Braxton Miller Must Sit for Ohio State Buckeyes vs. California in Week 3

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

Sep 7, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is tended to by team medical staff after being injured on a play against the San Diego State Aztecs at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

When Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller left Saturday's game against San Diego State with a sprained left MCL, per ESPN’s broadcast, the entire program was in utter shock over the injury to its biggest star.

The Buckeyes must play it safe and sit Miller in Week 3 against the California Golden Bears.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer told Zack Meisel of about the possibility Miller plays in Week 3:

The things that make him dangerous are his wheels. We all decided it was best not to [put him back in]. I think there's a chance he'll be ready next week.

There is no question that the Buckeyes would be better off with Miller under center, but the program must do what’s best for its long-term success. While sitting Miller may seem like a drastic measure, an injury to a dual-threat quarterback’s knee could become a serious issue if it doesn’t heal properly.

If there is any hope for a BCS National Championship in Ohio State’s future, giving Miller the chance to rest during the easiest stretch of the schedule is the smart move.

Ohio State needs a healthy Miller at the end of the season more than at the start (tough upcoming matchups against Michigan, Penn State, Northwestern and Wisconsin), especially when the next opponent on the schedule is California.

The Golden Bears were beat by the Northwestern Wildcats in Week 1 and barely were able to get past Portland State this week. With Cal allowing 74 points over the first two games, there is little doubt that backup QB Kenny Guiton would thrive with the chance to start.

Guiton managed to throw for 173 yards and three touchdowns in his time taking over for Miller against San Diego State. Add in his nine rushes for 83 yards and another touchdown on the ground, and the Buckeyes have a viable backup that could be a viable starter.

While there are typically concerns about the backup’s play-calling abilities, the senior’s wise choices out of the pocket give the program the option to sit Miller for a week or two without missing a beat.

The stage has been set for Miller to sit, and Meyer must think long-term and start Guiton.