Braxton Miller

Braxton Miller’s returning, but Urban Meyer wants Kenny Guiton on the field, too

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Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is listed as probable for Saturday’s game against Florida A&M, but Kenny Guiton played so well in Miller’s absence that Urban Meyer may have plans to play both moving forward.

Miller missed most of the last two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Guiton, a senior, took his place and performed more than ably, completing 40 of 60 passes for 448 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes to wins over San Diego State and California.

It’s Meyer’s policy that a starter can’t lose his job and he confirmed that Miller will retain his starting title, but he is clearly intrigued by the possibility of using Guiton, too, maybe even in conjunction with Miller.

“We’re in conversation about that right now,” Meyer said. “If (Guiton’s) one of the best 11, you have an obligation to get him on the field a little bit.”

One element that Guiton brings to the table is his ability to run the option. The option, Meyer said, is not Miller’s forte.

“Kenny is a natural option quarterback, Braxton is not quite as natural pitching the ball. I would say that’s probably the one area that Kenny excels at,” Meyer said. “In the last two games, we’ve ran more option than we’ve run in a long time.”

However he is used, Meyer said Guiton has ‘earned some time’. Meyer has a history of finding unique ways to use hybrid-type players — see what he did with Percy Harvin and Aaron Hernandez while at Florida. One of the side benefits of Miller’s injury is that Guiton’s performance in his stead might’ve opened the door for a new wrinkle to emerge in the Ohio State offense. Meyer seems dead-set on using him in some capacity.

“If you can buy stock, buy stock in Kenny Guiton,” Meyer said.

Having two guys who can run and pass in the same backfield would not be fun to defend. The rest of the Big Ten is keeping a close eye on this development, I’m sure.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
Associated Press
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury