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.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”