Ohio State Football: Kenny Guiton Should Be Used to Keep Braxton Miller Fresh

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 15, 2013

Sep 14, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) prepares to throw a touchdown pass against the California Golden Bears in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Senior quarterback Kenny Guiton didn't just take the reins for Ohio State on Saturday.

He ran with them.

Subbing in for the injured Braxton Miller—who is trying to battle back from a sprained medial collateral ligament, per ESPNU—Guiton went 21-of-32 for 276 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 92 yards in Ohio State's 52-34 victory over Cal.

When Miller returns to action, you can bet Guiton will still receive playing time after that performance.

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said after the game, via Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.com:

I think [Guiton] will be in the game a little bit [when Miller returns]. [Guiton] has been throwing the ball better than he has and throwing the ball downfield, so that's something I'll need to think about.

Guiton, who came into the game on Saturday with 25 career passes at Ohio State, ultimately made it count when it mattered most for the Buckeyes. He not only deserves playing time moving forward, but Meyer would also be foolish not to utilize the dual-threat.

Guiton also serves another purpose: He can be subbed in and out of games to keep Miller fresh.

Last season's Heisman candidate should obviously still be used most of the time when he returns, but if Meyer and Co. can get away with easing his workload, it will only benefit the junior and the team. The fewer carries for Miller, the less of a chance he gets injured.

After all, the dual-threat was the victim of a brutal gang tackle by San Diego State in Week 2. On a fourth-down play, two SDSU defenders sandwiched Miller—causing his helmet to fall off—while another tweaked his left leg.

These are the injuries that can happen to dual-threat quarterbacks. It's a double-edged sword: They can create additional havoc with their legs, but it also opens them up to injuries.

That's why it's important to at least keep them fresh while limiting the opportunities defenses have to tackle them.

Guiton has shown that he can not only be a serviceable quarterback behind Miller, but also a difference-maker.

If the No. 4 Buckeyes utilize Miller and Guiton correctly this season, it makes them more dangerous and unpredictable while taking pressure off Miller and making him less susceptible to injuries like the one he sustained against San Diego State.


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