’s because Kenny Guiton more than carried the load for the Ohio State offense in Miller’s stead. The senior completed 10 of 13 passes for 113 yards and also rushed for 68 yards (including a 44-yard score) as the Buckeyes jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead on SDSU.
It doesn’t look like we’ll see Miller return against the Aztecs and now the question is, when should he? The Buckeyes appear to be in capable hands with Guiton and it could be that Miller doesn’t see the field again until Ohio State hosts Wisconsin on Sept. 28.
It’s a turn of events that could make the Buckeyes a more dangerous team down the road, as Guiton’s continued improvement would be an insurance policy against any future injuries for Miller. An offense that depends so much on Miller would also be forced to accelerate the development of its other weapons.
However, it would also put an end to Miller’s Heisman hopes, if that hasn’t happened already. With fewer games to play, the preseason favorite for the trophy is going to have a hard time putting up the numbers he needs to win the Heisman.
Not that this is a big deal. The Buckeyes have six other Heismans to their credit. And there’s always next year for Miller, who definitely needs another year of seasoning before heading to the NFL.