Braxton Miller

Urban Meyer ‘fairly optimistic’ Braxton Miller will play against Cal


It looks like there’s a good chance Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will play against California on Saturday.

At least that’s what his coach, Urban Meyer, thinks.

Meyer said during this week’s Big Ten conference call that he had seen ‘substantial’ improvement in Miller’s movement and was ‘fairly optimistic’ that the junior would play.

The preseason Heisman Trophy favorite got through just seven snaps against San Diego State last Saturday before suffering a sprain to his left medial collateral ligament. He was examined in the locker room and fitted with a knee brace before returning to the sideline. Ohio State trainers said he was available to play, but Meyer determined that the Buckeyes didn’t need him in the 42-7 rout.

Miller will get a chance to practice this week to see if he can go against the Bears.

If Miller can’t get all the way back, the Buckeyes will once again turn to Kenny Guiton, who threw for 152 yards and rushed for 83 while totaling three touchdowns against the Aztecs after Miller was hurt last Saturday.

The Buckeyes better hope that Miller is healthy enough to at least take some backup snaps (if needed) since no other quarterback on the Ohio State roster has game experience. Without or without Miller, this has the potential to be a dangerous game for the Buckeyes, since the Bears nearly scored the upset last season in Columbus without the kind of downfield passing attack it now exhibits under new head coach Sonny Dykes.  Bears freshman Jared Goff leads the nation in passing yardage and Cal is averaging 582 yards of total offense per game.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.