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.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.